Falkirk Council: Closing the Gap
A number of Falkirk Council schools are in the first phase of a Partnership Project that is funded by Education Scotland’s School Improvement Partnership Programmes (SIPP).
The SIPP is a collaborative school improvement strategy that promotes new ways of working across classroom, school and local authorities. Data and collaborative enquiry are used to innovate, test and refine new approaches to tackle the attainment gap.
Falkirk Council is currently one of 7 local authorities funded to work with the Robert Owen Centre, University of Glasgow. Projects across authorities are wide ranging and are very different but the main focus of each is to use collaboration and enquiry to tackle educational inequity and ‘Close the Gap’ for pupils.
Falkirk Council’s identified task is to pilot a staged intervention approach to low attainment in literacy in the upper primary, involving the building of family capacity in areas of relative deprivation.
This is an exciting joint initiative between Schools and Community Learning and Development. Seven primary schools within Falkirk and Grangemouth clusters have signed up for the project. These schools are using a systematic literacy intervention programme called High Five (Family Fischer trust) with small groups of pupils in P7 who have attained lower literacy scores. Alongside this, the Community Learning and Development team are providing additional opportunities for the pupils and their families to encourage motivation and ambition. Opportunities for enhanced transition to High School are also being explored.
The literacy intervention programme will run for a minimum of 20 weeks. Some parents have engaged with the process and have signed up for additional CLD activities.
Robust quantitative and qualitative data is being gathered and will be presented to SIPP, and pupil progress will be tracked from P7-S2.
So far, pupils are enjoying their experiences using age appropriate strategies and structured reading materials.