Catherine Thomson

Catherine Thomson


Changing lives through reading: How NSW is lifting student achievement

Speaker: Georgina Harrisson
Co-Author: Catherine Thomson

Literacy skills prepare young people for rewarding lives as engaged citizens in a complex and dynamic society. While technology will continue to bring rapid changes to communication, our students of today will enter a world where they will be required to read and write more than at any other time in human history. These foundational skills provide a strong basis for further learning and careers that will shape the state of our community for decades to come. Since 2017 the New South Wales Government has set priorities for schools to lift student achievement in reading and numeracy. Our schools have a focus on ensuring that every student and every teacher in every school improves every year.

A key driver of NSW’s efforts in literacy and numeracy is an evidence-based approach designed to improve student growth and achievement. Explicit teaching, early intervention and screening, formative assessment, targeted teaching, and professional learning form the central pillars of our strategy. Combined with early screening, tracking of student growth against learning progressions, and strong capacity building support for teachers, NSW’s approach to literacy and numeracy seeks to ensure that all learners are equipped with the foundational skills required for future learning and lifetime success.

The presentation will share how we seek to change lives through reading and lift student achievement to prepare for a bright future. The presentation will outline the initiatives and successes that have led to improvements in student achievement and school performance as part of an ongoing commitment to literacy and numeracy. The presentation will discuss how we can help schools and teachers lift achievement in one of the largest public education systems in the world, with over 800,000 students attending more than 2,200 public schools across a geographically and culturally diverse state.