A/Prof Janet Scull (Monash University) and A/Prof Terence Bowles (University of Melbourne)
There is a growing awareness that frequent absences from school limit a child’s opportunities for early literacy acquisition, which has later consequences for academic success and broader life outcomes. Improving school attendance, and children’s subsequent engagement in literacy learning is seen as a key to improving education outcomes. This summary report details the preliminary findings from a study that aimed to better understand the impact of Reading Recovery, as a literacy intervention, on improving school connectedness in the early years. Using a series of questionnaires that probed teachers, parents and children’s perspectives, responses were mapped to four factors associated with school connectedness: (i) attending, (ii) belonging, (iii) engaging, and (iv) flow (Bowles & Scull, 2019). The findings from this study provide support for investment in early interventions and acknowledge the multiple outcomes that result from fine-tuned teaching interactions.