STUDENTS on Thursday Island will get extra help in developing their literacy skills thanks to teachers at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart School undertaking specialist training, says Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch.
Mr Entsch said the $22 million Flexible Literacy for Remote Primary Schools Programme will help students at six remote schools in the Northern Territory and Queensland this year.
“The alphabetic teaching approaches being used through the Government’s Flexible Literacy training, which focuses on essential reading skills, are particularly effective for children who have difficulty learning to read and who are at risk of developing future reading problems,” said Mr Entsch.
“This initiative is an exciting development in the teaching of literacy to students most at need, and is particularly important given it will help students on Thursday Island to get the support they may otherwise have missed out on.”
Minister for Education and Training, Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, said NAPLAN reading performance in remote Australia was as low as 47.5 per cent, but up to 96.2 per cent in metropolitan areas.
“Literacy is the cornerstone of education, and it shouldn’t depend on where you live or your background. That’s why the Coalition Government is funding literacy training for teachers in those areas most vulnerable,” Minister Birmingham said.
Mr Entsch added it was great to see teachers in the Torres Strait Island region getting involved in Australia’s first large-scale pilot for literacy teaching in remote schools – focusing on essential skills from phonics to vocabulary and comprehension.
“I’m pleased that teachers from our region have signed up for this training and I congratulate them for making sure that remoteness isn’t a barrier to our kids learning to read and write well,” Mr Entsch said.
The Flexible Literacy for Remote Primary Schools Programme is the first large-scale pilot of Direct Instruction and Explicit Direct Instruction teaching methods in remote Australia. It is being delivered over four years by Good to Great Schools Australia.