Literacy is a necessary skill in all areas of education. Whilst all subjects at the College are mandated to address the General Capability: Literacy within their courses, literacy is also addressed through specific subjects or programs available to all of our students.
MacKillop Catholic College recognises the importance of providing opportunities to read, and therefore includes Sustained Silent Reading (SSR) each day. This is a 15—20 minute session dedicated to the reading of print material. This program is supported by a wide variety of books and magazines available from the Rice Resource Centre.
In Years 9 and 10 students may be invited to be part of the Essential Connections course.
This is a relatively new subject to the College. Over the last three years, Year 9 and 10 students have had the option of selecting this subject to support them with literacy-based work. Students may request extra support and time with research-based skills, essay writing, presenting and writing speeches, editing and writing creative pieces, writing up Science observations, study skills etc.
Essential Connections also includes the direct teaching of the following skills: notetaking, breaking down words for meaning, strategies to extend ideas, researching, questioning and answering and many other key literacy skills.
Reading Enrichment Program (REP)
In Years 7 and 8 students are involved in the Reading Enrichment Program (REP) and this is scheduled as part of their timetable.
Since 2006, the College has provided a targeted literacy program to students in Year 7 and 8. The program teaches the skills of reading, decoding, comprehension and critical strategies and much more. It is based on the work of Dr Carol Christensen, who created a program that looked at the different levels of reading and how to best ensure that students were developing these essential skills.
Also included in this program are the following events:
- Readers Cup Competition – a team of students are selected each year to represent the College at the Interschools Readers Cup Challenge;
- Primary School Read Aloud Visits – over the previous 5 years we have invited classes from our main Catholic feeder schools to send a class of students to work with MacKillop College students. Our students read aloud to the primary students and are encouraged to engage with the younger students using books;
- Visiting author/storyteller – each year we engage in finding an author or storyteller to work with our students. Over previous years we have been fortunate enough to work with James Moloney and Michael Gerard Bauer; and
- Literacy and Numeracy Week competitions – students engage in various literacy and numeracy-based activities throughout this week.