Article: End of a Chapter

“Teacher Comes to End of a Chapter”
The West Australian January 29, 2015 by Bethany Hiatt

“Rosalie Hamilton, 75, has seen teaching methods come and go during a career spanning half a century.

The Year 1 teacher closed her classroom door at South Lake Primary School for good last month after more than 50 years of teaching every age group from kindergarten to Year 12.

‘I never tire of teaching reading,’ she said.’That’s my passion. I love seeing the little flowers open as they learn.’

Mrs Hamilton said that in the 1960’s teachers used phonics – the relationship between letters and sounds – to teach reading, but that was later frowned on.

‘The idea was that children would just pick it up by reading,’ she said. ‘We went through phases of  look and say and learning from literature. We still have that, but I think that before you get to that you have to have this really basic bedrock of know ing sounds and knowing digraphs.’

She is pleased the pendulum has swung back towards phonics.”

Posted by Nicola in News

Report: Back to Basics

Sunday Times October 12, 2014 by Samantha Maiden (National Political Editor)

“A major review of Australia’s national curriculum, to be released today, calls for a ‘back to basics’ focus in English using phonics, or sounding out words, to help children learn to read.”

“Fiona Mueller, another reviewer of the English curriculum, said teachers were struggling.”

” ‘The English curriculum mistakenly adopts a model made up of, ‘a little bit of phonics and a little bit of whole language’, and the curriculum is not explicit or systematic’, the report states. ‘While there is no doubt that the English curriculum deals with phonic and phonemic awareness in a more detailed way there is room for improvement.’
Early childhood should be treated differently and focus on a back-to-basics approach of literacy and numeracy.”

Posted by Nicola in News

Article: Push for Phonics

The West Australian 7th July 2014 by Daniel Mercer

“Children would be taught to read and write using an intensive phonics-based system under a future Labor government, Mark McGowan declared yesterday.
Seizing on growing support for more traditional teaching methods, the State Opposition Leader said he wanted to introduce so-called explicit instruction across more WA schools.
Under the back-to-basics method teachers explain and demonstrate the sounds represented by letters and work with individual students to help their understanding.
Stressing that explicit, or ‘direct’, instruction was not the same as rote learning, Mr McGowan claimed the practice had achieved ‘remarkable success’ in trials at WA schools, including Ballajura Primary School, where he said literacy rates had improved markedly.”

Posted by Nicola in News