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Resources > Cross Phase Publications > Basic Skills Cymru > Basic Skills Cymru - June 2006

Basic Skills Cymru

July 2006 June 2006 May 2006 >

Literacy Catch Up impacts on 1,600 pupils

A literacy Catch Up programme in Rhondda Cynon Taf has been dramatically improving the reading ages of pupils in Years 2 and 3 in one of the most deprived areas of Wales. The local authority, with 16 Communities First areas and high levels of poor adults basic skills, has been supporting schools in the Catch Up initiative for the last four years. To date, Catch Up has targeted 1,600 hesitant readers from over 90 schools in the region, improving reading ages by an average of 20 months in a nine month period.

The local authority has used its Basic Skills Agency Strategic Intervention Grant to fund a team of trained Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) and a coordinator to work with schools to train their own schoolsbased LSAs. The Catch Up LSAs provide two weekly sessions with selected children, matched by time from the schoolbased LSA. Ten minute, one-on-one sessions with children are raising confidence, improving reading ages and promoting a love of reading among children who risk falling further behind. Read a full report on the Catch Up model and find out how it is being successfully embedded in the schools, which are able to support the work themselves after three years.

Read more.


Second chance for 49 year-old

From struggling to hold a pen without shaking with fear to planning a full-time course of study, Vernon McDonell has turned his life around by learning to write at the age of 49. Vernon attended Second Chance classes at Deeside College twice a week and has gone from not being able to write at all to completing both an Entry Level qualification in punctuation and a Level 1 grammar qualification. He is now working towards his certificate in adult literacy. Gill Downer, Programme Area Manager for Second Chance at Deeside College says, ‘As a result of Basic Skills Agency and Assembly Government promotions, it is becoming more acceptable to admit to basic skills needs and more people are willing to stand up and accept help. People like Vernon are benefiting from the dramatic culture change taking place in Wales.’ Read more online.


Practice worth sharing

Soccer Sensation family numeracy day

Gillian Britten, Family Learning Coordinator at Yale College, Wrexham, writes of her involvement in a family day supported by the Basic Skills Agency’s Local Promotion Funding. The Soccer Sensation family day one of the grants given out in conjunction with the Agency’s Numbers Count campaign, launched in February The event targeted hard to reach families, especially fathers, of Year 5–7 children, living in Community First who do not normally take part in any sort of community or out of school activities. Read more online.

read more.


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