Education  Fiji Project #8763

Educational Capacity Building in Fiji

by Action Change (Formerly GVI Trust)
Educational Capacity Building in Fiji
Educational Capacity Building in Fiji
Educational Capacity Building in Fiji
Educational Capacity Building in Fiji
Educational Capacity Building in Fiji
Educational Capacity Building in Fiji
Educational Capacity Building in Fiji
Educational Capacity Building in Fiji
Educational Capacity Building in Fiji
Educational Capacity Building in Fiji
Educational Capacity Building in Fiji
Educational Capacity Building in Fiji
Educational Capacity Building in Fiji
Educational Capacity Building in Fiji
Educational Capacity Building in Fiji
Educational Capacity Building in Fiji

Dear Supporters,

The introduction of regular monitoring of phonics and reading assessments, has begun to yield tangible results, proving an invaluable tool which helps to ensure that learners are getting the support needed to succeed. The results have helped guide our approach in supporting learners, and has become a core component of the success of the education program. This is alongside other key focuses, such as ensuring the consistent creation of detailed and accurate lesson plans, recording sheets and handover notes, all of which are essential to continued student progress. 

With the year already well under way, 2018 is off to a busy start for the Dawasamu Education Program, and numerous milestones have already been passed. Alongside learner assessments, ensuring consistency in teaching standards has been a key focus. This has included providing detailed and accurate lesson plans, recording sheets and comprehensive handover notes.

The year started on a very positive note, with the completion of the full refurbishment of the Navunisea District School Library, including the provision of a wide range of books across different grades. Since then, the education team have completed two additional sets of phonics tests and reading assessments. This information has been collated and shared with teachers and the GVI education team, in order to support focus groups and help direct additional resources to students who require it.

 In order to track and monitor progress, assessments where devised which ascertain each child's current comprehension and phonics ability. The baseline assessments were carried out in January 2017, with data being recorded for each student in each class (1-8). With the next round of assessments, in April 2017, the data from January and April was compared, enabling each child's progress to be recorded as either increased, remained the same, or decreased.

By the end of 2017 we were able to show the progress of all students assessed throughout the year. Through analysis of the data we identified progress of reading comprehension as an area of concern and decided to target this in the following ways:

  • encourage volunteers to teach with more of a comprehension focus, even when working with groups of children who need support with their phonics,
  • enable volunteers to feel more confident when teaching literacy lessons by creating a bank of resources to be used as starters, cool downs or main activities to support the teaching of different objectives,
  • adapt the volunteer education training to explain and demonstrate more clearly how to plan and teach high quality literacy lessons using the specific resources available to us in Dawasamu.

The changes were put into effect at the start of term three, 2017, and trialled throughout the remainder of the school year. By the start of 2018 we were, once again, able to assess all students in reading comprehension and phonics culminating in progress from August 2017-January 2018 being tracked and recorded. We were pleased to discover that the changes have indeed made a positive impact on reading comprehension progress, with higher percentages of students improving their score or maintaining the same score.

We have been able to accelerate older students, who struggle with reading, through the use of targeted phonics lessons. These students, now in classes 6, 7 and 8, are all now receiving literacy tuition focusing on comprehension as their reading skills have improved enough for them to be able to access most basic texts.

In addition to the above, over the past few months the education team has helped to support teachers and students in Navunisea district school during exam times, presented a recycling programme to learners during school holidays, and held several very successful workshops with community members to introduce parents and teachers to the wide spectrum of resources and tools used to enhance engagement and interest from students and learners.

Whilst the reopening of the library, in the form of an open day with orientation for students and teachers alike was undoubtedly a massive highlight for the start of the year, the ability to observe the consistent positive improvement from students, possible through the learner assessments, has been even more profound.

 

Throughout 2018 we will continue to focus our attention on teaching literacy lessons covering the relevant year group objectives while working on our ongoing target of improving student comprehension. Our long-term goal is to move towards teaching phonics lessons to only the lower classes (classes 1, 2 and 3), which we hope to make a reality by focusing targeted phonics interventions for students early on so that no child is left behind.

These achievements are all directly supporting our goals and objectives in line with UN Sustainable Development Goal 4, “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. It is of course, important to note that many of these positive changes would not have been possible without the incredible generosity of our donors and fundraisers. Additional resources help to enrich and supplement activities focal groups in phonics, reading and comprehension, and have direct and long-lasting impacts on a student’s learning experience and progress.

All the best, 

GVI Fiji 

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Dear Supporters, 

August saw the start of the final academic term of 2017 at Navunisea District School. The volunteers support targeted students in classes 5, 7 and 8 as well as all students in classes 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6. Volunteers all teach a combination of small group Phonics and Literacy lessons as well as whole class PE, Music and Art and Craft lessons.

