Building strong foundations, early.

We have always known literacy is a key indicator of success at school. At BBC, it is in Prep where a boy begins his schooling literacy journey.

Early in the school year, boys in Prep take part in BBC’s Literacy Screening Program. Designed to assess a student’s ability in phonological awareness, comprehension, motor and language skills, the insights gathered from this process enable teachers to identify each boy’s strengths and weaknesses. This is a collaborative effort between teaching staff, our resident Speech Language Pathologist, Mrs Evelyn Terry, and an Occupational Therapist.

Using this information, we are able to target and tailor the learning experience accordingly. In January 2017, the Australian Government Department for Education and Training announced the establishment of an Expert Advisory Panel to advise on the development and implementation of a Year 1 check in literacy and numeracy. The panel found that large numbers of children in Australia are not meeting the expected learning outcomes and standards in literacy and numeracy in their schooling years. “This has an impact on their future learning and development, and their ability to be productive and participate fully in society. Early success in reading and number sense is a powerful predictor of later achievement, and is strongly correlated with schooling performance across the curriculum.”

Prep to Year 2 students at Brisbane Boys’ College are provided the initial building blocks of literacy by engaging with a cohesive, evidenced-based program of phonic development. "Highly trained specialists work with boys in small groups to engage with learning sounds through oral language, phonological awareness and written form." It is targeted to the boys’ stage of progress and is very interactive as they learn their ‘super speedy sounds’ and strategies for decoding their reading. Instead of boys simply learning a list of words, they learn the various components of language and how to place them together.

This approach provides boys with a framework for understanding language as opposed to just learning individual words. For example, if they are confronted with a word they havenever seen before, they are equipped with strategies to unlock it.

The delivery of this highly-structured and interactive program allows them to use their understanding of letters and sounds to encode for writing as well. Reading and writing becomes fun and each boy’s success builds confidence.

We believe in keeping up, rather than catching up, so our students who require extra time are supported through our PROP program and the assistance of specialist support staff. Boys are also offered reading extension in the early years as part of our holistic program.