Literacy and numeracy skills are required in almost all parts of student life. Students who need extra support are offered one or both of the programs below:
The University of New England in New South Wales has developed the QuickSmart programs for literacy and numeracy. The College has been using these programs together with other programs to build solid literacy and numeracy levels in students who need extra support. Students are supported by our trained staff in a designated QuickSmart facility.
The QuickSmart numeracy program focuses on developing students’ understanding and automatic recall of basic academic facts with a particular focus on times tables. The program is called QuickSmart because it encourages students to become quick in their response speed and smart in their strategy use when learning basic academic skills.
Ultimately, QuickSmart aims to free up working memory so students can engage meaningfully in demanding school activities like problem solving and multiple computations. The more automatically a student can complete basic computations such as 9 x 9, the more space they create in their working memory to engage in the higher levels of thinking. Becoming faster and more confident in recalling basic mathematics facts, for example, can mean that students have more time, energy and attention available for tackling more challenging mathematical problems.
The QuickSmart Literacy program focuses on improving a student’s ability to automatically recognise works and increasing fluency in reading. It is based on our growing understanding of neuroscience and how our brains work when learning. Students get individual support three times per week for 30 minutes each time, which allows them to build new neural pathways to aid learning.
QuickSmart Literacy sessions are structured to include a number of short and focused activities aimed at improving a student’s speed of word recognition, reading fluency, and comprehension skills.
Regular testing and feedback are essential components of both programs.