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Meet Our Contributors



In Pursuit of Better Education

The Case for Teacher-led Innovation

Personal Inclination or Evidence-Based Practice

Mathilda is an advocate of lifelong learning with two Bachelors and three Masters degrees (in music, languages, education, cognitive neuropsychology and business). She is currently completing her PhD in education. Mathilda has worked as a teacher/ teacher trainer (primary and secondary), business innovation consultant, policy maker & researcher.

Louka is Director of Programs at Education Changemakers. An awardwinning educator, he has worked in South Australia as a teacher, a former principal in challenging settings as well as a system leader. He holds two Masters degrees, one in Applied Linguistics from University of New England and another in Instructional Leadership from the University of Melbourne.

Shona is the Managing Director of Early Life Foundations, an organisation that provides professional support across Australia and Internationally for a wide range of educators and parents of children birth to 14 years of age. Shona completed her PhD in the Department of Medicine at the University of Melbourne and was a Professor and Head of School at Deakin University.

Personal Inclination or Evidence-Based Practice

Supporting Students with ADHD in the Classroom

The Top 5 Questions I am Asked By Teachers

Kathy is the founding Director of Early Life Foundations and is one of Australia’s leading parenting and education experts, public speakers and authors. In 2012 and 2014 she was nominated for Australian of the Year, and in 2014 she was awarded an Order of Australia (OAM). She has received many additional awards and fellowships throughout her career.

Michele works in private practice as a specialist ADHD coach. Originally trained as a French teacher, she went on to develop a special interest in students who learn differently, which eventually led her to ADHD and coaching. Alongside this work she has spent 20 years in the not-for-profit sector to raise awareness and improve outcomes for people of all ages with ADHD.

Sarah holds a Bachelor of Speech Pathology with first class honours and since graduating has provided speech pathology assessment and intervention services to a large range of pre-school and school aged clients. Her time has been split between providing a Perthbased service and a traveling country service ranging from as far north as Geraldton and as far south as Albany.

Mathilda Joubert

12 Kathy Walker


08 Louka Parry


Dr Michele Toner

Dr Shona Bass

26 Sarah Pillar




Mathematics and Numeracy – What’s the Difference?

Balanced Literacy in the Primary Years

Introducing Digital Technology

Thelma is a national expert in numeracy. She was a one of five panel members which undertook the National Numeracy Review for the Prime Minister’s Office in 2008. At the same time, she was working voluntarily as the President of the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers while her paid position was Executive Director Curriculum, Education Queensland.

Before training as a primary teacher, Liana had over eight years experience as a speech-language therapist and audiologist. She holds a Bachelor of Communication Pathology and a Graduate Diploma of Education from Edith Cowan University and has been accepted into the Doctor of Education degree at Murdoch University.

Antoinette is the Head of Primary at Mundaring Christian College and holds a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood). She is currently studying a Master of Education with a special interest in Technology. Having worked in education for 20 years, Antoinette has observed the positive impacts that technology has had on learning, particularly in primary years, when used for its intended purposes.

From Collegiality to Collaboration

Pursuing a Career or Answering a Call

Where for Art Thou?: Why Teach the Arts?

Mariel is a K-12 Languages Consultant for both Swan Christian Education Association and Catholic Education Western Australia. She also teaches Japanese at Kalamunda Christian School. Mariel was awarded Japanese Teacher of the Year by JLTAWA in 2012. She is currently doing her Master of Instructional Leadership through the University of Melbourne.

Sarah is a teacher at Southern Hills Christian College. She has been involved in Children’s ministry since 1990 and has taught at Christian schools for the past 10 years. She has a passion for learning and has completed a Master’s Degree and is in pursuit of the EdD in Christian Education.

Linda works at Beechboro Christian School as an Art Specialist. For most of her teaching career since 1981, she has worked as an Early Childhood educator and a Music Specialist. The last 7 years have allowed her to follow her passion and conviction for the arts, particularly visual arts.

The Joys and Challenges of Offering an Authentic Christian Education

Are we Prepared to Stand and Fight for our Harvest?

Diane has been involved in Christian Education for over 35 years. She has worked as a Primary Music Specialist for the past eleven years and is passionate about creating opportunities for children to perform in choirs and on stage. Diane has studied Master of Education units at the National Institute for Christian Education and at Tabor College.

Sylvia is a primary French teacher and assists with learning enhancement at Ellenbrook Christian College. She has twenty years of experience in Christian education and is doing postgraduate studies in Gifted Education.

Dr Thelma Perso

44 Mariel Howard

58 Diane Durham

Liana Luyt

50 Sarah Mellado

Antoinette Wilson

54 Linda Hewson


Sylvia Richardson


In Pursuit of Better Education Education is a dynamic process. There is constant change; new students every year, sometimes new curriculum or assessment requirements, always deeper understanding from research on how students learn best and, hopefully, continuous improvements in students’ knowledge, understanding and skills. As educators it is crucial that, whilst we hold on to our faith, our values and the lessons from the past, we keep changing, we continuously learn and grow, we keep striving to be better. Learning is not without challenges – we may make mistakes along the way – but it is always worth the effort. We thank each author for their contribution of an opinion piece on their area of passion. My wish is that the Better Education Conference 2017 and this companion magazine will inspire all of you to try new things. “I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.” (Neil Gaiman) .

Mathilda Joubert Principal, SCEA Institute of Teaching and Learning


The Case for Teacher-led Innovation by Louka Parry - Director of Programs, Education Changemakers

Everyday, millions of educators go to work to fulfil one of the most important roles in society; to equip young people to thrive in the world. And yet, education systems have been slow to react to the rapid shifts and disruptions in practically every sector of the economy, moving the goalposts, the sought-after skills and the ‘job for life’ mentality. We are in the midst of the Fourth Industrial Revolution that is giving rise to the ‘Internet of Things’, robotics, 3D printing, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles, all accelerated by a globalised inter-connected world. So what is actually going on?


And what can we as teachers and leaders actually do about it? Research by PWC (2017) predicts that 44% of jobs are at high risk of being disrupted by computerisation and technology in the next 20 years, with a further 18% classed at medium risk. These are terrifying statistics for both policy makers and educators alike as age-old certainties slip away. Even a university degree doesn’t provide the same clout, as the big accounting firms drop the qualification as a prerequisite for employment. Of course, the vast majority of educators understand the case for change; that in a different century education should not just look different, but be different. One of the challenges is that complex school systems by their sheer size tend to struggle with inertia. Plus, most people have gone through process of schooling which means we all have an opinion to share. In school, kids’ learning is on the line, and the safest bet was to stay the same and

provide certainty. That is no longer acceptable.

In business if a company doesn’t innovate, it will evaporate. In education if we fail to innovate, we fail our students. At Education Changemakers (EC), we are not interested in waiting for answers to appear, rather we believe that it is teacher-led innovations that transform schools and communities. We don’t accept the ‘education is broken’ rhetoric either, as there are myriad examples of teachers, principals and schools doing things in continually more powerful ways that deepen learning. We just need to amplify the collective genius. Yes systemic coherence is always an important consideration, but by unleashing the potential of those closest to the learning - teachers and school leaders -

we can move from teacher-centred to student-driven, from pilots to prototypes, from scarcity to abundance, from compliance to innovation. This is an age where agility and adaptability become the language of change for an uncertain future.

Leadership from the ground up

Where we see teacher-led innovation embedded we see growth as educators create extraordinary outcomes. There is an abundance of evidence that supports distributed leadership practices that empowers teacher agency to lead, catalyse and support positive school changes (Harris, 2013). Or as we say, “the only thing more powerful than ownership is authorship” (Tait & Faulkner, 2016). This is the concept that recognises the power of distributed leadership and authentic engagement. Our contention is that it is teachers and leaders that best understand the context to improve student


outcomes through the specific combination and timely implementation and management of strategies within a context (Day et al., 2009). Collaboration increases the available strategies and can lead to an increase in collective efficacy, one of the most powerful levers for impact.

Why leadership development matters

Just as the performance of students can be limited or increased by the overall performance of a teacher, the performance of a school is likely limited by leadership quality. Barber, Whelan and Clark (2010) note that for every 100 schools that have good leadership and management, 93 will have high student achievement standards. Conversely, for every 100 schools without effective leadership and management, only one will have good standard of student achievement, and even that seems quite the miracle. Of course, surveys consistently reflect the truism that people don’t leave jobs, they leave bosses.

Creating a positive learning culture that enables teachers to do their best work and to solve problems is not just the most powerful thing leaders can do, it also makes everyone’s work more effective.

Great educators and leaders know their values at a fundamental level and then use this knowledge with a passion for their purpose, leading with their heart as well as their head (George et al., 2007, p. 130). As Ann Fudge said, ‘all of us have the spark of leadership in us… the challenge is to understand ourselves well enough to discover where we can use our leadership gifts to serve others.’ Teachers and leaders are incredibly hard working, despite all that ridiculous talk of eight to three workdays and constant holidays. It is not about doing more, it just can’t be. It is about acting differently. When we as teachers and leaders catalyse a learning community to support innovation at every level, that’s when we see the transformation and powerful learning we all seek for our classrooms, teams, schools and communities. That’s how we can best equip young people to make an impact in their world. At Education Changemakers we will keep growing and supporting this movement as best we can.

References Barber, M., Whelan, F., & Clark, M. (2010). Capturing the leadership premium: how the world’s top school systems are building leadership capacity for the future. New York: McKinsey & Company. Day, C., Sammons, P., Hopkins, D., Harris, A., Leithwood, K., Gu, Q., Kington, A. (2009). The impact of school leadership on pupil outcomes: final report. Nottingham: The National College for School Leadership. Dinham, S. (2008). How to get your school moving and improving:

This is evidenced by the findings of AESOP (An Exceptional Schooling Outcomes Project) conducted by NSW DET, University of Western Sydney and University of New England (Dinham, 2008). This research found that both positional and distributed leadership were major factors in outstanding outcomes achieved by students, teachers and schools. When we intentionally support the development of staff to innovate and lead at multiple levels, we pull a powerful lever for school improvement and increased learning outcomes.

A movement of educators innovating powerful solutions

At EC, we believe every educator (and student) should be supported by a process that enables them to: • identify problems or missed opportunities in education; • understand these problems at a deeper level; • innovate real world solutions to them, and; • take that idea into action in schools and education systems.


an evidence-based approach. Camberwell: Australian Council for Educational Research Press. George, B., Sims, P., McClean, A.N., & Mayer, D. (2007). Discovering your authentic leadership. Harvard Business Review, 85(2), 129-138. Harris, A. (2013). Distributed Leadership Matters. Corwin Press. PriceWaterhouseCoopers, (2017). Education will be the engine room of Australia’s future prosperity. Report. Tait, A. & Faulkner, D. (2016). Edupreneur: Unleashing teacher led innovation. Wiley.

Personal Inclination or Evidence-Based Practice A Leadership Responsibility by Dr Shona Bass & Kathy Walker - Directors, Early Life Foundations

Take a moment to reflect upon these questions that characterise high quality rigorous education: • Does your school embrace and implement a whole school philosophy to filter all pedagogical decisions? • Is there continuity and consistency in pedagogical practice across all levels and aspects of teaching and learning? • Does your leadership team provide pedagogical leadership guided by an evidence-based whole school philosophy? • Can the educators and leaders in your school cite the theoretical constructs and empirical evidence that supports the teaching and learning practice being implemented in individual classrooms and across the school?


These characteristics are the hallmark for high quality education practice. Yet the reality is that very few schools across the country embrace, embed and act through a whole school philosophy.

What is a whole school philosophy?

A whole school philosophy ensures that evidence-based teaching practice is implemented across the school. When this is absent, we have “personal inclination teaching practice” – that is educators choosing their own approaches, methods, and programs based on their own personal inclination of what works best. In this article we present some of the challenges faced by education in Australia that has led to “practice by personal inclination” rather than “evidence-based practice”. We begin by discussing the challenges of measuring our success as educators. We then move onto two common misconceptions that: • a framework (curriculum) is a pedagogical philosophy, and • practice by personal inclination is evidence-based practice. We finish with the most important aspect of education rigour and that “Leadership is everything!”

How to measure education success?

Educators have studied in depth (for at least a four year degree) what it means to educate, the complexities of the individual, the influences of culture, brain development, learning styles, the differences in personality and group culture. Yet this professional rigour and integrity are compromised when educators limit themselves or are held to account by the narrowness or biases of the latest trend or government persuasion in how or what to teach. Succumbing to these influences results in a loss of the depth of skill and intellect required to teach with deep

reflection, using science and evidence-based facts, and providing consistency for students as they move through their primary and secondary years.

