News release

New Literacy Strategy Lays Foundation for Learning

The province is launching the first Primary to Grade 12 literacy strategy that will increase the focus on teaching reading and writing, and developing oral communication skills.

Premier Stephen McNeil and Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Karen Casey released the new strategy today, May 20, which includes a $3.2 million investment for 24 Reading Recovery teachers, nine literacy leads and 28 literacy mentors.

"The literacy strategy we are announcing today will lead to enhanced learning in our classrooms," said Premier McNeil. "It is one more step we are taking to help young people get the skills they need to build a life and start their careers right here at home."

"Nova Scotia's students are talented and our teachers are skilled and committed to student success," said Ms. Casey. "The literacy strategy has been designed to co-ordinate the work we are doing as part of the Nova Scotia Action Plan for Education to help more of our students do better in literacy.

"It includes more support for students and teachers with a solid measure for student success."

The new strategy will help teachers bring literacy learning into all subjects and grades, and give students stronger supports in the classroom.

Areas of focus for student growth and success include: Grades Primary to 3

  • phonological awareness
  • expanded vocabulary
  • reading and writing

Grades 4 to 8

  • writing skills, including spelling, sentence formation, punctuation, capitalization, grammar and usage
  • literacy across subject areas, such as science and social studies, so that students will learn how to use reading, writing, and speaking skills in different settings

Grades 9 to 12

  • reading and writing skills across subject areas
  • oral and written presentations
  • reading skills to support the successful move to post-secondary studies and the workplace

More Reading Recovery teachers will help Grade 1 students receive the support they need, when they need it. Literacy mentors will coach teachers in the classroom and literacy leads in each school board will help with the consistent implementation of the strategy.

A committee comprised of school board literacy specialists-teachers and department staff will work together to implement the initiatives to ensure a co-ordinated approach and greater accountability.

"We welcome the support this literacy strategy provides to help improve student achievement in literacy," said Stephen Jamieson, literacy specialist, South Shore Regional School Board and member of the literacy strategy development team. "It is founded on the principles of a modern curriculum that expects quality literacy learning experiences to happen in a responsive learning environment.

"The implementation of the P-3 and 4-6 streamlined curriculum has already begun and teachers are pleased with the increased focus on literacy. There is no greater work than helping our students reach their literacy potential."

The strategy will be implemented in fall 2016. It recognizes unique challenges presented by diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, and students with different abilities. Specific literacy intervention strategies will be developed and implemented as part of the education action plan's Achievement Gap initiative.

"I would like to thank representatives from all eight school boards and teachers who collaborated with the department on this strategy," said Ms. Casey. "We look forward to working closely with our partners to implement the strategy and measure our success."

The strategy and the Nova Scotia Action Plan for Education are both available on the department website at http://ednet.ns.ca .

FOR BROADCAST USE:

The province is launching the first comprehensive Primary to 12 literacy strategy to increase the focus on teaching reading and writing, and developing oral communication skills.

The strategy includes a $3.2 million investment for 24 Reading Recovery teachers, 28 literacy leads and nine literacy mentors.

Premier Stephen McNeil says the literacy strategy will lead to enhanced learning in the classroom and is one more step government is taking to help young people get the skills they need to build a life and start their careers right here at home.

Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Karen Casey says the strategy co-ordinates the work under the Nova Scotia Action Plan for Education to help more students do better in literacy and it includes a solid measure for student success.

The new strategy will include support to help teachers bring literacy learning into all subjects and grades, and give students stronger literacy supports in the classroom.

It also recognizes unique challenges presented by diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, and students with different abilities.

More information on the strategy, which will be implemented this fall, is available on the department's website.

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Media Contact:

Michelle Lucas
902-424-8307 Cell: 902-222-1784 Email: