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Turner applauds literacy turnaround

Turner applauds literacy turnaround

United Future deputy leader Judy Turner is applauding a Northland college’s literacy programme that the college principal says has produced "phenomenal" improvements.

Bream Bay College at Ruakaka used a peer tutoring programme developed by former Auckland University education student Kerrie Lomas. Senior students worked with juniors to discuss pictures, titles and words and what they meant.

The New Zealand Herald reports that Ms Lomas, while working as part of a team addressing low literacy levels at Bream Bay, had noticed that "more than half the students aged between 11 and 14 had a reading comprehension age at or below 10 years.

Many of these students were behaving badly in class, not necessarily because they were inherently disobedient but because they had difficulty reading and understanding.

Mrs Turner said, “Recent analysis of the programme shows only 9 per cent of students are now reading at an age of 10 or below. Just over half (53 per cent) are reading and comprehending at their chronological age, 33 per cent are performing above their age at 13 to 16 years and a further 5 per cent are reading above 16 years.

”Ms Lomas and the school’s teachers and students should be applauded for their remarkable achievement and I earnestly hope they care able to spread their programme across New Zealand.

“A literate population is the key to New Zealand’s social and economic success in the years to come,” she said.

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