Successful Education in the 21st Century

There are two major foci in successful education in the 21st Century: • Skills for Life and • Skills for Curriculum

Skills for Life

Skills for Life refers to developing children who: • can think for themselves and of others; • can create and imagine; • are strong in their literacy and numeracy; • are self-initiators and can navigate the challenges of the world with resilience and their intrinsic motivation, and from a strength of character derived from a strong sense of self; • are emotionally intelligent, reflective of themselves and others, and; • are strong and articulate communicators with a realistic sense of themselves and others.

Skills for Curriculum:

Skills for Life work alongside Skills for Curriculum that includes literacy, numeracy, the arts, science and other curriculum areas. These are placed within the individual interests, collective culture and communities of the children and their families. Major aspects of this context are also: • knowledge of how children develop neurologically, developmentally and through the influences of culture and family, and; • the ability to set up the learning environment - indoor and outdoor learning - and places and spaces that reflect a calm yet stimulating range of investigations. Places to explore, experiment and learn.

Brain research states that children require a mix of explicit instruction and active exploration of their environment in learning experiences that reflect their own culture, environment and community so that their learning is truly relevant and meaningful.


Key Values

Development of evidence-based philosophy and practice

Key Values





Development of ‘personal inclination’ based practice


Educational Philosophy

Key Practices



Educational Philosophy

Key Practices

Figure 1. Evidence-based practice is when educators start from their key values and use theory and research to develop and validate the education philosophy that informs and guides the key practices that are consistent across the whole centre (left-hand panel). Unfortunately, a common pathway is for educators to develop what is often called a ‘philosophy’ statement. This is a values statement that is then used to guide practice through personal inclination (where individual educators make their own interpretation of values and practice), with no validation from an evidence base (right-hand panel). (Bass S. & Walker K. 2015)

In addition, sustained motivation for learning comes from within. What is essential to foster this intrinsic motivation is not ranking one child against another but the constant reflection of where the child was, where the child has grown and attained, and where the child is heading.

A framework is NOT a philosophy

One of the most useful and empowering reflections that guide educators at the beginning of and throughout their professional life is to understand that “A framework or syllabus, a list of outcomes or content is NOT a philosophy or pedagogy in education.” Frameworks, outcomes, particular emphasis or leanings in specific curriculum areas, or political influence will always find their way into Government requirements, educational frameworks and curriculum expectations. Particular research or references to specific studies at particular times, or references to trends in other countries always abound, as do requirements for assessment,


standards and accountability. The question educators need to ask themselves is ‘What is important and of value here? What is important is that evidence about a child’s development, learning and understandings is documented and that this evidence guides our teaching practice. This most valuable evidence is related to development, psychology, neuroscience and the influence of family and culture. As educators, we document evidence in a clinical but not cold manner, we are experts but not arrogant, and our evidence is above all factual. In evidence-based practice educators start from their key values and use theory and research to develop and validate the education philosophy that informs and guides the key pedagogical practices which are consistent across the school. Unfortunately, a common pathway is for educators to develop what is often called a ‘philosophy’ statement. This is a values statement that guides practice through personal inclination (where individual educators make their own interpretation of values and practice), with no validation from an evidence base (Figure 1). Practice by personal inclination has long been one of the

most problematic aspects in education both in primary and early childhood education. It works and sounds like this: • “I’ve always done it this way.” • “The parents love it and expect it this way.” • “I want to do it this way.” • “I don’t agree with you.” • “I don’t care what they said at university or at that professional development course, I’m going to do it my way.” The test of whether a school has ever committed itself to a true philosophy and pedagogy is often realised when a leader leaves the school. We often find a new leader, wishing to put their own stamp on the community, changes pedagogy, programs, and most of how things were run in a school. If a true philosophy and pedagogy were deeply embedded into a school, then a principal would be chosen to uphold, sustain, build upon and continue the

philosophy because it is exactly what defines the school.

A learning environment in a school is in essence the core philosophy and associated pedagogy. It should not change because a leader changes. Without a clear and embedded philosophy, you have something like a blade of grass that bends in different directions depending on which way the wind blows. A school with strong philosophy that guides pedagogy (e.g. the how we teach) stands up to and works within whatever framework or curriculum (what we teach) that any government develops - because a philosophy is stronger than a framework. A framework is not a philosophy.

Does your school have a true philosophy and pedagogy? Leadership is everything

A community of learners with strong leaders, with an embedded philosophy, with staff who practice and live the philosophy with strong and consistent pedagogy will never compromise or feel that they have to compromise their beliefs due to government expectations. Whilst each educator is allowed and encouraged to bring the ‘essence’ of who they are to the learning environment, the essential elements of how to teach should be based not on personal likes or dislikes, personal interpretations or past experiences, but on a highly specialised, united and consistent pedagogy across the entire staff of the whole school. It is not the student who should or must adapt to the range of teaching methodologies used by individual

teachers as they move from one grade to another. It is the educators and their leaders who must ensure that their key teaching methodologies are consistent and based upon sound practices supported by high powered empirical evidence. In more than 20 years of our researching and consulting for schools in philosophy and pedagogy, it is disturbing how many school communities of educators and leaders reflect the following experiences and attitudes. 1. A  culture within a school where each teacher is entitled to teach how he or she wants to, they view their own classroom as their own enclave, completely separate from anything else that may occur and unrelated to any other main teaching practice in other classes.


Process for Intentional Leadership for an Education Community School Community

Consultation Information Facts Research

Parents Teachers Students Other

Intentional Leadership

Evidence-based Decisions

Figure 2. The process is critically dependent on the educational leaders actually leading. Being out in front, checking the research, knowing the philosophy, ensuring that the theory and research embedded in the philosophy is used as a filter to guide all school decisions and to ensure that there is consistent and continued implementation of an evidence-based pedagogy.

2. Leaders of schools who are unaware of the importance of a whole school philosophy that relates directly back to consistent classroom practices in teaching methodology. 3. Leaders who state, “I don’t mind how each teacher teaches, as long as they get results!” 4. Schools where despite statements such as, ‘We promote high self esteem, pro social skills, anti bullying, educating the whole child, learning how to learn, and we promote intrinsic motivation’, yet in classroom practice, continue to use practices such as extrinsic motivation such as stickers and stars. Instead of honouring the self esteem of the very children who usually have the lowest, (the challenging children who most get into trouble), they name and shame these students with their names on a board for everyone to see!! 5. Teachers who are resistant and refuse to change their practices if leaders introduce discussion about the need to move toward a whole school philosophy that ensures more consistency for children in teaching practices.


6. Confusion in leaders and teachers between the terms and meanings of philosophy, pedagogy and programs. Not understanding that a maths program that the whole school uses is not the same as a whole school pedagogy and philosophy. In other words, you may have the same maths program but how it is taught or used may reflect a completely different philosophy of teaching. 7. Leaders and educators who believe that IT is an actual pedagogy. 8. Some teachers and leaders who quite blatantly refuse to accept or consider that to provide a united and consistent message, set of practices and modelling of teaching methodology to students and families provides a safer, more predictable, stronger pedagogy across the school.(Research provides evidence that a united and stronger pedagogy improves teaching and learning and lifts the overall performance of all teachers.) 10. E  ach practitioner practices in their own way, thus there is no consistency for the young developing child as they move rooms or change educators. This

leads to insecurity for the child as well as confusing messages and expectations for children and families. 11. There is no culture of shared understandings, educational philosophy and subsequent practice across the centre or school, thus the practices lower the overall standard of education. 12. New staff appointed is not provided with a consistent model or expectation, therefore new personal inclinations are commenced and the cycle of each educator basically doing their own thing continues. 13. Conflict frequently arises when personal inclination rather than evidence-based practices is used. 14. Staff changes frequently due to disharmony and inconsistency. Ensuring consistent practice also requires, along with using evidence-based practice, strong leadership. Leaders need to understand the curriculum and be able to answer, address, model and lead the following key issues for educators: • How do children learn and develop? • What motivates and engages children in their learning? • What is the educational philosophy of this school that drives our practice as opposed to the key values of the school? • Does the school have consistent evidence-based practice? • What and how do relationships and communication work with families?

The process is critically dependent on the educational leaders actually leading. Being out in front, checking the research, knowing the philosophy, ensuring that the theory and research embedded in the philosophy are used as a filter to guide all school decisions, and ensuring that there is consistent and continued implementation of an evidence-based pedagogy (Figure 2). Leaders need to ensure that professional learning and whole school learning are also guided by the philosophy so that all staff are supported and provided with skills, understanding and resources to implement the pedagogy.


The role of educating children is one of the most important jobs in the world – the profession has the capacity to make a difference for this future generation. Despite the critical importance of education, few schools implement a whole school philosophy that guides evidence-based teaching and learning and provides continuity and consistency for children and families as they move through their years in education. Cultural change requires a vision, knowledge, understanding and strong leadership to move a school forward to evidencebased practice. Cultural change requires strong leadership to ensure that personal inclination based practice is not acceptable. Leadership is everything for cultural change towards a profession that lives and breathes integrity and rigour of practice.

References Bass, S. & Walker, K. (2015). Early Childhood Play Matters. Intentional

Often leaders are not leading – they are simply managing situations. The leader must be clear on what is evidencebased teaching and learning of children. This is one of the most defining aspects of leadership in education. The leader must seek information and grow their body of knowledge. We must remember that “We don’t teach to the Framework and we don’t teach outcomes. We teach children!”

teaching through play: birth to six years. Camberwell, Victoria, Australia :Australian Council for Education Research. Center on the Developing Child (2011). Building
the brain’s ‘air traffic control’ system: how early experiences shape the development of executive function, Working paper 11. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University. Copple, C. & Bredekamp, S. (eds) (2009). Developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood programs: serving children from birth through age 8. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children. Marotz, L.R. & Allen, K.E. (2013). Developmental profiles: pre-birth through adolescence, 7th edn. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Medina, J. (2012). Brain rules: 12 principles for surviving and thriving at work, home and school. Brunswick, Victoria: Scribe. OECD (2015). ‘Skills for social progress: the power of social and emotional skills’. Paris: in OECD Skills Studies series (ed.).

So the question or challenge is “how do schools develop a philosophy and consistent pedagogy?”


Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think. - Albert Einstein

Children with ADHD vary in the type of symptoms they display (dreamy or hyperactive, or both). Also, their behaviours can vary throughout the day and across different learning contexts. This inconsistency is sometimes interpreted by teachers and others as laziness or a lack of effort. Symptoms of ADHD, associated executive-function impairments and coexisting learning difficulties make it harder to for students with ADHD to succeed at school. Challenges include: • The inability to pause, self-regulate, filter out distractions and draw on skills or knowledge required at the point of performance;


by Dr Michele Toner - ADHD Coach and Consultant

Supporting Students with ADHD in the Classroom Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is the most commonly diagnosed mental health condition in childhood. It is also the most misunderstood, which is why it is often referred to as an ‘invisible disability’.

• Time blindness, which prevents them from planning towards extended deadlines; • Impaired hindsight and foresight, resulting in ‘mistakes’ being repeated despite consequences; • Impaired working memory that is easily overloaded, resulting in information blanks; • The inability to self-motivate, requiring immediate consequences and rewards as incentives; • Difficulty controlling emotions, resulting in angry outbursts, ruminating or mental meltdowns, and; • The inability to plan and problem-solve when faced with challenging tasks.

How can you support students with ADHD in your classroom? Educate yourself about ADHD

Regular professional development in this area is important. Once teachers understand the challenges, they are able to design and implement strategies to improve outcomes for students with ADHD.

Get the full picture

We know that children with ADHD vary in the type of symptoms they display, from inattentive to hyperactive, or both. Each will have unique challenges that are often complicated by co-existing conditions. They will also have strengths but may struggle to show them. Find out what is going on for each student with ADHD. Parents are always a good source of information, as are reports from doctors and other professionals.

Level the playing field

Provide support as required. Allow the use of computers in class for students who have difficulties with writing. Organise audio books for students who struggle to read. Provide summarised notes if copying from the board is a challenge, and allow students to photograph the whiteboard or other visuals at the end of a lesson. Make worksheets available in an electronic format if students are prone to losing handouts.

