Developing Phonic Skills and the Literacy Check

Presented by: Shirley Houston

Event Information: 6 PD Hours 

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Australian Education Minister, Simon Birmingham, has announced the intention to roll out a Literacy Check for Year 1 students in Australia in 2018. The aim of the check is to identify the children who are struggling with letter-sound correspondences so that teachers can put in place explicit, systematic, sequential multi-sensory phonics instruction that will address gaps before those children become 'at risk' for literacy failure. This workshop is designed specifically for teachers of Pre-Primary, Year 1 and Year 2 students. Participants will look closely at the design of the UK Phonics Check and discuss the value of a similar check in Australia. They will learn about the principles of high quality phonics instruction and look at programs, activities and resources they can use in designing an effective intervention program. 
1. Phonics instruction at our school. 
  • Defining systematic phonics instruction and the differences between analytic and synthetic phonics.
2. The design of the UK Phonics Check and its links to phonics instruction.
  • Looking closely at examples of the UK Phonics Check and the data related to it. 
3. The principles and structure of synthetic phonics programs.
  • Identifying similarities to and differences from the phonics program in your classroom/ school.
4. Comparing synthetic phonics programs.
  • Looking closely at two synthetic phonics programs: Letters and Sounds (UK) and Get Reading Right (Australia).
5. Multisensory activities and resources for teaching synthetic phonics.
  • Trialling and assessing these.
6. The place of synthetic phonics in a balanced literacy program. 
  • Determining ways in which you can use explicit systematic phonics instruction and assessment in your current program. 

Event Details:


Wednesday 29th May, 2019

  9.30am - 3.30pm (Reg. from 8.30am)

Batman's Hill on Collins
625 Collins St, Melbourne 

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Target Audience: PP-2 teachers and Learning Support teachers.

  $279.00 + GST

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About the Presenter

Shirley Houston is an educational consultant with over 30 years of teaching experience. She earned her Masters degree in Special Education in 1983 and the Royal Society of Arts Certificate for Teachers of Learners with Specific Learning Difficulties. Shirley has established a reputation as a caring, dynamic and innovative educator whose programs reflect both current research and a deep understanding of the needs of her students. She has taught students in years K-12 at government, Catholic and Independent schools, in Australia and in America. She has lectured at several universities in Western Australia and at the Central Institute of Technology. Shirley has long had a passion for work with children and adults who have dyslexia. She is a long-standing Board member of The Dyslexia-SPELD Foundation of Western Australia and runs a variety of programs for dyslexic students.

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