We have been looking at changes to the “S” in our YES Message, Student Targets Aim for Real Success (STARS). Our old STARS goals looked at 3 reading, spelling and numeracy goals each, making that 9 goals altogether. Research has shown that for meaningful focus on improvement that the focus needs to be sharp and narrow. To follow the department’s new narrow focus, we have changed to 1 main target in literacy and numeracy with a further target for the children to work towards. As this is a new approach for the staff and children we will focus on literacy targets to start with and then roll out numeracy targets as the staff and children become used to our new system. The new STARS system is called learning ladders. The notion being that the children continue to climb as they learn. At the bottom of the ladder is something they can already do, so acknowledging something that they are successful at. The second rung is the main goal they are aiming to achieve. It is the next step beyond what they already know or can do. The third rung is the next step they will be working towards beyond their current main goal. At the top of the ladder is a question (?) mark. That signifies thinking ahead, if a child masters the current goals, what will be next? The learning ladders have been created in the form of a bookmark. On one side are the literacy goals and the other their numeracy goals. The children will have 2 copies, one for use at school and one to go home. The one at school will be their reminder about what their current focus is to develop during class activities. The one for home is so that you can assist them in working towards their goals. These goals are individual to each child and as children learn at different rates, will vary in how long they are working on the goal. Some children may only be their goal for a fortnight and mastered it and others may be working on their goal for a number of weeks.
What can you do to help at home: Look out for your children’s learning ladders when they start to come home. Remember, they will be focused on literacy to start with until the staff and children become comfortable with working with them. If you’re not sure how to help your children with their goals, then see their teacher for advice. We are going to a great deal of trouble to ensure they are easy for the children to understand, but if for some reason they are not sure, then once again see their teacher.