Maintain confidentiality and respect

Because of the stigma associated with ADHD, students tend not to disclose their diagnosis. Let them know

that you understand their challenges and that you will not share information about them with other students or parents. Support them discreetly in the classroom wherever possible. Try to avoid calling their name repeatedly. Instead, have agreed-upon strategies and signals that are understood by you and the student in order to assist focus.

Never mention medication in the classroom or in front of others. Avoid shaming students for bad behaviour. Each time a teacher shows disrespect towards a student they are giving fellow students permission to do the same. Allow students to fidget and move

There is some evidence to suggest that students with ADHD focus better when they are moving or fidgeting.


With that in mind, be tolerant of fidgeting that is not distracting other students. Encourage students to fidget discreetly. Doodling is a great fidgeting strategy, as is playing with a small piece of Blu Tack, or rubbing a small pebble. Have an agreement that students may leave the room for a bathroom break if they become restless.

Engage students to prevent challenging behaviours

Research indicates that students with ADHD are more likely to misbehave in class if they do not have a grasp on the material being presented. Consider providing alternative ways for students to present their learning in assignments, such as in the form of a movie, audio presentation or website. By making the curriculum accessible to students you will reduce their off-task behaviours considerably.

Help students deal with inconsistency

The behaviours and abilities of students with ADHD can vary from day to day, or throughout the day and across different learning contexts. This inconsistency, which can occur even when students are medicated, is sometimes interpreted as laziness or a lack of effort. It is frustrating for teachers when students may be capable of a task one day, but not the next. It is even more frustrating for the students themselves. Avoid comments or questions such as: ‘Why couldn’t you do this yesterday?’ or ‘You did this yesterday. Why can’t you do it today?’ Instead, celebrate good days unconditionally. When they have a bad day, remind them of their good days as proof that there will be more.

Find their buried treasures

While your students with ADHD may have gaps in their abilities, they will certainly have islands of competence, or even excellence. Provide opportunities for them to showcase their strengths. Facilitate groups that allow them to make meaningful contributions. For example, if your student is a great inventor but a poor writer, pair them with a talented scribe.


Teach students to sprint

ADHD brains are great sprinters. They are able to work towards deadlines that are close in time, but lose sight of deadlines that are further out. If they can see a finish line, they are more likely to get started on a task. Help students create sprints by setting a 10/20/30-minute timer, and have them complete as much work as possible in that time. Along with sprints, frequent short breaks can be extremely effective. Allow your student to create a cycle of timed sprints and timed breaks to get through a large task.

Devise transition routines

Executive-function impairments make it difficult for students to switch between tasks and environments. Be flexible about transitions between tasks. If a student who has taken longer to get started on an activity is focused when it is time to move on, consider allowing them extra time to complete it. Design a routine for settling into classroom activities and make it visible at the point of performance. Primary school students could have it pasted onto their desks. High school students could have it written on a computer desktop sticky note or the front of their homework diary.

Teach students to brain dump

When they find themselves focused, students are often reluctant to stop working, knowing how hard it will be to get started again. If at all possible, leave a focused student to complete a task. However, if work must stop, have students write down the next steps of the task. When they return, those notes will provide their next entry point.

Dot-point tasks

Because of their inability to break work into small steps, students become overwhelmed by what they perceive to be an enormous task. In the classroom, giving students one task at a time or a short list of dot points creates an entry point, making it easier to get started. Long-term assignments and projects should also be broken down into chunks and dot points.

Create shorter deadlines

Assign portions of assignments and have students discuss these with you regularly. Aside from the discussed benefits of chunking, this prevents students from over-focusing on one aspect of the assignment to the detriment of others.

Provide written instructions at the point of performance

Students with ADHD are unable to remember lists of verbal instructions. Write instructions for classroom tasks

on the whiteboard, or provide worksheets. Ensure that homework is clearly described and presented, and the instructions are uploaded to the school portal or emailed to students.

Make time visible

The ADHD brain does not have an internal clock. In order to understand time, your student needs to see it. Time will appear to drag on endlessly when tasks are challenging. Use visual timers to illustrate the end point of a challenging task.

Quick Guide • Educate yourself about ADHD • Get the full picture • Level the playing field • Maintain confidentiality and respect

Many projects are completed at the last minute as students lose sight of deadlines that seem far in the future. Have a planner on display with assignment due dates clearly marked, and cross off each day as it passes to give students a reference point. This creates a picture of the time available to them to complete a task.

• Allow students to fidget and

Encourage ‘free-writing’

• Help students deal with

Sometimes the best ideas get lost as students struggle to articulate them in an appropriate format or style. If this is the case, encourage students to get their ideas onto a page first and then arrange them into the appropriate format. This works best on a computer. For example, students might write the body of an essay first, and then go back to writing the introduction.

Use white noise

move • Engage students to prevent challenging behaviours inconsistency • Find their buried treasures • Teach students to sprint • Devise transition routines • Teach students to brain dump

Allow students to listen to music, ambient sounds or white noise through earphones while working independently. For many students this is an effective way to block out external and internal distractions. Not only will it increase their focus on the task at hand, it will also prevent them from distracting others.

• Dot-point tasks

Manage meltdowns

• Make time visible

The impaired ability to control emotions results in students with ADHD experiencing sudden floods of emotion. This comes on swiftly and persists for some time. For some students it manifests as angry outbursts, while others internalise unpleasant thoughts. Have a time out system for students that allows them to leave the classroom if they feel upset and go straight to a designated safe place in the school to work through the strong emotions.

• Create shorter deadlines • Provide written instructions at the point of performance • Encourage ‘free-writing’ • Use white noise • Manage meltdowns • Be flexible about homework requirements • Partner with parents

Be flexible about homework requirements

Homework turns homes into battlefields for families dealing with ADHD. While many students with ADHD will have the benefit of medication during school hours to help them focus, this is generally not the case during the homework period. Many experience a period of restless ‘rebound’ while their medication is wearing off, and mental fatigue is common.

Remember to share students’ successes as well as their challenges, as parents are too often bombarded with complaints from the school.

Partner with parents

Maintain regular communication. This could be done either via a communications book, particularly in primary school, or via email for students in high school. Do inform parents as soon as assignments or longterm projects are set. Students with ADHD require extensive scaffolding by parents in order to have projects completed on time. Awareness of due dates enables parents to put plans in place in a timely manner.

This book is a go-to guide for parents and teachers, providing up-to-date knowledge in a simple, easy-to-read format. ADHD Go-to Guide also gives a framework and practical tips for how you can manage and advocate for your child in different settings, with or without medication. It summarises evidence to date for medication and alternative therapies, examines commonly held beliefs about ADHD and debunks myths. Desiree Silva, a developmental paediatrician, and ADHD coach Michele Toner are passionate about improving the lives of children with ADHD and their families. They both have over 20 years of experience in the field and recognise the need for this practical guide.


Better Education Conference attendees are entitled to a 20% discount on ADHD Go-to Guide. Enter the code GOTOGUIDE at the online checkout. This offer expires Saturday 1 July 2017.

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The Top 5 Questions I am Asked By Teachers Insights from a Speech Pathologist by Sarah Pillar - Certified Practising Speech Pathologist


I have always loved working in schools. There is something special about connecting with teachers and sharing our knowledge, all driven by the purpose of reaching the best outcomes for students. I have learnt a lot from working with teachers and it pleases me no end to have received feedback from teachers that they have learnt from me in return. It is my hope and belief that the schools of the future will include allied health specialists like speech pathologists and occupational therapists on-staff, to support core teaching staff. This is already a trend overseas and in other parts of Australia. While Western Australia catches up, here are some of the questions I am most frequently asked by teachers in the halls of the many schools I’ve worked in, as well as during my presentations to teachers in WA.

1 How do you determine if speech errors are problems or just age appropriate? As you would know from your classrooms, speech sound development can be highly variable. Some children exhibit very few speech sound errors and are able to be easily understood by others from a young age. Other children exhibit many speech sound errors that persist for long periods, sometimes into adulthood. But what constitutes as ‘normal’ and when should we be concerned? To determine what is ‘normal’ researchers have gathered data from very large groups of typically developing children and plotted which sounds were, on average, developed by what age. These studies usually involved hundreds of children ranging from 1 year to 8 years old. Different studies across time have found slightly different results but the results can be summarised as:


Most 2 year olds can produce the consonants: /p, m, h, w, b and n/. More than half of 3 year olds can produce the full range of vowel sounds and can also produce the consonants: /k, g, d, t, ng, f and y/. More than half of 4 year olds can produce the consonants: /r, l, blended sounds (like ‘st’ or ‘gr’) s, sh, ch and z/. Most 5 year olds can produce consonants:/j and v/ and most 6 year olds can produce an accurate /th/ sound. Children can typically make themselves be fully understood by an unfamiliar listener by age 4 (McLeod, 2009). If a 4 year old child cannot be understood the majority of the time, or if a child’s sound development does not match ‘most’ of the children in their age group, refer the child to a speech pathologist. This is especially important with the increased literacy expectations on children in pre-primary and year 1. Being able to accurately produce a sound is a foundation skill to being able to discriminate and write a sound. Children with articulation errors are more likely to have difficulty with the uptake of phonological awareness skills which are important to literacy development (Bowen, 2011).


How do I teach a child to hear and write a sound they can’t pronounce? The simple answer is … with some difficulty! Awareness of and ability to produce the sounds that make up words are an important step in being able to independently write words. This is why you so often see a child’s speech errors appear in their writing. For example, if you have a child who has difficulty saying the /v/ sound and is instead substituting this sound for a /b/, you will very likely see them write “shobel” instead of “shovel”. This is because this is likely how they are ‘hearing’ the word inside their head when they are formulating their writing.

You can spend time orienting the child to listen out for the difference between the ‘v’ sound and the ‘b’ sound to reduce errors in their writing but errors will likely persist until the speech sound error is resolved. Seek support from a speech pathologist to help resolve the error.



What are the red flags I should look for before I refer a child to a speech pathologist? This is a very common question but also a difficult one to answer concisely. I have covered the basis for referral in term of speech sounds but speech pathologists also help support students with their language development, voicing, fluency (reducing stuttering) social skills and swallowing. The most concise answer boils down to thinking about functioning. Can the child function day-to-day with their current difficulties? Are the difficulties you have noticed impacting on the child’s ability to participate at the level you expect? Are you having to significantly compensate how you complete activities, such as simplifying how you give instructions, so that a particular child can participate? Does a child avoid speaking or participating because their fluency or language skills are not at the level of their peers? Does a child struggle to interact with their peers and behave socially inappropriately? These are all ‘red flags’ that a child requires support from a speech pathologist. Raise your concerns with the child’s parent and initiate a referral. Be the teacher that takes notice, follows through and connects a child to the support they need. It is quite common in my profession to meet students who have struggled for years in school before finally being referred for assessment, only to discover they have an underlying speech or language difficulty. My advice, better to refer sooner rather than later.


Isn’t it just a boy thing?

This is a question that I hear frustratingly often and it really ‘grinds my gears’ so to speak. I will try to explain the evidence and my view without ranting. Gender differences in learning can be a controversial topic and it has been covered by many very qualified professionals. Let me just throw my 2 cents in, from a speech pathologist’s point of view. Yes, there has been shown

to be some gender differences in how children acquire early speech and language. There are a few areas where gender difference has been found to be quite important (for example, stuttering is much more likely to persist in boys than girls and therefore boys should be referred for disfluencies earlier than girls). There have also been studies that suggest that girls may have a speech and language advantage in the first 30 month of life, however, the evidence for this advantage persisting beyond this age is weak (Barbu, 2015).

It is important to note that there are more similarities in the speech and language of males and females than there are differences. In addition, studies have found other factors, outside of gender, that are far more likely to have an impact on speech and language development (e.g., low socioeconomic status and early language exposure).

during sessions to determine how the child is tracking to reach their goals. If the child reaches their goals then the child is either determined to be ‘back on track’ and is discharged from therapy, or if there are persisting concerns, a new SMART goal will be chosen and intervention will continue. At any stage, with permission from the child’s parent or guardian, a speech pathologist should be able to tell you a child’s current goals and how they are progressing towards completing these. This is the standard speech pathologists expect of each other and hence, a standard you can expect from us too.

