House: plan to help children learn to read

  • Education minister Diallo Rabain (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

A new programme in Bermuda’s schools will help children develop their reading skills.

Education minister Diallo Rabain said teachers had been trained on the Heggerty Phonemic Awareness Curriculum, which has been introduced to preschool, P1 and P2 classrooms.

Mr Rabain told the House of Assembly today that lessons under the curriculum are taught verbally and pupils are encouraged to manipulate the individual sounds of words.

He said: “The rationale for including a curriculum for explicitly teaching our students these foundational language skills is to prevent later challenges in reading.

“This phonemic awareness programme also includes assessments that will enable the Department of Education to measure each student’s growth.”

He said the assessment can be extended to use with older students who need more help with reading skills.

Mr Rabain said a literacy programme called Achieve3000 had also been successfully introduced to Sandys Secondary Middle School, Somerset Primary School, West End Primary School and Dalton E. Tucker Primary School.

He added that the Department of Education would use the Gates McGinitie Reading Assessment to assess the progress of pupils.

Mr Rabain said: “We will be positioned with good solid data to report on the progress of all students, not just a few year levels, as was the practice in the past.”

To read Diallo Rabain’s ministerial statement in full, click on the PDF under “Related Media”