Leaders News


State Education Leaders Day – Paul Luke

Last Monday (25th February) I attended the State Education Leaders Day at the Adelaide Convention Centre, along with Principals from our Primary / Secondary Schools and Pre-School Directors.

The first keynote speaker was our Chief Executive, Rick Perrse who spoke passionately about the importance of educators at all levels within our system, working together to make sure all children and young people reach their potential. Rick launched the Department for Education’s refreshed Strategic Plan describing how we will achieve a world-class education system. ‘The plan aims to build on the solid foundation already in place, with a focus on using the best evidence to guide our work.’

The second key speaker was Professor Andreas Schleicher, the Director of Education and Skills Directorate OECD who shared international research and discussed this within a local context.

We also heard from Dr Jim Watterston, Dean, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, who presented a national perspective, highlighting key aspects of emerging and successful schools including:

  • building the leadership capacity of its teachers.
  • a collaborative professional learning community of teachers.
  • a proactive and positive school culture.
  • teaching being a team sport, with everyone considering themselves a member of the team.
  • a strong commitment to schools working collaboratively with each other.

Literacy Summit – Nicky Taylor

Last week I had the great opportunity of attending the Literacy Summit along with Paul and Andrea Grant (Year 6/7 Teacher). We heard from guest speakers discussing research-based evidence, on accelerating growth for every child and young person, in every preschool and school to achieve world-class literacy learning.

The Keynote speaker was Professor Douglas Fisher who is a professor of educational leadership at San Diego State University. He has won numerous awards in the field of literacy education and published many articles. Professor Douglas has written many books, which are used as a benchmark for literacy instruction.

Some of the key learning points and highlights included:

    • What does research say?
      • The brain has not evolved to learn to read. It is not naturally acquired like the spoken language therefore we need to train our brain to read.
      • There is no single reading area of the brain. Making sense of the printed word requires making connections between regions of the brain that were devoted to other processes.
      • Reading will not be picked up intuitively as it requires explicit teaching of the code.
      • Memorizing words from sight only activates the right side of the brain therefore learning to read words by sight is much slower and trains the wrong side of the brain.
      • Decoding skills needs to be explicitly taught so children can crack the code of print.
      • Gaps in decoding usually result in poor comprehension.
      • Relationships between sounds and letters need to be taught explicitly and systemically.
      • Students need a lot of exposure to the key components to reading.
    • The key components of reading – The Big 6
      • Oral language: verbalizing talk before writing.
      • Phonemic awareness: hearing individual sounds in words.
      • Phonics: Letter and sound relationships.
      • Fluency: Reading with expression.
      • Vocabulary knowledge: knowing a bank of words.
      • Comprehension: Understanding reading for meaning.
    • Oral Language is:
      • An important predictor of literacy development and achievement.
      • Children who enter formal schooling with low oral language are at a significant disadvantage when it comes to learning to read.
      • Dialogic talk is crucial to the development of children’s reading and literacy skills.
      • Dialogic talk needs to be strategically scaffolded to have the impact.
      • Students need to be talking- 50 percent of time to share and consolidate their understanding of learning.
      • Learning doesn’t happen from listening, it happens when it is put into practise
    • Language and Reading
      • Reading aloud to children is a way to establish connections between speech which they are familiar with and print which they aren’t.
      • Reading practice needs to happen at home.
      • Children need to increase their reading stamina through building volume in their reading, especially through practising at home.
      • Beginning readers need explicit and systematic instruction in phonemic awareness and phonics.
      • Reading opens up a world of knowledge where learning continues, informed decisions are made and acted upon.  
  • “The limits of my language = the limits of my world” Wittgenstien

At Craigburn, we continue to undertake ongoing professional learning in the area of Literacy development and Reading Acquisition and look forward to sharing our learning with families at future parent support workshops.

Learning Support – Rob Warncken

All students progress with their learning at different rates and quite often have differing learning needs.

Learning and support resources are utilised at Craigburn to help any student experiencing difficulties in learning in a regular class, regardless of the cause. This includes support for students with:

  • learning difficulties
  • mild intellectual disabilities
  • speech & language disorders
  • behaviour needs
  • autism spectrum disorders or mental health disorders (with lower level support needs).

For some children, additional learning and support needs are identified from early childhood. For other children, the need for extra support may not become clear until some way into their schooling.

Please take the time to check out the recent post,  Learning Support – Information for Families for further information about how learning support operates at Craigburn.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Thanks, Rob.

Student Leadership – Nicky Taylor

Over the first five weeks of this term, classes have been working out who their elected student council representatives will be. You may have noticed some classes starting to share who their representatives are through class blogs, SeeSaw, newsletters etc. Later this term, a whole school assembly will recognise this year’s representatives.

Representatives gather opinions, encourage involvement in school issues and aim to make school a better place for all. Read more to find out about student leadership at Craigburn

Growing with Gratitude Positive Reflection Program

In early May we have locked in the Adelaide Crows Growing with Gratitude Positive Reflection program which will include a whole school assembly / presentation, followed by football clinics for Receptions and Year 1s.


Regards, Paul Luke – Principal        Rob Warncken – Deputy Principal        Nicky Taylor – Senior Leader

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