References Barbu, S., Nardy, A., Chevrot, J.P., Guellaï, B., Glas, L., Juhel, J., & Lemasson, A. (2015). Sex Differences in Language Across Early Childhood: Family Socioeconomic Status does not Impact Boys and Girls Equally. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 1874. From fpsyg.2015.01874. Bowen, C. (2011, November). Literacy and Children with Speech Sound Disorders. Retrieved [12/04/2017] from http://speech-language-therapy. com/. McLeod, S. (2009). Speech Sound Acquisition. In J. E. Bernthal, N. W. Bankson & P. Flipsen Jnr (Eds.), Articulation and phonological disorders: Speech sound disorders in children (6th ed). Boston, MA: Pearson Education.

There is a widely held societal belief that gender has a significant impact on speech and language development throughout schooling and a stereotype that boy’s skills are consistently behind those of girls. Despite the prevalence of this belief, there is actually very little scientific evidence of this being the case once a child is school-age. In summary, no, it is most likely not just ‘a boy thing’.


How do I know what a speech pathologist is working on with my student during ‘pullout’ sessions? Ask! As the teacher you should know about any academically relevant therapies a child is receiving. After a speech pathologist assesses a child, they will write a report and make recommendations based on their findings. If the child is found to need support and their parent decides to go ahead with intervention, a number of SMART goals will be formulated. The speech pathology intervention and therapy tasks will be based around achieving these SMART goals. Speech Pathologists continually evaluate a child’s progress


Mathematics and Numeracy – What’s the Difference? by Dr Thelma Perso - Mundaring Christian College


Mathematics and numeracy are often used interchangeably in schooling and in general usage, some believing numeracy to be a subset of mathematics, or the basic mathematics skills that are needed for participation in society or for further mathematics learning. The Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) used the following definition of numeracy in its 2009 Mathematics Shaping Paper: Numeracy is the capacity, confidence and disposition to use mathematics to meet the demands of learning, school, home, work, community and civic life. The Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers’ definition expands on these definitions, describing numeracy as involving:

The dimensions of numeracy include the mathematics knowledge base, ability to ‘read’ and understand context, and the decision-making (or problem-solving) needed to choose appropriate mathematics and strategies. Whilst these three areas are aspects of numeracy, there is a good reason for depicting this relationship as a set of intersecting circles, as shown in Figure 1. Clearly, this has implications for the teaching of mathematics in schools if the goal is to ensure that all students not only complete schooling knowing a body of mathematics, but also have favourable attitudes towards independently applying it and being able to make strategic choices about what mathematics to apply in which contexts.

“…the disposition to use, in context, a combination of: underpinning mathematical concepts and skills from across the discipline (numerical, spatial, graphical, statistical and algebraic); mathematical thinking and strategies; general thinking skills; and grounded appreciation of context”. (AAMT, 1997)

Numeracy is not a subject, neither is it a collection of mathematical facts, methods and procedures. It is clear from the definitions and statements above that numeracy is a capability; a numerate person has the ability and disposition to use and apply mathematics in a range of contexts outside the mathematics classroom. The focus is on the ability and disposition (confidence/ attitude) to use the mathematics, not on the mathematics itself, although a deep understanding of the knowledge of mathematics is essential in producing the confidence needed to use it when it is helpful to do so. This means that mathematics is first learned as a body of knowledge. Being able to apply it independently, by first assessing a context and determining that ‘some mathematics will help here’, then making some choices about what mathematics will help, the degree of accuracy needed for the context, and then applying that mathematics confidently, is what makes someone numerate.


Problem Solving


Figure 1. Dimensions of numeracy

Schools need to: • teach the mathematics well – for deep conceptual knowledge and understanding; • teach students how to solve problems, allowing students themselves to choose which mathematics to use, and; • teach students to read and understand contexts so that they are able to independently make these choices from all the mathematics they’ve learned.

References Perso, T.F. (2013). Numeracy; What Classroom Teachers Should Know. AAMT Perso, T.F. (2017). Numeracy for Teachers & School Leaders. Allen & Unwin (in print)

Balanced Literacy in the Primary Years Using Picture Books by Liana Luyt - Beechboro Christian School

As educators, we should be seeking to improve our practice in order to become more effective teachers. One of our most important responsibilities, is to structure and deliver literacy to the students in such a way that it leads to maximum retention and application of learnt concepts. A very effective way to achieve this, is by implementing a Balanced Literacy Approach in the classroom. Balanced Literacy is defined as “a comprehensive view of literacy that combines explicit instruction, guided practice, collaborative learning, and independent reading and writing with both print and digital texts.� (Tompkins, Campbell, Green, & Smith, 2015). It consists of the following components:


1. R  eading: modelled, shared, guided and independent reading. These reading components can further be divided into choral reading, echo reading and buddy reading; 2. Writing: modelled, shared, guided and independent writing; 3. Speaking, listening and viewing, and; 4. Word study. (Tompkins et al., 2015 and Structuring Your Literacy Classroom: A Balanced Literacy Block (K to 5), n.d.) Balanced Literacy closely follows the Gradual Release of Responsibility Model (Pearson & Gallagher, 1983). In this model, according to Duke & Pearson (cited in Fisher, n.d.), responsibility for performing the task shifts from the teacher to a situation where the student can assume responsibility for the task. In other words, through careful scaffolding and guidance, students are able to move from modelling and direct instruction to independent practice with the targeted concepts. This whole process can be achieved within thematic work using carefully selected picture books.

Why picture books?

It is important when teaching literacy to make sure that the lessons are not ‘stand-alone’ and disjointed, but that it forms part of a connected series of lessons. For example, we should guard against having a grammar lesson that is separate from our writing lesson or a comprehension lesson that is separate from our vocabulary lessons.

It is like eating a salad one ingredient at a time, it just makes more sense to mix the ingredients because it will lead to a better overall experience. In the same way, literacy becomes more meaningful for the students when all the aspects are addressed in a contextualised way. Tompkins et al. (2015, p.17) noted that “it is important that these roles and components are not fragmented but are taught as a coherent and purposeful whole”. Picture books can be used very effectively to teach vocabulary, comprehension, reading and writing within the framework of Balanced Literacy. The fact that it is a picture book however, does not limit it to junior primary. These books can be used very successfully within the middle and upper primary years to supplement literacy teaching. Granted, in these years, additional texts like articles and novels will be studied, but valuable knowledge can be gained from carefully selected picture books that will support a specific theme. For example, the book Mulga Bill’s Bicycle (Patterson, 1993) is a funny rhyming picture book about the discovery of a new way of transport, the bicycle, and how that influenced Mulga Bill. The vocabulary in the book is quite advanced and can therefore be used in a year 5 class. As the book is mostly about transportation, it can fit into the year 5’s Australian colonies history unit and be used to teach poetry, vocabulary, certain comprehension strategies, writing and grammar.

knowledge, phonics, spelling rules, high frequency words, word study, grammar, text types, comprehension and reading processes as well as punctuation. Your school might have scope and sequences in place already for many of these areas. The next step is to decide which of the content you are going to cover in each term and which content will be touched on throughout the whole year. Once that is determined, you can focus on the upcoming term and the theme you will be doing with the class. For example, in year 2 for the term we had the theme ‘our community’ and looked at incorporating that into many of our curriculum areas. We looked for picture books that will support this theme as well as the text types that we chose to focus on. We decided that our text types for the term will be recount (diary), procedure and poetry writing. For these we selected the following picture books: Diary of a Wombat (Jackie French, 2007) Diary of a Worm (Doreen Cronin, 2003) Wombat Stew (Marcia Vaughan, 2014) Olga the Brolga (Rod Clement, 2004) We then proceeded in planning the term’s literacy curriculum content around these books; incorporating the books in such a way that they address the chosen content knowledge within a specific theme. Table 1 shows an example of a literacy unit for year 2 planned around the book, Diary of a Wombat (French, 2007). The book was used as the main source for the curriculum content chosen to be covered in the term. You will notice that all the words used for the words study, vocabulary, grammar and the explanation of the spelling rules are words that were selected from the book.

How a nutshell: unit and session designing

The first step for you is to determine what is expected according to the Western Australian Curriculum at your year level for phonemic awareness and alphabet


Table 1. Example of a year 2 literacy unit planned around Diary of a Wombat (French, 2007).

Topic: Recount – Diary writing

Resource Book:

Diary of Wombat (Jackie French)

Assessment Task(s): Diagnostic

• spelling: pre-tests • cold task: diary writing • teacher compiled combined pre-test containing the areas covered during the unit • handwriting assessments: a-z unjoined A-Z unjoined downstroke letters anticlockwise letters clockwise letters size, slope, legibility • running records


• teacher compiled assessment grids • observations • work samples


• spelling: post-tests • hot task: diary writing • teacher compiled combined post-test containing the areas covered during the unit


Focus Points: Spelling: (whole term, 2 weeks each)

• difference between consonant and vowels • sound can be represented by more than 1 spelling: /r/: r rr rh wr, /oy/: oi oy uoy, /f/: f ff ph ugh ft gh, /ow/: ou ow ough, /s/: s ss st c ce se sc ps • spelling representing more than one sound: ow (allow, glow), ou (cloud, soup, young)

High frequency words: (whole term)

• people, didn’t, friend, their, put, gave, found, from, down, water, party, about, took, good, other, see, girl, boy, over, us, your, off, three, dinner, liked

Spelling rule:

• every syllable contains a vowel (Multiple examples in text) • doubling rule (Pot/potting/potted, flap/flapping/flapped, flat/flatter/flattest) • words ending in a silent ‘e’ drop the ‘e’ when adding an ending beginning with a vowel (Decide/decided/ deciding, battle/battling, give/giving, move/moving/moved)

Phonemic awareness:

• segmenting words into syllables • sound manipulation, blending and segmenting

Word study:

• CVC, VC, VCC, CVCC, CCVC, CCCVC, CCVCC and CVCCC (Multiple examples in text) • one and two syllable (Multiple examples in text) • compound words (Afternoon, cardboard, mothball, dustbath) • homophones: single syllable (ate/eight, won/one, no/know, hole/whole, some/sum, for/four, to/too/two, new/ knew, would/wood, nose/knows, for/four)


• capital letters: names of days (Capital letters for week days and beginning of sentence in text) • question marks, full stops, exclamation marks. (Full stop examples in text, can be turned into questions and exclamations)


• parts of a simple sentence (multiple examples in text) • verbs, adverbs, nouns, adjectives (multiple examples in text) • nouns can be common, proper, concrete (multiple examples in text)


• expose: reading on • teach explicitly: predicting, questioning

New vocabulary:

• dustbath, discovered, invading, creature, territory, battle, demanded, delicious, response, curiously, resistant, bashed, appeared, offered, rolled oats, request, flapped, energetic, bash

Speaking and listening:

• questioning/answering, news telling, speaking clearly and varying tone, volume and pace appropriately, listening to instructions


• using correct posture and pencil grip


• recount – diary writing of an animal 35

As a final step, we developed a short term plan from the unit overview. The sessions that were developed, followed the Balanced Approach to literacy because all the components of this approach were present in each session. The content of consecutive sessions also followed a clear sequence in order to facilitate the Gradual Release of Responsibility Model. For example, during writing, we used the principles of the Talk for Writing Program (Corbett & Strong, 2012) as this is a great program that includes reading as well as writing and will scaffold a student’s writing to the point where he/she writes independently.

The students chose to write a diary of a blue-tongue lizard for the whole class innovation, and proceeded after that to choose their own animal to write a diary of for independent innovation and invention. It was very exciting to see the remarkable differences between the ‘cold’ and ‘hot’ assessment tasks for this writing unit.

Example 1


• short spelling lesson of targeted sound • high frequency words

Read Diary of a Wombat (Jackie French): (reading as a reader) • modelled reading of the whole story • shared reading: - identify and explaining tricky vocabulary, writing this vocabulary down -u  se for word wall

Draw a story map of the story and keep to revise with the students every time Writing: • modelled writing: -u  se some of the new vocabulary to write simple sentences (statements) on strips of butcher’s paper for later use - model capital letters, full stops • shared writing - as a group the class makes new sentences using some of the new vocabulary. • guided and independent writing: - s tudents write these sentences in their exercise books and then write their own simple sentences (statements) on strips of butcher’s paper for later use Guided reading while rest of class build simple sentences in groups with sequence cards / capital letter, full stop practise.


