Matthew Flinders Parent Support

Matthew Flinders Anglican College offers additional support for student learning through a rotational program delivered to students during Access Study Skills lessons. All Years 9 and 10 students will complete these lessons during 2009.

Information on these page(s) is for parents - so they can further understand and support their students as they progress through the program.

Material will be added to this page as the program progresses.


Year 9 and 10 SMART READ program

Week 1: The first group of students has been introduced to the concept of reading efficiency. The two most important aspects are:

(a) how fast you read, and

(b) how much you understand and remember.


Inefficient Readers:

physically say the words to themselves; often have to go back and re-read material; read only one word at a time; do not know what clues to look for to help their understanding; concentrate on understanding each word; read everything the same way and find reading boring and tedious.

Smart Readers:

‘hear’ the words in their heads or not at all; move smoothly through the text; read several words at a time; use key words and punctuation effectively to help them understand what they read; focus on ideas, rather than on words; change their strategy to suit what they are reading and enjoy reading.


Students have completed the first reading exercise to measure their current reading efficiency before moving on to learning new skills next week.



Week 2:
This week students have been looking at pre-reading skills, and how they learning to read.

Pre-reading skills are what children use even before they are able to ‘read’ in the true sense. These are things like identifying familiar signs (like the big M), recognising food packaging etc.

Learning to read is a much more complex process involving matching letters and groups of letters to sounds,and recognising shapes of words. We also learn about grammar and punctuation, and the differences between spoken and written language patterns.

During the reading process, we are searching for meaning; endeavouring to understand what the writer is saying. Smart readers need to aim to see the text, not as letters or even words, but as meaning.

Smart readers are good at identifying key words in text, and use their peripheral vision to take in 'chunks’ of text. They also recognise contextual cues such as punctuation and headings to aid their reading.

Students have completed a series of exercises to encourage efficient or their eyes when they are reading text.


Week 3:

This week students have learning about and practising 'chunking'.

‘Chunking’ is seeing a group of words with each eye fixation. This takes practise, as when we learnt to read we read each word. 

Students have practised chunking as they read different passages.


Week 4:

Students have continued to practising their new chunking skills, and learned about different strategies for reading different materials.  Different texts should be read differently depending on the purpose for reading. By knowing the purpose and how to approach each task, the students can develop a flexible reading strategy. When approaching a reading task they should consider:

  1. Purpose. Why are you reading? (pleasure, assignment, research, preparing for test).
  2. Previous Experience. What do you know about the subject already? If you have a good knowledge, you may not need to read in such detail. If you are new to the subject, you will need to read more carefully.
  3. Subject matter.
  4. Writing style.

PREVIEWING is used to ascertain the previous 4 points. Looking over the text to identify the BIG PICTURE.

Students have been encouraged to take charge of their reading!

They can help their Concentration by avoiding tension, reading faster, and dealing with distractions.


Week 5:

Students have been reminded of flexible reading strategies, and introduced to the skills of previewing, scanning and skimming.  They finished the course with a final comprehension test to measure their new effective reading rate using their new skills.








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