Reading to success: Cooerwull recognised for NAPLAN results

BOOK WORMS: Cooerwull class 3 Aqua during reading time with principal Mark Snow and teacher Natalie Van Der Velden. Picture: PHOEBE MOLONEY.
BOOK WORMS: Cooerwull class 3 Aqua during reading time with principal Mark Snow and teacher Natalie Van Der Velden. Picture: PHOEBE MOLONEY.

Cooerwull Public School has been recognised for making significant gains in students’ reading in a national analysis of NAPLAN results. 

The school was publicly congratulated by the Secretary of the NSW Department of Education Mark Scott for achieving substantially above average gains in student reading as students progressed from Year 3 to Year 5 between 2015 and 2017.

It has already been a huge year of accolades for the school, which was presented with the ‘Outstanding School Award’ in the Wudhagaragarra Awards, which celebrates and recognises innovation, excellence and achievement in Aboriginal Education in NSW public schools. 

Cooerwull Public School principal Mark Snow said the NAPLAN result was a credit to the teachers, who had worked with students to improve performance. 

“It is the quality of the teachers, who are an exceptional group of teachers, who have been able to identify the starting point and then move the children along that continuum,” he said.

“Another contributing factor is the success criteria, so we actually set specific teaching strategies around the reading and then the children have set their own ‘I can’ statements, so they know what is expected of them as young readers.”

Cooerwull Public School is among 39 NSW public schools – 17 in regional, rural and remote areas and 22 in the greater Sydney metropolitan region – identified as having significant student learning growth by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority.

Mr Snow said the school had worked towards individualised reading programs for each child to assist their development.

“Our goal is that every child should read five or six times every day, and it’s about one thing only and that’s practice and self discipline and making sure our children have a chance to read every single day. It sounds simple but it’s about practice and consistency.”  

Mr Snow said reading has been prioritised at the school as a skill for life. 

“We really believe if our students are confident and independent readers they can engage in curriculum, as well as the social curriculum and then community.”