Example 2


• short Spelling lesson of targeted sound • high frequency words

Read Diary of a Wombat (Jackie French): (reading as a writer)

• modelled reading of the whole story. • choral reading of whole story • go through the story map

Grammar: Nouns: Common

• display the book on the white board (can also use the strips of paper with the sentences on that were written in the previous session) • explain nouns • identify the nouns in the book, write them on a piece of paper for display. • class identifies more nouns from the story, make list, and put in sentences modelling capital letters, full stops, question marks, exclamation marks

Read: A Mink, a Fink & Skating rink: What is a noun (Cleary, 1999) Writing: Modelled writing

• build up the diary writing toolkit with the students (write the toolkit on a piece of separate paper to put up in class so that you can continually refer to it.) Focus on: Quality of writing, text structure, cohesion, sentence structure, grammar, vocabulary, punctuation, spelling, editing, presentation (all of which will be in the assessment grid for the summative assessment) • box up the book: Monday to Monday, each in a box on butcher’s paper • point out the nouns as you go Guided reading while rest of class do activities with nouns.

Speaking and Listening:

• homework: Students to write down what they do over a week in the form of a diary • will be used for news telling / oral presentation with accompanying questioning.

The above are some examples of these literacy sessions. These examples are just snippets of two non-consecutive sessions. It is important to notice that sessions like these can stretch over a couple of days. This unit planning and session designing were repeated for procedure writing (Wombat Stew) and poetry (Olga the Brolga).

A quick word on phonics

Phonics need to be taught explicitly every day using a well-structured and sequenced Synthetics Phonics program. It may happen that the chosen picture book does not contain example of the phonemes you are focussing on. If it does, these words can be used as examples to support the synthetic phonics lessons.



Picture books are a very valuable resource that can be used in many ways to teach literacy. By using picture books within a balanced approach, we are simultaneously covering the three core strands of the Western Australian Curriculum: Language, Literature and Literacy. This can engage students on many different levels and connect the reading and writing process in a logical way. The context that a picture book can provide in a literacy unit is very important and it also assist students in realising just how much can be learnt from a single, well-chosen piece of literature.

References Cleary, B.P. (1999). A Mink, a Fink a skating rink: What is a noun? Lerner Publishing Group. Clement, R. (2004). Olga the Brolga. Australia: HarperCollins Publishers Pty Ltd. Corbett, P., & Strong, J. (2012). Talk for Writing Across the Curriculum: How to Teach Non-Fiction Writing 5-12 Years. Milton Keynes, United Kingdom: Open University Press. Cronin, D. (2003). Diary of a Worm. Australia: HarperCollins Publishers Pty Ltd. Fisher, D. (n.d.). Effective Use of the Gradual Release of Responsibility Model. Retrieved from douglas_fisher.pdf French, J. (2007). Diary of a Wombat. Australia: HarperCollins Publishers Pty Ltd. Patterson, A.B. (1993). Mulga Bill’s Bicycle. Australia: HarperCollins Publishers Pty Ltd. Pearson, P. D., & Gallagher, M. C. (1983). The Instruction of Reading Comprehension. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 8. Structuring Your Literacy Classroom: A Balanced Literacy Block (K to 5). (n.d.). Retrieved from Related-Readings/EL_Ch8_2011.pdf Tompkins, G., Campbell, R., Green, D., & Smith, C. (2015). Literacy for the 21st Century. Melbourne, VIC: Pearson Australia. Vaughan, M. (2014). Wombat Stew. Australia: Scholastic.


Introducing Digital Technology: Planning for Success by Antoinette Wilson - Mundaring Christian College

In education, we are regularly faced with introducing new initiatives, sometimes because we want to and sometimes because we are told to. Whilst we cannot always control the changes in education policy, we can choose how we respond to these changes. The new digital technology curriculum is a case in point: do we see it as an unwanted imposition or do we embrace it as an opportunity to help prepare our students better for the demands of the 21st Century? At Mundaring Christian College, we have decided to embrace this challenge, using strategies like a whole-school Invention Convention to drive the process of change. Introducing new incentives to teachers

In their teaching careers, teachers see many new incentives, new curriculums, new and modified ‘learning areas’, and new emphases and methods in pedagogy. The introduction of a new incentive therefore needs to be professional and planned to be viewed as valid. Schools face the full implementation of the new Digital Curriculum in 2018. Many schools have started this journey and numerous resources are being made available. The majority of our teachers are fully aware of the need to use digital technology in schools to be relevant in the 21st century environment, and have experienced the benefits of using technology in the classroom already. What is new is the expectations of the Australian Digital Curriculum for students to create technology. For some older teachers, often labelled the ‘immigrants’ to the discipline, this is not an easy task in comparison to how some of the younger teachers, born with technology available to them from a very young age, might feel about it. Even this younger age group, quite used to using technology, might find the requirement of students to create or develop technology, to comply with curriculum expectations, a challenge. To implement a new incentive such as this - and do it successfully - does not just depend on the content of the plan, but also on the effectiveness of the process of implementation (Print,1988).

Teachers will need to be empowered in their frame of influence as class teachers and as important and valued members of the team, to be part of this process. The approach should not be one of control by the leadership, but one of working in collaboration for a shared purpose (Blomberg, 1999).

A plan and a model

A strategic plan to implement a new incentive, to monitor the progress, and to sustain the implementation and ongoing development (in this case of the digital technology curriculum) will be necessary. A model to implement a new incentive in the classroom helps to make the process clear (see Figure 1 below). The Strategic plan implemented at our college includes all-school events that function as waves of encouragement. These events serve as enriching experiences to encourage new ideas and enthusiasm within a process of development. They provide an opportunity for accelerated growth and development for teachers as well as students. They draw all year groups together with one focus, and give students a better understanding and appreciation of the bigger picture. These events influence what happens in all classrooms, their curriculums and their learning. A first event in a series, such as the Invention Convention awareness day we organised for the implementation of digital technology, provides a good starting point to launch a new focus.

A cyclic action research program, alongside this process, could serve as a valuable resource to monitor and reflect on the success of the venture with the purpose of guiding planning and identifying the need for modification. The plan would start with an orientation stage, followed by an adoption stage, and hopefully would stretch with ongoing influence to have eventual institutionalisation and continuation (Marsh, 2009; Print,1988).


Classroom Curriculum Year 2

Classroom Curriculum Year 3

Classroom Curriculum Year 4

Classroom Curriculum Year 1

School Centered in Christ

Classroom Curriculum Year 5

Classroom Curriculum Pre-Primary

Vision & Mission New Main Idea Classroom Curriculum Year 6

Classroom Curriculum Kindy

Event 1

Event 2 Figure 1. A model for the whole school approach, demonstrating events influencing the classroom curriculum.

Orientation stage

During an orientation stage teachers will need to be given authentic reasons, and valid claims of benefit must be given to the stakeholders involved (Brady & Kennedy, 1999). Teachers will need the assurance that they will be supported to achieve the outcomes with training and resources. During this stage teachers can be given a draft strategic plan with a succession of goals starting with establishing any needs for teacher training to implement the new curriculum. Discussion and a survey with follow-up discussion could provide valuable information to help develop the strategic plan more fully as a team.

Adoption phase

Surveys, in this example to measure the current ability of teachers to teach concepts involving digital technology, will demonstrate existing strengths and weaknesses of teachers to implement the new incentive. This information will guide the leadership to make decisions on professional development needed. They might need to bring experts in for training purposes, or


choose to use experts in the existing group. They might have to attend Professional Development themselves in order to lead the incentive. At our College, we identified teachers within the team with the strengths to help with the professional training, and also saw the need for outside training. National Institute of Christian Education Post graduate studies provided a good insight in use of digital technology, and an online course ‘Digital Technologies Education, 2016’ by Computer Science Education Research Group, retrieved from, provided practical information. The training program as well as the planning for the related whole school event to launch the new incentive would be started during the adoption phase. Involving all staff in the discussions, training and planning, will see the new incentive being adopted, developed and explored by a team, not just directed by the leadership. Teachers will now research further information themselves to help plan for the all-school

event, and for application of the newly learnt skills. Professional development and training is ongoing throughout the year in professional development teams, as part of the culture in our college.

The implementation stage

During the implementation stage students will be introduced to and get involved with learning and application of new knowledge and skills, in keeping with the Australian Curriculum expectations and achievement standards, firstly experienced as fun activities in the allschool event, and then applied in follow up activities and learning experiences in class.

The event

Our technology all-school event and awareness day called ‘Invention Convention’ included a tribute to God who provided the latent potential for technology at creation, and celebrated existing technologies, as well as ground-breaking new inventions used around the world for good purposes. Students were given opportunities to get involved in using a wide variety of technologies including digital programming. A Mechatronic Engineer spoke to the students and demonstrated current robotic development, whilst drone operators, flight instructors and people using 3D printers displayed their skills and even gave students an opportunity to get involved. Other programmable devices available for the students to use were spheros, programmable lego, beetbots, bluebots, and iPads with a string of newly uploaded apps, to name but a few. Students enjoyed fun activities such as a treasure hunt, which included coding and decoding of various kinds, and Kahoot quiz games to test their knowledge of digital technology in a fun way. In a short space of time teachers got to know how to use and how to teach students to use new technology, and students were exposed to and learnt how to use it.

In the classroom

In our college teachers use a ‘thematic’ and ‘integrated’ approach, in the classrooms. They comply with the expectations of the National Curriculum (for each learning area), and approach the curriculum from a Biblical worldview perspective. With a new incentive such as the new digital technology curriculum, these new ideas will be added as a modification and additional aspect to consider. Teachers will apply their new understanding and incorporate this in their planning. For clarification on how the teacher will operate within the Christian Worldview, the ‘Big Picture Model’ from Transformation by Design makes most sense (NICE, 2015).

The ‘Biblical perspective’, in this model, clarifies the Christian worldview regarding the thematic content of the classroom curriculum. The ‘threads’ develop the student’s related understanding of the meaning and purpose for this Biblical perspective, supported by ‘essential questions’. This process emphasises and encourages the development of ‘enduring understanding’ within a Godly perspective.


Ongoing training for teachers and new surveys could bring to light new areas in need of development. At this stage we plan to investigate how students could share their work online in a safe manner. One idea we would like to develop is the publishing of an interactive virtual student newspaper. Once again an all-school event would celebrate and demonstrate publishing, interactive games created by students to share, and use of technology to create inclusive media, e.g. voice overs for the vision impaired. We hope to see a similar spike in the growth and development of this discipline in our college at that time.

Institutionalisation and continuation

To promote continuation of such an incentive, progress will have to be monitored. Authentic feedback and evidence of impact on the learners, would serve as encouragement to teachers and provide information for any adjustments needed to modify the ongoing planning.

Digital Technology will need to become part of what we do naturally in every learning area, applied with wisdom, developed for good purposes, and with ongoing growth and development. References Brady, L., & Kennedy, K. (2010). Curriculum process: System and school. In Curriculum construction. Sydney: Prentice Hall. Blomberg, D. (1999). A problem-posing pedagogy: Paths of pleasantness and peace. Journal Of Education and Christian Belief, 3(2). Print, M. (1993). Curriculum development and design (2nd ed). Sydney: Allen & Unwin. Marsh, J. C. (2009). Key concepts for understanding curriculum. London, United Kingdom: Routledge. National Institute for Christian Education (NICE) (2015). Transforming by Design: A Curriculum Resource for Christian Schools. Penrith NSW: National Institute for Christian Education. Computer Science Education Research Group (CSER). Digital Technologies Education, 2016. Retrieved from http://www.csermoocs.


From Collegiality to Collaboration Maximising the Impact of PLCs by Mariel Howard - Kalamunda Christian School


At the start of 2016, after a short introduction to the benefits and expected outcomes of Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), year cohort teachers at Kalamunda Christian School (KCS) were given 60 minutes of shared DOTT per week to engage in action research by studying data, formulating goals and trialling alternative teaching methods to improve student outcomes. However, after six months, it became apparent that most of the teachers were not engaging in goal orientated action research but rather meeting for mutual support or not meeting at all. Based on this observation, a research project was initiated to further explore the current blockers to successful collaboration, find possible solutions, and relaunch the collaborative time as successful PLCs that enhance student and teacher learning. Initial discussions with the teachers confirmed that they needed more support to understand the reasons they had been given shared DOTT time, the process of action research and the benefits of collaboration to both the students and the teachers themselves. However, further surveys indicated that support alone was not enough, and a complete restructure of the PLCs was required.

