The SPELD NSW Member spotlight shines a light on our individual, school and professional members to share their stories.
This month Allambie Heights Public School Principal, Angela Helsloot shares their story about moving away from Reading Recovery to an evidence based synthetic phonics approach.
Why did you join SPELD NSW?
As an executive team we were exploring options to change from Reading Recovery to an evidence based synthetic phonics approach that could be integrated into our two hour dedicated literacy session but still provided opportunity for all aspects of the English syllabus requirements.
Sounds-Write was one we stumbled across in our search and SPELD NSW Executive Officer, Georgina Perry was very happy to answer any questions about the program as we completed our evaluation of five possible programs.
What have you implemented at your school since becoming a SPELD NSW member?
All students in our Kindergarten to Year Three classrooms plus students Kindergarten to Year Six have benefited greatly from the staff training in Sounds-Write that we have undertaken through SPELD NSW.
The Sounds-Write program through SPELD NSW has been able to provide a platform where the focus has become the science of reading for all students. While specifically for students who may experience difficulty with learning to read and spell, the program has been a huge benefit to all students.
Our SPELD NSW membership has provided a cost effective means for us to be able to train so many staff in Sounds-Write over the past two years. The reduction in fees for members for the training allows funding to provide for more staff to have the opportunity to attend the intensive 4 day course.
Which SPELD NSW services have you accessed and found useful?
The face to face training and the purchasing of decodable texts to support the implementation of the Sounds-Write program.
Why would you recommend SPELD NSW to other parents, professionals or schools?
The depth of knowledge of Georgina and the team, and the constant support provided, is so reassuring for us in our schools. The team has been very approachable and the level of support for staff has provided reassurance along the way.
What impact has SPELD NSW had on your school?
For the 32 staff trained in the program, it has made the teaching of reading consistent across all Kindergarten to Year 3 classrooms and for the students and staff who are a part of the learning and support program. Sounds-Write has become a common language across our school and all trained staff are now competent in their ability to effectively teach reading and spelling to their class.
As a result of taking part in SPELD NSW Professional Development, staff trained at Allambie Heights Public School who are now working in other schools have spread the word about the success we have achieved.
Our story of Sounds-Write will hopefully see more schools access the support of this program through SPELD NSW.
We are so pleased we started on this journey mid-2017. With the first staff trained in 2018, to now having 32 staff trained after the January 2020 holidays, our aim is to have all K-6 staff trained so that every staff member can understand the science of reading.