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Curriculum & Leadership Journal
An electronic journal for leaders in education
ISSN: 1448-0743
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New publications

Supporting Young People's Success - Forging the Links (School Retention Plan)

Social Inclusion Board
The Making the Connections School Retention Action Plan was developed by the Social Inclusion Board on behalf of the South Australian Government in 2004. The Board aimed to reduce the high proportion of students leaving school before Year 7 by examining initiatives to encourage young people to stay at school. This handbook outlines strategies that were found to be effective in engaging, re-engaging and increasing retention of young South Australians in learning and progressing toward employment. The handbook advises that the strategies should be employed across all settings to reconnect disengaged students, TAFES, training organisations and workplaces, as well as schools. Six sections outline strategies in terms of monitoring engagement, developing inclusive practices, and providing for personalised learning and additional support. (Adapted from publisher's description and handbook.)

Subject Headings

Transitions in schooling
Secondary education

Handbook of Early Literacy Research (2nd Edition)

David K Dickinson, Susan B Neumann
Guilford Press,  2007
This summary of recent research aims to discuss and identify effective strategies to support reading and literacy in the early years. The authors explore the variables that shape language learning in the early childhood and primary years, and how they support or risk each student's likelihood of success. Contributions focus on different elements of language learning, such as the impact of socio-cultural background, experiences and personal biography. Several contributors consider how biography and experience combine to shape phonemic awareness, language, vocabulary and knowledge, while others review how metacognition is affected. How the combined variables of context, person, text and task may be a source of learning differences is also discussed. A wide range of interventions are outlined, from specific strategies for building phonemic awareness, through to multi-dimensional approaches that address social, emotional and cognitive development. (Adapted from review in Reading Research Quarterly. See also publisher's description.)

Key Learning Areas


Subject Headings

English language teaching

School Counseling to Close the Achievement Gap

Cheryl C Holcomb-McCoy
Corwin Press,  2007
Written for school counsellors and staff responsible for student wellbeing, this book suggests strategies for counselling, co-ordinating services, connecting to families and communities, collecting and analysing data and challenging bias. The author explores how factors such as racism, sexism and socio-cultural differences can contribute to academic failure, and shows how schools can promote equity, success and personal growth for students. Examples from challenging counselling situations and small group activities are suggested throughout the text, along with questions for reflection and further professional reading. (Adapted from publisher's description.)

Subject Headings


Creating the Ideal School: Where Teachers Want to Teach and Students Want to Learn

Albert Mamary
A framework for school improvement  is presented, with the aim of increasing students’ success in school and skills for the world beyond school. The author uses his own experience in a socially disadvantaged New York high school to show how to create change and achieve excellence in performance standards. The book first explores whole-school issues including the characteristics of an ideal school, vision and mission, using data and research literature; values and beliefs; relationships and culture and the approach to teaching and learning. Classroom practices, curriculum planning, continuing assessment and staff professional development are also covered. (Adapted from distributor's description.)

Subject Headings

Socially disadvantaged
School leadership
School principals
School administration
United States of America (USA)

Play Matters: Engaging Children in Learning

Kathy Walker
ACER,  2007
Created by Melbourne's Lady Gowrie Child Centre and the ACER, this book is written for teachers 'wishing to explore and implement the Developmental Curriculum (play and project based curriculum) into the learning environment'. The book focuses on how children learn in the early years, and uses school case studies to show how to implement a play-based approach. A theoretical background on using a whole-child approach is presented, along with practical teaching strategies.(Adapted from publisher's description.)

Subject Headings

Early childhood education

Schoolyard-Enhanced Learning: Using the Outdoors as an Instructional Tool, K–8

Herbert W Broda
Stenhouse,  2007
This book shows how all school grounds, whether in urban, suburban, or rural settings, can be used to enrich and extend student learning. A case for outdoor learning is presented, looking at the educational theory behind the concept, and terminology and research on the benefits to student achievement. Advice on planning and working in the outdoors is then offered, such as how to enhance and maintain the area, gain parental and administrative support, find community resources, use time effectively and integrate indoor and outdoor content. The book suggests activities for specific subjects, specific skills and for developing initiative and social skills. (Available from distributor.)

Subject Headings

School grounds