Literature Review

Research shows that the second biggest variance of student achievement, after the students themselves, is the teachers (Dinham, 2008). Even more effective is teachers working together in collaborative arrangements and their collective belief in their ability to enhance learning. This is supported by the fact that “Collective Teacher Efficacy” tops John Hattie’s updated 2015 list of 150 influences on student learning, with an effect size of 1.57 (Hattie, 2012). O’Donoghue & Clarke (2010) further argue that teacher collaboration is the only way to tackle the increasing complexities in the profession of teaching that are often too much for a single teacher to handle. Sharratt & Planche (2016) define collaborative learning as an approach in which teachers and leadership “build collective capacity; create new, energizing knowledge together; and move schools from being places of ‘plans and intentions’ to centres of ‘purposeful practice’ on the

part of all teachers who then empower students to do the same.” A popular model of teacher collaboration is Professional Learning Communities or PLCs. Professor Patrick Griffin from the University of Melbourne stresses the importance of data collection and analysis in PLCs, stating that they are “about teachers challenging each other on the impact of their teaching on student performance and … judgements can only be made on the basis of what students say, make, do or write” (in Hopkins, 2013). However, it is acknowledged that often these communities lack clearly articulated goals and the rigour required to make improvements in student learning (Sharrat & Planche, 2016), reducing them to “clubs for sharing good practice” (Hopkins, 2013).

Without a full action research cycle and a commitment to act, teachers often improve relationships, support one another with day to day issues and even engage in professional dialogue, but with no improvement to learning outcomes. True collaboration or “co-labouring” is reduced to “collegiality”, and it is clear that this was happening in Kalamunda Christian School. Sharratt & Planche (2016) recommend that school leadership not only timetable for PLCs but drop their titles, become “co-learners” in the groups and, if necessary, keep the group on track and accountable to each other. It may also be necessary to invite “knowledgeable others” into the group to enhance the research and decide on the best action, “as the value of professional learning networks is dependent upon how focused the work becomes and how deep the conversations prove to be” (Sharratt & Planche, 2016).

The study

This project, which was first reported on after six months of research, was broken into the following parts: 1. Identifying gaps in teachers’ current understanding on PLCs and action research and the kind of support required (Survey 1). 2. P  roviding further training and common templates as requested by teachers. 3. S  urveying teachers to see whether understanding and


and are guided by leadership. 5. Observing new levels of engagement in the PLC (Survey 3) and their impact on student achievement (future research).

engagement in PLCs had improved thanks to support provided (Survey 2). 4. Restructuring of PLCs by moving them to an afterschool session where teachers work in groups of four

Table 1. What do you think are the benefits of shared DOTT time (PLCs)

Keywords from survey

Times mentioned

Benefits according to Sharratt & Planche (2016)



Improved learning outcomes

Support/encouragement/ relationships


Enhanced confidence and ability to change

Staying on track/up to date


Empowerment and ownership



Respect for knowledge and experience of others



Leadership development

Brainstorming of ideas


Creation of new knowledge



Vibrant, synergistic environment

Table 2. What are you currently doing during your shared DOTT time (PLCs)


Top activities according to Sharratt & Planche (2016)

Keywords from survey

Times mentioned

Plan ahead together (topics, programs, assessments, daily lesson pad‌.)


Problem based action research learning

Discuss how to improve teaching/ assessment


Data-informed decision making

Analyse data/results/current practice


Set goals and success criteria / reflect on achievement of these

Share research articles/new knowledge


Discuss how to improve teaching/ assessment

Encourage/ mentor one another


Share research articles/new knowledge

Discuss student/parent issues


Report regularly on progress and challenges

Set goals


Take turns leading




Plan to Act

Act Figure 1.Action research model provided (Adapted from Clarke, 2016)

Survey 1

Survey 1 (conducted at the start of research early Term 3, 2016) indicated that the teachers had big gaps in their understanding of PLCs and action research. Tables 1 and 2 below compare the teachers’ answers on the benefits and practice of PLCs with current research findings. As the leader of the project, after analysing the results, I drew the teachers’ attention to recent literature on PLCs including benefits and best practice; introduced the action research model (Fig 1.); showed how to calculate effect sizes and set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Ambitious, Relevant, Time-bound); and reminded teachers of the kind of data that can be accessed and generated to support their own action research. As the number one request for support was “hearing how other groups do it”, a group who in the survey showed the best understanding and practice of PLCs was asked to share their work with others.

Survey 2

The results from Survey 2 (end of Term 3, 2016) showed increased understanding of PLCs amongst teachers and that they were happy with the support provided, including the templates. However, the teachers were also honest about their lack of action in improving their current PLC practices in spite of receiving the support they had requested in the first survey. This led to follow up interviews with the year cohort teachers who were showing the least amount of progress in moving towards an action research model in their PLCs. Again, the teachers were honest about their reasons for not taking action. The first question asked about the “blockers”

that had prevented these groups from engaging in action research. The most common answers were “other priorities” and “cancelled sessions”, but “partner’s lack of motivation” was also mentioned. Fortunately, collaborative sessions and action research seemed to be viewed very positively overall. More training in data analysis and embedded accountability were requested as further support. The results of Survey 2 and the additional interviews caused great concern in regard to the effectiveness of the current arrangement of PLCs in improving student learning outcomes at Kalamunda Christian School. Therefore, recommendations from literature on the topic were reviewed and advice was sought from other schools that are part of Swan Christian Education Association (SCEA). Following the recommendations from experts, as well as advice from one SCEA school in particular that had recently implemented PLCs with great success, the leadership team at KCS decided to restructure the PLCs for 2017. From Term 1, an after-school PLC session became mandated for all teachers at the school, and conveniently follows a shortened 15min staff meeting. The PLCs are divided into five groups, each led by a ‘key teacher’ for added accountability: Early Years; Years 1 and 2; NAPLAN years 3 and 5; non-NAPLAN years 4 and 6; and specialist teachers. The sessions start with a 20-minute ‘case management’ session, where teachers take turns to bring forward a student who is not progressing academically and consult the other group


members for advice. The teacher then implements any suggestions offered and reports back every four weeks until the student is back on track. The rest of the session (up to 70 minutes) is spent on the action research project the group as chosen. Accountability is built in by requiring each group to report back to and share findings with the whole group at the end of each term.

Survey 3

Results from Survey 3 (end of Term 1, 2017), show that the restructuring of PLCs at KCS has been successful in improving teacher attitudes and getting all teachers engaged. According to the survey 70-91% of the teachers agreed or strongly agreed with the following statements: • “The PLCs as currently run at KCS improve student and teacher learning” 79%; • “I’m glad to be part of this” 75%; • “Our groups engages in rigorous conversation” 91%, and; • “Presenting to other groups improves my own understanding of the action research process and improves my skills as a teacher” 70%. The case management meetings were seen slightly more enjoyable and valuable than engagement in action research. The open-ended questions included responses such as: “I am very much enjoying the small group collaboration time, especially the case studies. I believe it will be


extremely beneficial to my teaching career. Thank you.” “I find the discussions we engage in helpful and thoughtprovoking.” “I love the time given to spend time with colleagues with an intended purpose. Targeted.” The impact of the PLCs on student learning will become more evident as the year goes on and the research continues, but teachers have already reported some measurable success, for instance in the Mathematics skills of the 3 to 5-year-olds. However, groups requested even more guidance from leadership when engaging in their own research, as well as further practice on how to write SMART goals. In the future, a mid-term as well as end-of-term sharing session will be provided and ‘knowledgeable others’ from outside of KCS will be invited to provide assistance to individual groups. The length of the PLCs, with a recommendation to continue till 5pm, is still an issue with some teachers. However, this is the only compulsory afternoon session for teachers during the week, and groups are allowed to shorten the session by running their case management meeting on another day.


Based on my action research on the interventions and support required from leadership to maximise student learning through Professional Learning Communities at Kalamunda Christian School, these are my recommendations for other schools:

 pend adequate time preparing S teachers for successful collaboration. Ensure high levels of trust between teachers in PLCs, as well teachers and leadership. • Highlight both student and teacher benefits of PLCs, as far as possible drawing from teachers’ own knowledge and experiences to avoid the initiative being seen as “top-down”. • Introduce the action research cycle to the teachers highlighting and demonstrating SMART goals to stay focused and accountable - and act as a good role model by providing examples of any research you are currently conducting yourself • Draw from the knowledge and enthusiasm of “early adopters” and engage them as mentors to support and motivate others. • Ensure accountability and support by assigning a common time and place for all PLCs to meet regularly. This session should be initially lead by members of the leadership team or other knowledgeable teachers to ensure all groups have clearly established goals and necessary skills to conduct their research. Initial support and scaffolding should be followed by gradual release to ensure that groups maintain their autonomy, are able to engage in further independent research and have the skills to mentor new groups. • Build in further accountability and sharing of new

knowledge by inviting groups to regularly report on their progress and findings to the school as a whole. •F  inally, and most importantly, keep the focus of the school on teaching and learning and ensure adequate time allocation for PLCs. The leadership team should ensure that they are seen as instructional leaders, and neither their own nor the teachers’ time and energies are spent on activities that do not directly or indirectly enhance student learning.

References Dinham, S. (2008). How to get your school moving and improving. Camberwell, Victoria, Australia: ACER Press. Hattie, J. (2012). Visible learning for teachers: Maximizing impact on learning. New York: Routledge. Hopkins, D. (2013). Exploding the myths of school reform. Camberwell, Victoria, Australia: ACER Press. O’Donoghue, T., Clarke, S. (2010). Leading learning: Process, themes and issues in international contexts. New York. Sharratt, L., Planche, B. (2016). Leading collaborative learning: Empowering Excellence. California: Corwin.


Pursuing a Career or Answering a Call The Transcendent Teacher by Sarah Mellado - Southern Hills Christian College


Career noun 1. An occupation or profession, especially one requiring special training, followed as one’s lifework.

Calling noun 1. The act of a person or thing that calls. adjective 1. Transcendent: Going beyond ordinary limits; surpassing; exceeding.

As I watch my 15-year-old son try and formulate a path that can take him towards his chosen career, I reflect on biblical characters who did not seem to have a say in their future ‘careers’, just that they were born to watch sheep, for example, because that was what their fathers did before them and their fathers’ fathers before them. To some degree, this has not changed in our household – Ruben wants to study engineering, because that is what his father does. And yet, I have heard of many who did not want to work in the field they find themselves in. These testify that a divine direction led them to where they are. We read of these types of experiences in the Bible as well. Famous is the struggle and many excuses Moses gave God of his incapability to do what God was asking of him. Before him was Joseph who was sold into slavery just so that he could fulfil God’s purpose in bringing the Israelites into Egypt. Before Joseph was Noah, who had to build an ark for rain that he had never experienced before. Many and varied were the callings mentioned in the Bible, always however, to fulfil God’s divine purpose.


How then do I know that I am not just pursuing a career but rather, I am answering a divine call? Firstly, according to Romans 1:6, Paul reminds us that we are called to follow Christ. Jesus was not exempt from answering a call on His life. It was because God loved the world that Jesus came. He could have however, just come to do that one thing – die on a cross to save mankind from sin. Instead, Jesus became the ultimate exemplar of a life that answers the call. Unlike a career, when we look closely at those who answered a divine call, there was hardly, if any, prior training. That is not to say that the person did not have a career or job in which they worked and earned their living, but when God calls them, it is hardly ever because their skills or job acumen singled them out. Not much is mentioned as to why God chose certain people, and much of the time He was met with resistance. Even His son asked if there could be another way to fulfil what God had destined for Him to do. Solomon took away from such a calling the most valuable lesson that is applicable even today: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight”. (Proverbs 3:5) I know without a doubt that my career is teaching. I have completed studies to ensure that I understand and practice good pedagogy and I continue to study in order to help those who are pursuing the same. In my ten years working in Christian Education, I have come to recognise God’s calling which has set apart, for me, the expert teacher and the transcendent one. 1. The transcendent teacher has a deep and steadfast relationship with God. Everything done is in submission to His will and for His glory alone. These teachers seek the counsel of the word of God in all subject areas, including how, what and when to assess learning. Like Jesus, they start their lessons using what is relevant to the students, from their stand point. They are in tune with each child’s learning style and needs, often not only relying on their own skills but seeking God’s counsel on how best to reach the whole child. God is ever present in the whole area of the school, be it the classroom, the playground, the gym, or the staff room. Wherever these teachers are, God is foremost in their thinking and interactions. 2. The transcendent teacher understands that quite


often, the calling costs. Many circumstances have required that these teachers lay down their lives for the calling. I have met many such teachers who have been reprimanded by their spouses for spending too much time and finance for the sake of their students’ learning. I know of a leader who took a pay cut so that her school could afford to hire another Education Assistant. There seems to be an inexplicable, relentless tug towards giving one’s “utmost for His highest”, (Chambers, 1995) as these teachers strive to become more Christ-like in their profession. 3. Finally, the transcendent teacher tends to have an illogical belief that all students are capable of success, irrespective of their social standing, their prior knowledge, or apparent lack. Transcendent teachers see each student as God sees them: His children, purposed for great and amazing feats. They remind their charges that if Jesus can say to His disciples that if they believe in Him, they will do not only what He did but greater, (John 14:12) how much more can the students excel their teacher? The key is to align with the One who strengthens us to do all things. Transcendent teachers will seek all ways possible to introduce their charge to the Omnipotent One, so that when they leave, students will continue to “know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that [they] may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19).

