There is no reason why Australian children should graduate the early years of primary school without learning to read. This is, however, a common phenomenon in our prosperous society. Research shows that children who don’t learn to read by the end of year three are likely to remain poor readers, hindering every aspect of their education and future career prospects. This is a problem that demands a scalable solution – one that the Association of Independent Schools New South Wales plans to deliver.
The evidence is clear: we know how children learn to read and how they should be taught. Students must be explicitly taught how to connect sounds with letters – phonics. But too often, this research hasn’t made its way into the classroom because educators don’t have the support to learn and implement the best strategies for teaching reading.
The Early Literacy Project worked hard to create an effective professional learning and coaching program for teachers that promotes evidence-based literacy instruction, supported by an innovative screening app. With a view to scaling strategically, the client engaged Knowledge Society to realise the full potential of the Early Literacy Project.
The client asked us to review the way their program was delivered and provide recommendations that could improve its impact and scalability, so we immersed ourselves in the work of the program’s consultants, shadowing them as they went out to visit participating schools. We also looked to the best local and international literacy and school-improvement programs for learning and inspiration.
Knowledge Society’s role is to stretch our clients’ thinking and encourage the highest standards of impact for their initiatives. Improving our society means finding solutions that work, and scaling them to maximise progress. Scaling is critical to any organisation looking to increase impact – but the strategy must be sound.
The Early Literacy Project seeks to improve reading instruction in as many schools as possible. We helped this client refine their program design and create a growth strategy to improve student reading outcomes across the country, ensuring that their investment and effort will achieve the highest impact possible.
To learn more about this project and how to work with Knowledge Society, get in touch.