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Western Australian Schools Focus for 2020

The WA Department of Education schools focus for 2020 has just been released, have you had a chance to check it out? If not, you can view or download a copy here as a PDF: https://www.education.wa.edu.au/dl/1zxeed

For 2020 Western Australian schools are, among others, focusing on:

  • Support learners to make the best start with access to high quality, evidence-based learning opportunities in the early years.
  • Analyse data and evidence to better understand student, school and system performance.
  • Identify the needs of individual students to develop evidence-based approaches to support them to succeed in their pathway.
  • Know the literacy and numeracy needs of every student, to support them to build foundational competencies.
  • Prioritise students identified as being at high risk of not achieving, and implement targeted approaches to successfully engage them in their education.
  • Embed whole-school approaches and professional collaboration to strengthen teaching, learning and leadership.
  • Commence the development of a systemwide K-12 literacy framework, which is evidence-based, age-appropriate, and culturally responsive.

These are all areas in which PLD excel. Our evidence-based structured synthetic phonics (SSP) approach is based on current international research. Research shows that when PLD programs are used in schools, and when educators are provided with the associated PLD training, significant, measurable difference occur. To find out more about the evidence-base for PLD, click here: https://pld-literacy.org/evidence-base-for-pld/

PLD’s whole school literacy plan incorporates regular screening and supports schools to plan for the varying skills of students within each class across the primary school.

Furthermore, the WA Department of Education have also just released their, 2020-2024 strategic directions – Every student, every classroom, every day. For more information, have a read of ‘Building on strength’ in which the key takeaways are:

The early years 

‘Putting every student on a pathway to success begins with providing high quality development and learning experiences for students in their first years of school. The evidence is clear that we will gain a greater long term impact from our efforts and resources if we focus on the early years of a student’s schooling, particularly those children who are at risk of not succeeding.’ 

Quality of teaching 

‘There is unequivocal evidence that the quality of teaching is the critical school variable in raising student outcomes. We also know that teachers improve the effectiveness of their teaching if they work in a school where there is a culture that expects and supports improved teaching practices. We know that teachers grow their professional practice and generate improved student outcomes when they teach in a school where there are clear expectations of the teachers in terms of the quality of their practice; where teachers receive feedback about their classroom performance based on evidence; and where there is professional support available in those areas of teacher need. As well as maximising the teaching expertise that exists within schools, the system will also provide specialist support services to ensure that all teachers have the capability to deliver evidence based practices in their classroom.’

While the strategic direction acknowledges that our students have a solid start to school and their learning through the early years is providing young Western Australians with a solid foundation for success. The problem arises as students enter the middle years of primary school we begin to see some students disengage from learning. It is critical that we focus on these students and ensure that they are on track for success as they enter secondary school. 

Even though WA performed second overall behind ACT in Australia in the recent 2019 PISA report. There are still significant gains to be made. The department of education will now concentrate on using evidence to drive decision making at all levels. 

PLD offers evidence based resources to support students from the early years and right through the primary school years. As part of a whole school approach to literacy our SSP program provides a solid foundation which is built upon across the primary years. Utilising PLD’s screening tools will ensure any students struggling will be identified and additional support can be provided to ensure their success. PLD also offers a range of resources to support not just literacy, but also oral language and motor skill development. For a full list of resources and training provided by PLD, click here to download our 2020 Literacy Resources and Training for the Whole School PDF.

Do you need any assistance with implementing PLD programs in your classroom or school for 2020? Or would you like to find out more about how PLD can help your students? Interested in PLD’s online professional learning or PD seminars? Why not get in contact with us here: mail@pld-literacy.org

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