Caption: All Saints Primary School Albany Creek Prep Teacher Catherine Corcoran and students using bespoke BCE Foundational Literacy Monitoring Tool on the go.
An app created by Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) is a first of its kind – capturing real-time data on Prep students’ progress in early literacy knowledge and saving teachers countless hours.
Since its 2023 launch to BCE’s 121 primary schools across southeast Queensland, the bespoke Foundational Literacy Monitoring tool app has been celebrated for being “ahead of the curve”.
The BCE app is also unique in that it records student literacy progress specific to Early Years Education and focuses on oral language.
During Under Eights Week (15-21 May), BCE Senior Manager School Progress and Performance Trudi Lucas praised the app, saying it allowed teachers to monitor the foundational skills essential to early years literacy development and focus on building on what students already know.
“It is the way of the future – and will help ensure no student is left behind,” she said.
“We know that if we get it right in the Early Years of education and provide targeted literacy instruction early, it will set our learners up for success now and into the future.
“The possibility of implementing the tool with pairs or small groups within everyday learning experiences aids the development of oral language skills as the children talk to each other and the teacher to build relationships.”
Trudi said the app allowed Early Years teachers to monitor literacy progress in a more targeted and focused way, enabling BCE teachers to record and identify where their students were within their own learning journey.
“The app utilises a traffic light system allowing for targeted and timely teacher response,” she added.
“It is not a standardised test, but rather a monitoring system which allows teachers to get to know students individually. We are building on what our students already know, and in doing so, not only set them up for life, but also help them settle into school.
“Thanks to this tool, BCE Early Year’s educators are empowered to make informed pedagogical decisions and provide quality teaching responses to our youngest students.”
BCE Education Officers for Curriculum and Speech Pathology collaborated with BCE Manager Business Intelligence and Performance Luke Welch to innovate and develop the app.
He described it as ahead of the curve for monitoring student progress within the Early Years.
“The app and report are targeted towards helping teachers to understand the literacy progress of Preps in those early weeks and months of their schooling journey,” he said.
“This tool is unique as it records student literacy progress specific to Early Years Education and incorporates an oral language component. The oral language component is critical for successful oral language use in the areas of vocabulary, and sequencing of ideas, with a direct correlation to future reading success.
“The app functionality is unique in that BCE teachers can log the data through an app in their iPad or laptop, which is both practical and efficient for our teachers who are always on the go.”
All Saints Primary School Albany Creek Principal Roycelyn Wilden said parents and teachers had responded positively to the new app.
“We know the Early Years are critical to a child’s development, and often students can get overwhelmed when starting school,” she said.
“Because the tool is unintrusive and easily accessible via an iPad, our teachers use the tool when doing outdoor activities and play-based learning.
“This means students can discover their literacy skills anywhere.
“Our parents have also responded well to the tool and say they feel better informed about how their child’s literacy skills and development is progressing.”
St Eugene College Burpengary Principal Louise Olley says the tool enables teachers to be more responsive to the needs of individual learners.
“When children develop strong literacy skills, they become more confident in their ability to learn and communicate effectively. This can have a positive impact on their overall academic performance and social skills,” she said.
“We are all excited to be using this tool and to see how it can positively improve our students’ educational experience.”