Reading Recovery, which was developed and initiated in New Zealand by educator and psychologist Dame Professor Marie M Clay, provides individually tailored intervention lessons to help young students who are at risk of failure after the first year of literacy instruction. Individually administered observation tasks (Observation Survey, Clay, 2001) are used to identify students in need of special help.
The Reading Recovery program of individually designed lessons aims to accelerate students’ progress to the average level of their class as quickly as possible so that they might obtain maximum benefit from classroom instruction. Reading Recovery lessons focus on developing problem-solving strategies, and supports the student to develop effective reading and writing processes.
The program is supplementary to strong classroom literacy instruction. Teachers trained in Reading Recovery provide daily individual instruction for thirty (30) minutes over a period of 12 – 20 weeks. Throughout this time close collaboration between the Reading Recovery teacher, the child’s parents or carers and the classroom teacher is essential.
Students who participate in Reading Recovery are those most in need of literacy support after one year of school, regardless of status. Students making slower progress, finding it difficult to accelerate their literacy will be closely monitored throughout the program following the recommended procedures.
Extending Mathematical Understanding (EMU)
EMU is a research-based intervention program developed by Dr Ann Gervasoni of Monash University. It aims to improve children’s knowledge and confidence with mathematics. The program offers a series of intensive learning experiences designed to meet the individual needs of each child who is experiencing difficulty in learning mathematics in the early years and beyond. These learning opportunities span 20 weeks, with approximately 4 sessions per week of 30 minutes duration, with the aim of accelerating the child's mathematical learning so that after 20 weeks, they participate in the classroom program within the average band for their cohort.
All learning experiences involve children being withdrawn from the classroom (during Mathematics sessions where possible) in small groups, by a specialist teacher, where they work both collaboratively to solve Mathematical problems, in order to maximise each child’s opportunity to learn.
It is important that the specialist teacher, classroom teacher and parents work together to ensure the children get the assistance they need. Here at Brighton Catholic Primary School, the program is aimed at the children in Year 1. In Term 1 of each year, the Year 1 children are tested using the Maths Assessment Interview (MAI) and growth points are obtained in the four areas of counting, place value, addition/subtraction and multiplication/division. The growth points and teacher meetings then determine the students selected to participate in the program. At the end of the program the students are tested again to determine the progress that had been made. As children finish the EMU programme, they are reintegrated into the classroom programme. The EMU teacher continues to monitor their progress and liaise with the classroom teacher.