There are many different ways to make literacy matter, including the annual celebration that is National Literacy and Numeracy Week. At Moss Vale High School, we have been fortunate in having the opportunity to work school wide on improving literacy, reading and comprehension, through the Improving Literacy and Numeracy National Partnership funding. Even though the money will be spent by the end of 2014, we are putting strategies in place to continue the momentum into the future.
We chose two important activities to celebrate NLNW at Moss Vale High this year: the launch of our Bamir Language Gallery and a guessing competition where students identify which book was read by which staff member.
The Bamir Language Gallery is an ambitious project to support the language learning and literacy aims of Moss Vale High School. The language gallery incorporates local Gundungaurra language by using the traditional word ‘bamir’ for ‘long’ which describes the corridor space. English staff have agreed to work with one class each week to create a bunting for display outside our classrooms and invite reflections on the use of language and literacy learning.
As word nerds, we encourage students to embrace language in all forms: vocabulary, alphabets, poetry, narratives, and visual literacy. The focus for staff, students and parents is language and we believe that a permanent gallery space will promote skill development. We aim to continue these activities with different classes each week for a full year, culminating in National Literacy and Numeracy Week celebrations in 2015. To read more about the Bamir Language Gallery, including different strategies for language bunting, follow our blog to view our weekly posts.
Reading has been explicitly valued at Moss Vale High through ‘Kick off with Reading’ where every student and staff member began the year reading their own copy of Ahn Doh’s The Happiest Refugee. In English, each class has a fortnightly library lesson devoted to reading a book of choice and complete a reflective reading journal and book report each term. As a joint celebration of Book Week and NLNW, staff were asked to nominate a book that they have enjoyed reading and provide a 25-50 word explanation to be displayed as bunting for the guessing competition.
The winners of the guessing competition will be announced at our literacy themed assembly and will receive a book voucher and library satchel.