Developing the reading and writing skills of every pupil in school is one of our major goals. By helping pupils in the right way, teachers exercise a critical role and themselves must also be good readers and writers. They need to know their pupils well and be able to give everyone suitable support.
Our programme supports collaborative professional learning for teachers at individual schools and through inter-school partnerships between ten local school groups and other participating schools in the Czech Republic.
When teachers think about the impact of their teaching on children, evaluate their teaching methods and use this as the basis for moving forward, pupils become better learners. With this in mind, we place a high value on teachers pursuing collaborative professional learning that responds to children’s needs.
Our teams of consultants help teachers and principals develop teaching so that all pupils’ learning outcomes improve.
Sharing experiences and disseminating knowledge
Teachers observe and discuss each other’s lessons and share their experiences at local and national meetings. Together, they address new situations they encounter during practice. This forms a professional learning community.
Teachers work together in small groups or pairs at a school or at the inter-school level. Together, they plan and assess their teaching to better understand pupils’ needs and thinking.
Developing reading and writing skills
Our priority is fostering children’s confidence in reading and encouraging reading as a meaningful, valuable activity. We start in the very first year at school, drawing on fiction, academia, media, and multimodal texts which convey experiences to children. We also try to develop children’s critical reading skills early. Their own experience in writing helps with this.
Developed writing skills encourage pupils to think, help them study, and build self-expression. Through writing, learning becomes more comprehensible and attains more lasting results. Together with teachers, we seek out ways to include writing practice in class.
Reading and writing workshops
A comprehensive system of reading workshops lays the foundations for pupils to form a relationship with books and reading. It seeks to mould pupils into lifelong readers for whom reading is not only a journey of knowledge but also a joyful experience they can share with others.
In writing workshops, pupils develop self-expression through their own texts.
The programme’s reading continuum
A reading continuum describes a child’s development from a non-reader to an independent, proficient reader. It helps us determine both long-term learning goals in literacy and the current focus for specific students.
We have already connected 112 schools across the Czech Republic, and we will connect more in 2023. In total, we have around 4,000 teachers doing their best to teach over 30,000 children at public primary schools around the country.
The Kellner Family Foundation initiated Helping Schools Succeed as a non-profit organisation in 2009. It continues to fund the programme to this day.
From the outset, our goal was to help improve the quality of teaching in public primary schools. We started with two schools, one in Prague and the other in Karviná. Today, we have brought together over a hundred schools, organise the annual Festivals of Teaching Inspiration, and publish our own magazine. We are partners with major educational organisations and work with experts.
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