When I started in Christian Education, I felt out of my depth. I have come to recognise that quite often God will ask us to be stretched beyond our own capabilities in order for us to continue to invite Him into our daily grind. Although four years of teacher training equips us to become expert teachers, God calls us to go beyond the ordinary requirements, empowering us along the way to answer His call. My understanding is that a transcendent teacher is not only an expert teacher, as is outlined by Hattie (2012), but one whose life is surrendered to God’s purpose, for His glory alone. When we struggle on our own understanding, we accomplish much but when the Omniscient is present, we accomplish His highest and can only boast of His goodness.


Biblical references from: & Chambers, O. & Reimann, J. (1995). My utmost for his highest: Selections for every day. Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers. Hattie, J. (2012). Invisible learning for teaching: Maximising impact on learning. New York: Routledge.



conf e Re-w rence s um Find a out a tch keyn maries o bout futur tes e ev ents

Where for Art Thou?: Why Teach the Arts? by Linda Hewson - Beechboro Christian School

At the heart of our teaching is a mandate to prepare a generation of students to think Christianly: “that the ‘truth claims’ of the Christian faith can be passed on from one generation to the next” (Dockery, 2014). So, the two questions we should be asking ourselves are: “How does the Christian faith influence culture, social/health sciences, civic/selfresponsibilities, science, sport, beauty, or the arts?” and “How, then, do we apply this to our teaching?” The postmodern world-view right now is apathetic, at best, to the Christian faith. Post-modernism leaped across the divide in the mid to late 20th century from the period known as Modernity, and caught in its net


philosophy, the arts, and architecture predominantly. It is generally defined by an attitude of indifference, criticism, even reproach toward objectiveness, absolute precepts or ideologies, and morality. Instead, it emphasizes that rights to knowledge and truth are self-produced, or gathered by the social construct one lives in and makes sense of, as an individual. In other words, it is up to the individual’s interpretations, and therefore free from any imposition from another group, narrative or philosophy. Everything is relative! The modern age, or the early modern period, spanned the gap from the 1500’s to the early 1800’s. This was a period of time that generally celebrated the noble areas of community life, family, the role of education, production and nationhood - with emphasis upon science as a way of pursuing the truth. However, this period of time equally promoted the damaging concepts of the social class systems and overt social control that reinforced one’s place - negatively or positively - in the scheme of things. Post-modernity, however, desired to remedy the latter

unacceptable situation, but unfortunately promoted fragmentation of the community - celebrating the individual with its rights and aspirations. It became a platform for many options of what a family unit looks like and a break from the past traditions. It coerced people to question the purposes of education and to make up their own minds about what is valuable. It introduced the notion that science contained a plurality of truths, and; more destructively, convinced generations that there was no absolute moral system - instead it promoted moral relativism. It still does to this day. In a nutshell - postmodernism says: “It’s all about you - you are your own god. What you decide is what matters - don’t let anyone or anything tell you differently!” We shouldn’t be surprised by this. Scripture tells us in Proverbs 14:12, “You can rationalize it all you want and justify the path of error you have chosen, but you will find out in the end that you took the road to destruction” (The Passion Translation). With this in mind, the challenge came for me, in 2010, when I was asked to teach the arts in my Christian primary school. As I began to prayerfully prepare for this new role, it wasn’t long before I knew that God was wanting me to challenge this notion of what the individual perceives good art to be - being aesthetically wise in our own eyes, because we have been informed by our society to adopt a post modernistic way of thinking. I needed to study, learn and teach what God says about the arts - visual art in particular, and so I set about to reclaim that which was stolen by the rebellion of man; to revive that which was made dead by the sin of man, and re-direct the focus of that which was surrendered by many, which was to bring glory to God. Surprisingly, Wikipedia tells us that the term postmodernism, was first used in 1880s by a John Watkins Chapman who recommended a “Postmodern style of painting” as a way to depart from French Impressionism. If this were true, then it was through the arts and architecture that this philosophical declaration began and spread, so that today we have this belief that beauty is “a quality of the one looking, not of the thing being seen” (Munson, Farris-Drake, 2014). And hasn’t this crept into everything? It’s your right to your body. It’s your decision about morality and ethics and whatever’s right for you then that’s right. It came through the arts.

So, a really important question for me was: “Is it important to teach the arts in a Christian school?”

Yes, because we need to reclaim the truth - that art is not aesthetically relative, it is a means of showcasing the design created by our Designer. “Just as preachers use words to talk about God’s word, so artists and composers make ‘works’ to talk about God’s works” (Munson, Farris-Drake, 2014). The notion of Aesthetic Relativism, which suggests that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, is in some sense, a rebellion to God’s lordship, because it raises our opinions above a greater opinion. Yes, because we need to alert our students to the sinful lie that suggests: what one person gives him/herself permission to say is ‘beautiful art’, or even endeavour to make that art piece, can actually be vulgar and an offense to the viewer and to God. “The beauty of any object is its capacity to proclaim truth and to realize goodness” (Munson, Farris-Drake, 2014). We need the Holy Spirit to revive our thinking, our creativity and our skills at delivering this message. Yes, because we need to understand our mission, to be bold and to carry forward this original belief that: “For by him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether they are kings, lords, rulers, or powers. All things have been created through him and for him” Colossians 1:16 (Amplified Bible). All art pieces should be for His glory. “The Christian doctrine… teaches us that all things were made for God’s glory, and we find joy in them only insofar as we enjoy God through them” Eccles. 2:24-25 (Munson, Farris-Drake, 2014). “Where for art Thou ‘art’, O God?” This was the question I had to keep remembering to ask myself when faced with the plethora of choices in art today. I firstly established that our God is a God of power, wisdom, justice and love - that He is a God of beauty and order. This facilitated any decision I made, and still make concerning my choices. Is what I decide to encourage the children to learn, create and respond to going to promote that statement? I had to explain to them that ‘beauty’ is that circle that surrounds God. He is found in beauty, and vice versa - beauty is found in Him! ‘Order’ is the structure that keeps us - and our audience, safe and protected from sin. So, when I was tempted to choose art pieces to explore and copy that represented a form of images involved in idol worship or something that represented spirits or other gods, I declined. Also, when I chose to investigate artists and compare their art pieces, I was careful to look at the works, what they demonstrated, how they affected us, and how it reflected the artist - not celebrated the artist (I was also incredibly careful who I chose). I made a dedicated

effort to endorse the works of Christian artists and they were used more often, for they more than adequately demonstrate the elements in visual art.

And of course, and in fact before I planned anything, I prayed and invited God to fashion my works and provide me with Scripture that permeates through every theme (I still do). After all, He chooses the artisans to work for Him, and gives them direction. “Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: ‘See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship’” Exodus 31:1-5 (New King James Version). Now you may be excused to think that this is a restrictive approach to the arts. But nothing could be further from the truth. God is HUGE and so is His world. If He is the one who informs us, and enlightens us with possibilities, then our options are as endless as the heavens. His creation alone, should provide us with enough material to explore and develop - remember Colossians 1:16? And


our response to this is valuable - how we interpret His beauty and order, and express this in art helps us to gain a better understanding of our position in His world, and can also help our audience to consider their journey. This is a visual ministry.

But here’s the thing! This is not just left to the arts. Every area of educating in Christian schools should be designed to bring glory to God. Find God’s patterns in maths and celebrate it. Find God’s heart in social sciences and enlarge it. Find God’s design in science and establish it. Find God’s truth in relationships and preach it. Find God’s direction in your school - in your class - and be obedient to it. References Amplified Bible Dockery, D. (2014). Art and Music. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway. Munson, P., Farris-Drake, J. (2014). Art and Music. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway. New King James Bible The Passion Bible

Choral Fest Primary Choirs are invited to the SCEA Junior Choral Fest Tuesday 12 September 2017 10.00am - 2.00pm Ellenbrook Christian College

To enter your school, email Diane Durham at by 20 June 2017

The Joys and Challenges of Offering an Authentic Christian Education by Diane Durham - Beechboro Christian School & Ellenbrook Christian College

In my role as a primary school music specialist, teaching at two Christian schools, I aim to create an environment which fosters creativity and encourages students to feel safe enough to risk displaying their creative talents to others. I have the privilege of teaching every child in the primary school, and use this advantage to create a sense of community through shared songs and events. When the junior primary classes gather together to sing praise and worship songs I choose songs prayerfully, considering the theology of the lyrics, and the age appropriateness of the music styles and lyrics. When we have special events, such as Easter services, I incorporate choir items and shared songs which reflect a Christian worldview. I endeavour to implement


“a learning program which draws students into a community of people committed to living the gospel story in contemporary culture” (Fernhout, 1997). In my teaching practice, I seek to provide a safe, loving, joyful classroom atmosphere.

I believe the Christian teacher acts as a model of how God wants us to live. Our teaching is validated by the way we live our lives. At the beginning of each lesson I dedicate a few minutes to reconnecting with the students, acknowledging birthdays, lost teeth and other significant happenings. I value each student as a unique individual and am passionate about helping students “unwrap their gifts – share each other’s joys and burdens and to seek Shalom” (Stronks and Blomberg cited in Dickens, 2000).


The rationale for my year 1-6 music program states: Music is a gift from God. It was given to man at the moment of creation when “the morning stars sang together” (Job 38:7). God Himself sings (Zephaniah 3:17). God wants us to worship Him through music. “Serve the Lord with gladness. Come before His presence with singing” (Psalm 100:2). God’s Word tells us to serve Him with singing, dancing and playing musical instruments. It also encourages the use of songs to teach God’s Word “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:16). The skills of reading, writing and playing musical notation help prepare us to participate in worship, and to communicate the gospel to a dying world through song and music.

I consider teaching in a Christian school to be a calling. The ministry of Christian education is a spiritual battle and, to be effective, I spend time in prayer and Bible study. As I seek to faithfully articulate a worldview based on “a deep desire to be obedient to the Scriptures in all areas of life and service” (Wolters, 2005), I am totally dependent on the Holy Spirit to equip and anoint me for the task. Strom (2001) states “wisdom is about learning to apply the gospel to every area of our thinking and doing”. He suggests eight guidelines to help us as Christian educators to think wisely. 1. Jesus is the foundation of all our patterns of thinking. We seek to bring every thought captive to Him. I have applied 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 to my personal Christian life for many years. In a classroom situation, I find it helpful to apply Edlin’s guideline to “acknowledge there is no neutrality...Bringing every thought in subjection to Jesus Christ means making the deliberate choice to recognise non-neutrality and to recognise his lordship over our thinking process” (Edlin, 2006). 2. Our thinking and doing serves the Lord and should reflect our dependence on him. So we think prayerfully and self-critically. As a Christian teacher I feel a great responsibility to be prayerful and reflective in my teaching practice. I seek to adopt the attitude of Vollenhaven (cited in Edlin, 2006), a “humble, self-


critical and joyful commitment to a biblically authentic way of looking at the world”. 3. Our relationship to the Lord doesn’t depend on our ability to think. We should think and act as a response to his love and as obedience to his word... In the classroom I apply this by seeking to create an environment in which students have an opportunity to respond to the love of God and to His word through worship, prayer and discussion, regardless of their academic abilities. 4. Thinking and doing are inseparable - neither is more important nor spiritual than the other. The classroom is an arena which demands that our ‘doing’ embodies our ‘thinking’. One informs the other in a constant process of planning, teaching and reflecting. 5. Every square inch of life is God’s. He declared it is all good and gave it to us to explore, rule and enjoy. This model most closely represents my view of spirituality, honed over forty years of Christian life. There is no aspect of my personal or professional life that does not belong to God. 6.All of life is inter-related. God has established a remarkable unity and diversity in his creation...each part of life can serve as a window, a perspective on anything else...As we explore life with our students, we can lead them to glimpses of God and His plan that open up new ways of thinking and doing. 7. The world is no longer exactly how it was meant to be...we must wrestle with the physical, social and personal effects of sin.... Much of my time in the classroom is spent dealing with behaviour and relationship issues, as well as sickness, injury and preexisting conditions. The creation, fall and redemption story expressed through all of scripture is the basis of the gospel message. The effects of sin are evident in every class room and need to be approached from this perspective. 8. Every thought and act is religious because everything expresses a basic heart all of us live in varying degrees of consistency with what we were meant to be. I agree with Edlin (2006) when he states “we want to identify ourselves in all that we do (including our thinking) as people of the God of the Bible who live in a culturally rich but fallen context of the 21st century West”. As I began to reflect critically on the consistency of my teaching practice with a worldview that is founded in

scripture, I encountered several issues. Firstly, I became acutely aware of inconsistencies between my teaching practice and my worldview and lost some of the joy of teaching as I sought to change my style. Lesslie Newbigin speaks here of an “unbearable tension… The deeper we realise the apostate and idolatrous roots of our culture…the more we will recognise the need for a… counter-cultural stance” (Goheen, 2004). Secondly, I became more aware of spiritual warfare, “a struggle of the spirits…We cannot ‘battle this spirit in our own power’. The warfare to which I refer is one of faith, a struggle even within ourselves, in the power of the Holy Spirit, a struggle which finds its dynamic in a life of prayer” (Dooyeweerd cited in Goheen, 2004). Thirdly, I was frustrated by the lack of available Christian programs and the lack of time to develop materials which would more authentically reflect my Christian worldview. Finally, I was acutely aware of the need to implement the curriculum mandated by the Australian government.