To enable volunteers to plan and teach effectively, as well as monitoring and tracking progress of the students targeted, GVI carry out reading and phonic assessments at the beginning of every term, the results are collated and used so we can group the students alongside similar ability students, which assists volunteers with the planning of differentiated phonics and literacy lessons. By completing both reading and phonic assessments with some students, GVI can easily identify their individual current learning goals and plan to meet these.

Between the months of August – November the Education Project Leader has been developing a range of resources to help volunteers plan and teach quality literacy lessons.  The resources are categorised into activities that support students' understanding of; Vocabulary, Grammar, Spelling, Comprehension, Composition and Punctuation.  As the majority of GVI's education volunteers are not trained teachers, the resources are beneficial when they first begin to plan and deliver literacy lessons.

Since the start of term three the resources have been in place in the Learning Centre at school.  They have been well-used already, with volunteers adapting each resource so they can be used with a wide range of age groups and abilities.  Inspired by the success of the first activities, volunteers have even started contributing by making their own resources which supply activities not yet created.

Another aspect of the new bank of literacy resources is resource packs for particular story books in the GVI library at NDS. These packs offer a range of activities and games, which are all based around the content of a book.  The aim is that volunteers will be encouraged to focus their literacy lessons on a particular book for a longer period of time; increasing the children's comprehension and level of understanding of central concepts to the story. We will be continuing to add to our resources in 2018.

In the last month of term, we have focussed time on demonstrating the work we have been doing at school.  Our main focus was to show parents and teachers a more in-depth account of our Education Project, methods of teaching and progress monitoring process.  We feel this is important as parents are not always aware of what and how we are teaching their children and teachers do not always have the time to thoroughly talk about how our project is progressing and evolving.  The students who attend Navunisea District School come from three nearby villages: Silana ,Nasinu and Nataleira. We held four showcases; two in Silana village, one for the teachers and one for parents residing in Silana; one for parents in Nasinu village; and one for parents in Nataleira village.

We divided our Education Project into four main topics, therefore our showcases consisted of four different areas, each summarising one of these sections.  In addition to Phonics, Literacy, Assessment and PEMAC (Physical Education, Music, Art and Crafts) which each had their own stalls.  A volunteer and member of staff occupied each display and conversed with all attendees about their given topic.  We introduced the showcase outlining our goals and objectives for our Education Project.  Attendees were then invited to visit each section where GVI members were ready to explain their topic, show examples of work we do in the primary schools, play short educational games with parents to demonstrate the exercises their children perform at school and ensure any questions parents may have were answered.  It was extremely gratifying to witness how involved and interested parents are about our project. 

The Education Project Team are looking forward to 2018 and working together with the teachers of Navunisea District School to help improve the students understanding of English and to encourage them to foster the love of reading. 

With Gratitude, 

Fiji 

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Dear Supporters, 

April 2017 saw the start of academic term two at Navunisea District School and Dawasamu District School. Staff and volunteers began working at DDS consistently again this term, as volunteer numbers rise permitting us to assist here while maintaining consistent support at NDS. This term volunteers supported targeted students in classes 2 and 5 at DDS as well as all students in classes 1, 3 and 4. At NDS volunteers could support targeted students in classes 1 - 8 Volunteers all teach a combination of small group Phonics and Literacy lessons as well as PE, Music and Art and Craft lessons.

To enable volunteers to plan and teach effectively, as well as monitoring and tracking progress of the students targeted, GVI carry out reading and phonic assessments at the beginning of every term. Assessments were completed in January 2017 for every child at NDS and DDS, enabling the students to be grouped alongside similar ability students, which assists volunteers with the planning of differentiated phonics and literacy lessons. By completing both reading and phonic assessments with some students, GVI can easily identify their individual current learning goals and plan to meet these.

After the second round of phonic and reading assessments in April 2017, progress could be tracked at NDS, with a view to tracking progress at DDS the following term. All classes were examined, with most students showing definite signs of accelerated progress in their phonics ability - being able to sound out and blend to read words in Phase 2, 3 and 5. In Navunisea District School 91 children had their phonics level tested since January 2017. Of these students forty-seven scored a higher score in May than in January, thirty-six scored the same and eight students scored a lower score.

To help improve phonics progress GVI has been striving to:

  • Track the number of lessons that each child is present for, by creating a tick sheet for each group's lesson planning book to be completed daily by each volunteer.
  • Focus on blending the sounds that the students know to enable them to read more words
  • Volunteers to continue to build a bank of interactive phonics resources to be utilised during small group lessons
  • Children who were absent for one round of testing in either January or May will be checked in Term 3 regularly to ensure they are tested at least twice in 2017 allowing us to assess progress made throughout the year.

Reading assessments showed a slightly different picture, with some students making the desired progress but others either staying at the same reading level or moving back a level.

