Literacy learning encompasses knowledge about literacy as well as knowledge about literacy acquisition. Literacy is the ability to understand, respond to, and use those forms of written language that are required by society and valued by individuals and communities.
Kathlene George Local Literacy Advisor
All the Cook Islands Curriculum documents recognizes the importance of Cook Islands Maori language, culture, traditions, and history. This includes, fostering of collaborative learning, provision of language activities to support the context of learning, attitudes and values, and just as importantly where it all closely fits with the home and community. Therefore, I envisage the promotion and implemention of effective literacy programmes using these documents within one's first language. This can be done by exposing children to the written word at every opportunity, ensuring the use of local resources that can be obtained at schools, local library, national library, Ministry of Culture , and providing PD sessions giving advise and guidance on up-to-date pedagogical practices for Maori teachers.
My congratulations to those teachers who have opted to upgrade their qualifications to include the Bachelor of Education degree. It has been exciting for me to listen to the "hum of intellectual interaction" between staff members when discussing their assignments, essays, assessments, and data gathering for specific projects.
This has had a rolling effect in classrooms as I have observed teachers becoming more confident in implementing some very effective literacy programmes - due to their commitment to "walking the talk".
I have updated planning and assessment templates as well as more reading and writing activities to support your classroom programmes. These will be entered at a later date....
One exciting observation I have made in schools throughout the Cook Islands is that Principals have become more proactive in providing ongoing support and ensuring that open dialogue is maintained with staff especially with assessments, planning, and the implementing of effective literacy programmes across curriculum. This has also included your total commitment to ensuring up-to-date literacy resources being made available to teachers to help them plan accordingly. Your ongoing support is vital if we are wanting to lift the literacy levels of our students in reading and writing across the Essential Learning Areas - Meitaki maata for your continued support.
Hey, how about making the most of what education has to offer as it will help you to set goals you would want to achieve in the future. You have a responsibility to make every opportunity count to ensure you have a good education. Your early and primary school years are the learning foundations that will set you in good stead when you do enter into the secondary and tertiary arenas. Don't be afraid to ask for help, support, or guidance from teachers as well as fellow peers. We can never achieve anything on our own without the support of each other...
Any support you can give to your child/ren would be greatly appreciated as it sets them up to a positive start with their school education and beyond. Here are a few ideas....
Reading and writing should be fun and a shared activity. Try ideas such as reading to and with your child making predictions about stories. Even encouraging them to make word games, crosswords, Wanted Character posters which can be a lot of fun for your both. Remember if children don't use it, they'll lose it! Children learn to read by reading and learn to write by writing. Try to provide plenty opportunities for your children to practise reading and writing for real purposes; short diary entries, shopping lists, notes for special events, reminder notes, party invites etc. Give your child a choice of reading material by provide a wide range of reading material from the local library, comics, newspapers, emails and if possible from the Internet. For writing encourage your children to write letters, faxes and emails to friends and family. How about playing Scrabble, Monopoly with your children?