References Dickens, K. (2000). Triumphalism and the Christian School. Paper presented at Issues 2000 Conference. Hoddesdon: UK. Edlin, R. J. (2006). Inhabiting the mindifeld: Why we think the way we do, and what to do about it. In R.J. Edlin & J. Ireland (Eds.), Engaging the culture: Christians at work in education. Blacktown, NSW: NICE. Fennema, J. (2006). Transforming education: Students. In R.J. Edlin & J. Ireland (Eds.), Engaging the culture: Christians at work in education. Blacktown, NSW: NICE. Fernhout, H. (1997). Christian Schooling: telling a world view story. In Lambert, I. & S. Mitchell (Eds.), The crumbling walls of certainty: towards a Christian critique of post-modernity and education. Sydney: Centre for the Study of Australian Christianity. Goheen, M. (2004). The gospel and the idolatrous power of secular science. In J. Ireland, R.J. Edlin & K. Dickens (Eds.), Pointing the way: Directions for Christian education in a new millennium. Blacktown, NSW: National Institute for Christian Education. Plantinga, C. (2002). Engaging God’s world: A Christian vision of faith, learning and living. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans. Strom, M. (2001). The wisdom books. In Symphony of Scripture. Phillipsberg, NJ: Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing. Wolters, A.M. (2005). Creation regained: Biblical basics for a reformational worldview. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans.

Implementing change can involve tension, struggle and disruption. “There are no easy answers but God calls us to take baby steps towards faithfulness in a spirit of joy and liberating forgiveness” (Goheen, 2004). Goheen suggests the following steps: first, we must acknowledge and deepen our understanding of the idolatrous power of secular scholarship and its powerful effect on the Christian school. Second, we must tackle this as an educational community, rather than individually. This will involve ongoing conversation, collaboration and prayerful revision of documents with colleagues. Thirdly, Goheen emphasises prayer, spiritual warfare, faith and reliance on the Holy Spirit. The fourth step suggested by Goheen is ongoing teacher training. He emphasises the need for sustained, biblically authentic professional development. As we seek to be authentic in offering an education that is truly Christian, we create for children an amazing “expression of Christian community and...a taste of ‘shalom’, the Hebrew word meaning ‘the way things are supposed to be’” (Plantinga, 2002).


Are we prepared to stand and fight for our harvest? By Sylvia Richardson - Ellenbrook Christian College

As a teacher, I am constantly amazed at the wealth of experience, expertise and Christian focus which is the hallmark of all SCEA staff. As we sang, prayed, listened and networked at our first 2017 SCEA celebration it reinforced for me the privilege we have to serve Christ in our communities, and how God has gifted each school its own distinctive flavour and He has given us all seeds to sow, water and a harvest to reap. However I am also aware that we often face spiritual opposition in our daily lives which can distract us from this vision of harvest, and make us reluctant to stand and fight for our harvest personally. I will outline a few strategies which have proven to be helpful in the field of Christian education over the years.


Like most teachers this year, I seem to have launched into the school year with my feet hitting the ground running, which makes me feel like a trooper landing a parachute or worse still a vagrant leaping off a moving train. It was only in a reflective moment that I re-read the inscription written by a prayer partner in the 2017 journal she gave me. The verse read, “Write the vision, and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time” (Habakkuk 2:2-3). Unfortunately each day in schools, there exists what I can only describe as the tyranny of time, and we are often literally dashing from one thing to the next. Thinking on your feet is a major part of our role. How can we “run with a tablet” as Habakkuk suggests, and not drop it and see our vision shatter into pieces before our eyes? How can we create more speed and less haste, which could be compared to trying to drink our tea with a fork? Add to this the enemy of our souls, who attempts to paralyse us with thoughts of ineffectiveness, scaremongering us and distracting us so that we would

back off from planting the seeds of the gospel and living our lives reflecting Christ to our students and their families. Is it possible that we also need to have spiritual eyes opened to see the magnificent harvest He has prepared for us at SCEA? Jesus said, “Do you not say, ‘It’s still four months until harvest?’ I tell you, lift up your eyes and see the fields, because they are ripe for harvest” (John 4:35). He gave this advice to his disciples shortly after he sat down at Jacob’s well in Samaria because he was “tired from his journey” (John 4:6) and he had spoken to the woman of Samaria despite his fatigue and many had come to Him as a result. He then encouraged his disciples to look to the whitened harvest, leading by his own example of continuing to do what His Father called him to do despite his own situation. I would like to suggest some thoughts which may help us keep our eyes fixed on our personal harvest:

 eek God for a strategy, by way of a word S of wisdom or scripture for each year. The word strategy derives from the Greek word stratçgos, which comes from two words stratos which means army, and ago, meaning to move ahead or be active in doing, suggesting a strategy or plan of attack. The enemy has his strategies, so it makes sense for us to have Holy Spirit inspired strategies, since “we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). Also, we read, “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty to the pulling down of strongholds” (Ephesians 6: 13-18). Many Bible recounts describe how men and women, such as Joshua, Nehemiah, David and Esther defeated the enemy with what could only be divine strategy, and whether it is having a wise mentor, like Mordecai or Naomi, or using what God has given into your hand, like Moses, we need to hear from God then follow through. Several years ago, I really sensed God suggesting I should pray for one student in my form each day and then contact each parent once a term. It proved to be one of the best years I ever had.

“Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:1 is simply remembering the importance of stilling ourselves in prayer and Bible reflection daily. As many of us travel fair distances to school, we may have to be like Adam, who heard the sound of God walking in the garden in the cool of the evening (Genesis 3:8), so

varying our time of quiet when we find ourselves rushed in the morning.

Have a prayer partner you can contact I often just ask mine to send up what you could call an arrow prayer, a no-time-for-details prayer, and then I see God at work behind the scenes of my difficulty.

Have a teacher partner, or two, who you know will look beyond the natural realm and look to God in prayer on your behalf I remember vividly when I taught at two campuses and had just driven back to teach for the afternoon at the second campus, when a fellow teacher who also taught the same students called out a hello as I was unpacking equipment from the boot of my car. I must have looked rather frazzled because she immediately came across and prayed for me and she sensed the enemy was attacking me. She shared this with me, prayed with me and it was so much easier in that class for the remainder of the year. We have even had students from that difficult class meet us and say they are now Christians.

 e a watchman of our own lives, our family, B our church and our school In agrarian societies the role of the watchman in the weeks before harvest as the crops were ripening was to prevent thieves or animals stealing the crops. At other times he would climb a tower on the city walls and sound a warning so the people could prepare for battle. I am sure many of you as you are on duty, walking from class to class, or driving to school are already fulfilling the watchman role as you pray for the school and its leadership, a class in session as you walk past, check up on a student who looks lonely, or walk and talk with a colleague.

 eing a part of a team also B qualifies you to be part of spiritual force, a bit like the testudo formations in Roman times which grouped tightly together under their shields to attack. The word Latin “testudo” translates tortoise, hence the thought of our teams being tightly connected groups who move as one in their goal, keeping a pace that is moderated and at the same time being careful to cover


and protect our colleagues in prayer. Finally, are we prepared to stand and fight for our school’s harvest? I love the story of one of David’s mighty men, Shammah, as it epitomises how one man, as part of a team, can help bring about a great victory. “Now after him was Shammah, the son of Agee, a Hararite. And the Philistines were gathered as a troop where there was a plot of ground full of lentils and the people fled from the Philistines. But he took a stand in the midst of the plot, defended it and struck the Philistines, and the Lord bought about a great victory” (2 Samuel 23:12). A battle weary soldier defending a field of lentils; is this how you feel as you defend your class? The analogy may seem a bit strange, as lentils was a humble food eaten by the poor, but maybe the Lord is calling you to take a stand for what you may be feeling is “only a small corner” and despite fatigue and sometimes criticism, to continue to fervently pray for the students or staff God has placed in your care. I sense The Lord is calling all of us to take a stand, and having done all to continue to stand, whether it is for a class of preschoolers, a fractious cohort of Year Nines or a diverse staff team, because when we do, He will bring about a great victory. Paraphrasing the words Martin Luther King and Sir Winston Churchill said about the battles they faced, let us say as Christian educators with one voice to the enemy of our souls, we have a God given dream and we will not surrender.


2017 Conference Schedule THURSDAY 1 JUNE




Praise and Worship


Acknowledgement of Country / Welcome


Keynote: What Does Change Look Like?


Morning Tea




- Engaging the Disengaged (Education Changemakers)

- The Development of Speech and Language (Sarah Pillar)

-C  lassroom Critical Thinking, Hospitality and Spaces for Learning (Tracey Price)

- Programming and Assessment in English P-10 (Di Edwards & Chris Witt)

- Taking Action - Students as Global Citizens (Maree Whiteley)

-F  rom Frustrating to Flourishing - Supporting Students with ADHD (Dr Michele Toner)





- B  uilding An Epic Team Culture (Education Changemakers)


- Writing Effective IEPs (Rebecca Delaney)

- Teaching Justly for Student Well-being (Tracey Price)

-T  ackling Technology - What is There not to Love? (Jan Clarke)

- STEM Ideas for 7-9 (Glenda Leslie)

- Understanding Literacy Learning Difficulties (Mandy Nayton)


Reinventing Education: What Do Students Think?


Afternoon Tea


Conference Dinner







Keynote: How Do I Make Change Happen?


Morning Tea



- Design Thinking for Educators - Embedding Innovation Part 1 (Education Changemakers)

- Christian Understandings of Entrenched Ways of Life (Dr Justine Toh)

-P  lanning a Unit of Work in the General English Course (Di Edwards)

- Using Drama To Enhance Literacy (Karen Le Raye)

- Setting up an Engaging and Intentional Learning Environment (Dr Shona Bass)







- Design Thinking for Educators - Innovation in Action Part 2 (Education Changemakers)

-C  hallenging the Doing / Being Link (Dr Justine Toh)

- Quality Assessment in HPE (Kristine Stafford)

-N  umeracy and Mathematics (Dr Thelma Perso)

- Personalising Learning in Primary Education (Dr Shona Bass)

Plenary, prize draw and closing comments

We would like to thank all of our sponsors and exhibitors, including our Gold Sponsor, Camp Australia

Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors Airlite Group, Campion Education, Digistorm Education, MMG Education, Perth Conventions Bureau, Teachers Health Fund, Ziggies Educational Supplies

Conference Map


Sponsors & Speakers Parking

M4 M5 M6

M9 M8


Address: 1 Padbury Terrace, Midland 6056 Email: Phone: (08) 9274 6411


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Be Magazine - 2017 Better Education Conference  

Be Magazine - 2017 Better Education Conference