In Navunisea District School 88 students have had their reading level tested in both January and May 2017, allowing us to assess their progress made. Twenty-seven students improved on their level, thirty-three stayed at the same reading level and twenty-eight students dropped a reading level. Of these 28 students 14 are from Class 3 or Class 4. As discussed in the class analysis, some contributing factors to this may be that they are part of a composite class, they are currently being taught in a tent or due to different volunteers being responsible for the testing.

To help improve reading progress we will strive to:

  • Track the number of lessons that each child is present for by creating a tick sheet for each group's lesson planning book to be completed daily by each volunteer.
  • Focus on reading comprehension in small group literacy lessons, as children are scoring higher in phonics they are able to read but are struggling with their understanding of the words.
  • Reading tests for class 3 and 4 will be carried out by the same two GVI staff members in Term 3 to eliminate the possibility of the test being assessed too harshly or too leniently.
  • Children who were absent for one round of testing in either January or May will be checked in Term 3 regularly to ensure they are tested at least twice in 2017 allowing us to assess progress made throughout the year.

Based on the data from the end of term one, literacy and phonics groups were looked at again and altered when necessary. Some students who were pinpointed as failing to make progress were examined, and if deemed to be struggling in a small group were provided with 1:1 tuition instead, in the hope of seeing the desired progress by the end of term two.

Completion of the final assessments of 2017 were carried out in August, which has allowed us to assess overall progress to be seen for students from both Navunisea District School and Dawasamu District School. This provides invaluable feedback to the teachers and allows us to adapt and tailor our efforts to the needs of the students.

Thank you for all of your support! 

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Plans for new Kindi Class
Plans for new Kindi Class

Dear Supporters, 

In 2016, Navunisea District School (NDS) was severely damaged by Cyclone Winston. Using donations we have been able to help have the kindergarten classroom rebuilt!

NDShas over 200 students from kindergarten to Class 8, however, currently has proper classrooms for three classes. The remainder of classes are currently being taught out of teacher’s houses, and temporary learning tents. The addition of a kindergarten building to the school will ease pressure on the kindergarten instructors and allow for more creative, effective and safe instruction. The kindergarten can then be properly stocked with learning aids, games, toys and instruction materials that would be easily damaged in the temporary tents.

The new kindergarten will also include toilets, enabling the kindergarten students, who range in age from 3-5, to be kept separate from the rest of the school body. The special learning space will enable the teachers to develop the capacity for learning amongst students and to encourage a love of learning.

Construction teams for the kindergarten will include a local contracting team, which will provide income and opportunity for the surrounding villages. Additionally, the School Manager and School Committee will also participate and gain skills in maintenance and construction.

The addition of a kindergarten, or a creative early learning space, will lead to greater learning outcomes in later years, as research has proven repeatedly the impact of organised, creative and safe learning opportunities in the years leading up to primary school. 

Thank you for your continued support of this project!

With Gratitude, 
GVI Fiji

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Reading Record Tests
Reading Record Tests

Dear Supporters, 

The GVI Fiji team have been at both Navunisea District School (NDS) and Dawasamu District School (DDS) since the start of the new school year, working with all of the children to assess their reading levels. 

Prior to school starting, the volunteers were trained on how to administer the reading record assessments consistently through a combination of demonstrations, paired role-plays and observations.  Staff and volunteers with previous experience of reading record testing at NDS last year, paired up with new volunteers so that the testing process was carried out as fairly and consistently as possible.  

Testing the Students

During the test, one volunteer was responsible for reading and asking comprehension questions, while the other took notes. Using these notes the volunteers were able to assess which level the children could read independently, thus assigning them a reading level. Children often read several books until the appropriate level was found, sometimes this process was carried out over two days so that the child was not out of class for longer than 30 minutes at any time.

We were able to identify non-readers and mechanical readers. A non-reader is a child that doesn't yet know the English sounds and can't blend letters to make words. A mechanical reader is a child who is unable to comprehend what they have read. 

For these children, a different test has been formed, which assesses their knowledge of letters and sounds, blending these sounds to read words as well as basic comprehension of these words. The test was administered in the same way as the reading record testing.

We are now able to say that all children at both NDS and DDS have been tested for the first time since January 2016.

What does it mean? 

Going forward, we are working towards creating a rotation of different reading tests that can be read with children at both schools at the start of each term, in January, April and August. This will enable us to monitor the progress of each child in the school, putting in place targeted interventions if necessary for particular students. This data will also be frequently shared with class teachers at both schools, making them more aware of the work GVI do in Dawasamu and the impact it has.

This information is incredibly valuable for class teachers as well as future volunteers, as it shows which phonic phase the children have learnt up to and where they need more practice.At the end of the academic year we will be able to see if there is a positive correlation between the children attending reading groups and their progress in reading record tests, and reflect and adapt our education programme accordingly.

Thank you for your support of this project!

With Gratitude, 
GVI Fiji

Reading at DDS
Reading at DDS
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Organization Information

Action Change (Formerly GVI Trust)

Location: London - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Carly Kruyer
London, London United Kingdom

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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