Welcome to the first issue of Deputy Principal's Curriculum Update. The aim of the publication is to provide regular updates to parents regarding our teaching and learning strategies.
Attempting to ensure the school's Norwegian language curriculum is as good or better than the equivalent provision in state schools is one of our most exciting challenges. We stand by our aim to make AIS the best educational experience in Norway. Which (personally) I hope is the sentiment of all school leaders in the country. Although the school has yet to reach the ripe old age of five, we hope that this years investment in training, resources, personnel, and modifications to the curriculum are a big step in achieving a Norwegian curriculum that is highly regarded not just in Asker, but nationally when compared to other international schools.
We presently have nine members in the Norwegian language team: four teachers and five assistants. More than 50% of Norwegian lessons are now supported by an assistant - double the coverage in 2016-2017. Their role is to deliver one to one speaking time for all students, provide reading intervention for those few students who have fallen behind the expected level, and to help organise the reading books for Grade 1 & 2. We also employed an additional teacher to ensure that we have extra capacity to support both native speakers and beginner Norwegian learners. Presently Grade 2 & 3 benefit from an additional teacher in some lessons. Although not part of the language team, Miss Marita the MYP Maths teacher joined the school in August 2017. Her knowledge of the Norwegian Maths Curriculum, along with her commitment to the children has helped the school immensely.
Following last years acquisition of the Nivå reading scheme for Grades 1-3, Zeppelin Abeidsbok for grade 1, Leseforståelse for Grades 1-7, and a subscription to Aftenposten Junior for 7 copies to be delivered each week, we have also acquired the Prosjekt X, Zeppelin Leseseries and Salto bokhylle reading schemes. Furthermore, the administration has also invested significantly in the acquisition of textbooks for each grade. In Grades 1-7 the Salto Series and Førsteklasses Mat are used, while in Grades 8-9 Kontekst series and Matopedia Teoribok 5-7 & 8-10 are used. This is in addition to the purchase of class set (21 copies) novels for the MYP such as Sofies Verden, Katakombens Hemmelighet, Et Dukkehjem, Barna Som Forsvant, Clue 1-4, Nærmere Høst, and Tid for Ti anthology. As always we are constantly adding to the Norwegian section in the school library and welcome any book title recommendations, or donations.
To support students who may have fallen behind grade expectation we have also recently purchased the Tim and Tom series, ABC for minoritetsspråklige elever, and the Repetert Lesing series. Additionally, to ensure that the language of Norwegian has a high status in the school one of our three designated support rooms is now used only for Norwegian.
Teaching and Learning
The Norwegian team is presently in the process of implementing some of the strategies employed by our local state schools. The team now uses the SOL
(Systematisk Observasjon av Lesing) reading approach to monitor the reading progress of students, along with the 100-500 word checks.
The team is also committed to providing academic targets for Grades 1-5 (approximately every 6-8 weeks) in student homework books. Moreover, one lesson a week is dedicated to reading comprehension.
In the MYP there are two Norwegian teachers working with Grades 6-8. Miss Karoline focuses on reading comprehension, while Miss Jeanita delivers the IB Norwegian units. The students in the MYP have also received one extra Norwegian lesson per week since we returned in January to make up for those Norwegian lessons that were missed before Christmas due to teacher illness.
I am aware that some are of the opinion that Norwegian substitute teacher agencies would be a good solution for short term cover. Personally I would much rather the students are taught by a teacher they already have a relationship with, and make up for missed time at a later date. I think it is worth mentioning that the teaching time (for Norwegian) allocated to students is more than double the required time as stipulated by the IB.
Outside of the designated three hours of Norwegian, the PYP class teachers have been introducing Norwegian maths vocabulary into their lessons and using Norwegian Maths websites & resources.
We also offer Norwegian lunchtime reading in the library every Thursday and MYP Norwegian reading club most Thursdays at 2.45pm.
The team (both teachers and assistants) has been working with Dysleksi Norge, and will shortly receive training from the kommune's reading specialist on SOL. I met with the specialist during the vinterferie. She was pleasantly surprised by the students performance in the nasjonale prøver considering our students receive only 3 hours of Norwegian a week. These results will of course fluctuate year to year due to a whole range of factors, and context is everything when reading such statistics. Additional training linked to improving the Norwegian provision at AIS includes:
- Miss Karoline - Visit to Engebråten skole Norwegian department
- Miss Marita - Visit to Engebråten skole Maths department
- Miss Roslinda - Spesialpedagogikk & Tidlig innsats i leseopplæringen (1. - 4.)
- Miss Kelly - Spesialpedagogikk &Tidlig innsats i leseopplæringen (1. - 4.)
- Miss Elnaz - Two day IB course on language instruction
- Mr Ole Anders - Two day IB course on language instruction
- Miss Renate - Tidlig innsats i leseopplæringen (1. - 4.)
- Miss Daniela - Tidlig innsats i leseopplæringen (1. - 4.)
I am very grateful to those parents who have taken the time to meet with me to discuss the development of the Norwegian provision on offer. Such meetings provide an opportunity to dispel some of the myths that appear to circulate the parent body regarding the Norwegian provision. They also allow me to gain valuable insight into some parental perceptions. I would also like thank the parental council for allowing me to present at the March 2018 meeting. The parent council is a fantastic avenue for having your opinions expressed - after meeting with the class teacher and the administration.