We have to change! Einstein defined insanity as repeating the same actions whilst expecting different outcomes.
VAS reading echo will give Principals dramatically different/better tools to truly lift reading levels in their school. The teachers will be able to identify the specific needs of each student, to devise lessons to address those needs and to objectively measure improvement. School Principals will be able to do that and so much more.
As a Principal you will be able to:
- See at a glance the challenges facing each of your teachers and thus be able to truly contribute to their plans in addressing each child’s challenges.
- After 3-4 months, see if the remedial work is effective.
- Amaze parents with your impressive depth of knowledge about their child with the information you will have at your fingertips. You will also be able to outline the detailed plans of their teacher.
- Identify which teachers are struggling and divert assistance from other teachers in your team. The program will advise you if a class is overloaded with problems.
- Objectively identify effective teachers, who can then lead in-school teacher training programs.
Watch the VAS Theory Video
to learn more about the program:
Your teachers don’t have enough hours in the day as it is but this system not only reveals vital information about students’ reading development, it only takes about 20 minutes and the licence allows you to test a child as often as needed. You can divert the information to anybody on your staff, to lend a hand with testing if needed. Anyone can use the easy to use program – if you can spell, you can test. Another inclusion with the program is our teacher training questionnaires which aim to educate your teachers about VAS research by studying for the VAS Tester’s certificate.
The thing that really impresses with the VAS program is AFTER the testing phase you will receive valid quality results within just 10 seconds after generating the test information. You’ll have instant reports on every child that you can use to improve teachers’ end of term reports. The report will generate important tips for teaching staff and will provide immediate warnings of long term problems that may be looming. Every three months you can see at a glance if the struggling readers are catching up.
The VAS program frees up our teaching time.
The test frequently changes whilst still maintaining standards. That is just brilliant because my teachers can at last get back to providing the full range of education experience instead of wasting months of teaching time practicing for some national test that, if truth be known, is devoid of any educational benefit.
Excerpt from “Reading Through Tears” by VAS team members
I like to get to my school early. I get a real kick out of seeing the kids’ happy energy before I enter my office and before I face the list of jobs to be done. With a sigh I glance down the list and then froze…3.15 pm” Mrs. Kennedy. About Nathan”.
I could feel the tension in my neck…Mrs. Kennedy, overbearing, always loud, always in a hurry, convinced that she needs to be belligerent in order to keep the teachers on their toes. But then I smiled,
I picked up the phone and dialed Joan in the front office. “Joan can you give me an extra 15 minutes with Mrs. Kennedy at 3.15?” There was a pause “Are you sure?” She sounded incredulous “You do know that is Nathan Kennedy’s mother?”
I smiled down the phone at her tone “Yes That’s right”. She clearly thought me mad“ OK if that’s what you want”. The phone went dead.
3.15 …I could hear Mrs. Kennedy’s loud voice even when she entered the front office. A knock on my door and Joan announced Mrs Ken… She didn’t get further as Mrs. Kennedy flounced into my office and unbidden sat on the chair on the other side of the desk. My computer was already opened at ‘Nathan Kennedy’ opened to the VAS Grid page.
I smiled at her. “How are you Mrs.Kennedy?”
“I am not here for my health” she snapped. “I want to know why Nathan still can’t read properly”.
“Of course”. I swiveled the screen so that she could see the VAS Grid.
I took a deep breath, still smiling.“ I see that Nathan joined the school 5 months ago when he was 10 years of age” . I pointed to the screen… Impatience in her voice “I know that”.
“But did you know that Nathan had been taught letter names” “Of course I knew that “He knows all the letter names. I taught him myself before he even came to your school.
I smiled “Well in that case you will have to accept some responsibility for his poor reading”. She shook her head on disbelief “How is that my fault. That’s your job”.
“Well first of all we have to undo some of the bad habits that you have taught him”. I smiled at her. I pointed at her column of mostly red cells on the VAS Grid.
‘This shows that when Nathan was entrusted to our care last term he had confusions between letter names and letter sounds and was therefore unable to blend letters into syllables, or to blend syllables together to read long words.”
She started to say something but I interrupted her “She therefore had no phonic skills and was forced to guess words.” I paused “But he also had a low VAS level”. She frowned “I’ve never heard of a VAS level”.
I paused “You taught a child to word-guess without knowing his VAS level?”
I paused to let my feigned incredulity to register.
I pointed to the top of the screen “You see he has a VAS level of only 2.8?”
Her voice was quieter “What does that mean?”
“It means Mrs. Kennedy that you have been teaching word guessing when Nathan won’t have sufficient memory for word-guessing for another year.”
I carried on “and, by teaching him letter names you have then also undermined his only alternative, his capacity to use phonics, sounding out skills”. Prior to bringing him to us he was therefore a non-reader” His VAS level was too low for word-guessing and you had not taught him the letter sounds that he needs for phonic processing.
There was silence in the room before she spoke “Are you saying that I have caused his poor reading?” I put my hand on hers reassuringly: “You weren’t to know he had a low VAS level but it is certainly a pity that you didn’t give him sounding-out skills”
Another silence filled the room before she spoke so quietly that I had to strain to hear her. “Can anything be done?
“We have already made a start. His teacher and our remedial specialist have already met and devised a plan to target every one of Nathan’s problems”. I pointed to the yellow and grey squares on the VAS Grid. “The yellow squares are areas that have improved but are not yet mastered, the grey squares indicate where he has already caught up. The three of us will monitor every one of these sub-skills every 3 months and you should see progress by the end of the year”.
She paused, stood up, looked from the computer screen to me and in a voice I didn’t recognize said “Thank you” and walked out.
Had she looked back she would have seen the tears in my eyes.