Batemans Bay Public School is a P to 6 school
with a student population of around 500 of which
approximately 18% are Aboriginal students.
The school has two support classes, and a significant
number of students with identified support needs in
mainstream classes. Many of our students come from a
low-socio-economic background in a coastal town
with a transient population.
Our staff consists of 21 classroom teachers
and 8 support teachers.
Accelerated Literacy Pedagogy
at Batemans Bay Public School
Research based on Effective Classroom Teaching
conducted by Brian Gray and Wendy Cowey
places Accelerated Literacy Pedagogy
at the cutting edge of effecting change
in classroom practice that ensures success for all.
The jobs a pedagogy has to do
Peter Freebody 2004
Manage the bodies and the props
Manage the attention of the students
Deliver the syllabus
Allow for self-expression
Protect all individuals
Monitor student progress
And many others
 A pedagogy must be able to provide access to all these
 However, if the teaching theory does not enable the teacher
to manage the bodies and the props (the students and the
materials) and student engagement, then it will be difficult
to do the rest.
This is highly significant in our work in Literacy at BBPS.
Implementing Accelerated Literacy Pedagogy
at Batemans Bay Public School
Our goal
 Supported by the Principal and Executive Staff and
through a combination of in-school and regionally-based
training, we are working to ensure that all teachers at
Batemans Bay Public School are trained to implement the
pedagogy to the highest level in classroom literacy
 This will require ongoing development of teacher
knowledge and understandings.
Before Accelerated Literacy - pre 2007
 Our Literacy Programs relied heavily on reading schemes,
supplemented by good literature.
 Despite good teaching using ‘best practice’ and
thousands of dollars worth of ‘levelled’ reading materials,
many of our students were not achieving expected
outcomes in literacy.
 In addition, while many students learned to read, they did
not comprehend text well and were not as successful
with learning to write and spell.
 In classes across the grades teacher talk was focussed on
regulatory language to manage student behaviours rather
than on the language of explicit teaching and learning.
Initial implementation – immediate
 Teachers began to observe changes in students’ literacy
engagement and talk about text, in students’ attitudes
and understanding about learning, especially in writing
and spelling, as well as in general classroom behaviour.
 Parents noticed and commented on how their children
were learning.
 Attendance – children were motivated to come to school
so they wouldn’t miss out on the text.
The ongoing impact of implementation
 Gives teachers a ‘way of talking’ about their teaching
through collaborative planning and dialogue;
Gives students a ‘way of talking’ about their learning
through a common language in the classroom and
through the grades;
Increased teacher knowledge of English K-6 syllabus and
related documents;
Increased development and use of criteria-based
Teachers able to see the links between the syllabus and
the AL pedagogy.
The ongoing impact of implementation
 Children requesting their parents purchase texts they are
studying in the classroom program;
 One local bookstore owner (also a casual teacher)
reported that she always knew what books were being
used in the classroom because students came looking for
 Parents revealing at parent-teacher interviews that they
wished they had been taught this way when they were
students themselves;
 SLSO’s observations of ways students are engaging in
literacy; their own realisations of how texts work; a
comment to a teacher ‘I could have listened to you all
The ongoing impact of implementation
But more than that is
 the depth of understandings, passions and feelings of
children for quality literate texts;
 the recognition of patterns through texts written by the
same author;
 the connection with the language and inferences (visual
and written) contained within the text;
 the conversations between teacher and child, between
children and between teachers;
 the teacher recognition of the powerful role of literate
texts in classroom.
The journey – training teachers
 2006-07: 2 Classroom and 3 Support teachers attended
Regional Accelerated Literacy Training in Wollongong
2007-08: 3 Stage One Classroom Teachers attended PSP
Initiative Regional Training program organised by Sue P in
Batemans Bay
2007-2008: 3 Stage Two Classroom teachers attended
Regional Training in Queanbeyan
April 2008: Sue Purcell and Elaine Seymour trained as InSchool AL Tutors in the first round of AL Tutor Training in
NSW staged in Wollongong
May 2008 – Sue P and Elaine conducted the first in-school
training at BBPS with ongoing support for 3 Early Stage
One and 2 Stage One classroom teachers, and 3 regular
casual teachers. Community members attended Module 1.
The journey – training teachers
 February 2009 - Sue P and Elaine conducted a second
round of in-school training at BBPS with ongoing support
for 3 Stage Two classroom teachers and 1 Stage One
classroom teacher, 3 support teachers and 4 regular
casual teachers. Community Members attended Training
Module 1.
 Teachers in grades undertook corporate planning
underpinned by the AL pedagogy for each study text led
by Elaine or Sue.
 2009: Elaine attended a two-hour Factual Writing
workshop and a day-long Grammar Workshop at Barrack
Heights Public School at the invitation of Marianne Bunt,
Regional AL Facilitator.
The journey – expanding our focus
National Partnerships in Literacy and Numeracy 2009-11
 Despite pressure to focus our two-year funding on
Numeracy in 2009, we decided to continue on our journey
with Literacy.
 We believe that teacher quality is the most important
factor in student outcomes therefore our focus has been
building teacher capacity
build student capacity
The journey – towards sustainability
Sustainable gains actually require that teachers, curriculum
planners, school leadership get on the same page
with a common vocabulary, a common dialogue and a
common development vision of how literacy should be
articulated across the whole of the years
of your primary school.
Allan Luke (Queensland University of Technology)
We are well on the journey to sustainable gains.
The journey – review and refine
 February 2010: Sue P and Elaine completed AL training
with Marianne Bunt using her revised and new modules
developed in response to previous participants’ feedback.
 Terms 1 and 2 2010: Elaine conducted training for 5 Stage
Three teachers, a Stage One teacher new to the school
and 3 regular casual teachers using Marianne Bunt’s
revised and new Training Modules.
 Previously trained teachers were updated with practical
elements of the pedagogy and resources to support
classroom implementation.
The Journey – training mentors
To maintain the consistency and integrity of the pedagogy the
need arose to have mentors at each grade level:
 March 2010: Sue Purcell, Elaine Seymour, Wendy
Attwood and Susan Maxworthy attended ISER Regional
Mentor Training conducted by Marianne Bunt in
Wollongong. Sue P and Elaine assisted Marianne.
This was the start of our Literacy Leaders group, but here was
an urgent need to expand the group to support teachers at
classroom level:
 October 2010: Leesa Tillott, Marion Yates and Michelle
Hovatta attended ISER Regional Mentor Training
conducted by Marianne Bunt assisted by Elaine Seymour
in Wollongong.
The journey – review and refine
Updated knowledge for mentors
 In 2010 Sue Purcell, Wendy Attwood and Susan
Maxworthy attended Regional Training in Queanbeyan, at
the invitation of Marianne Bunt, Regional AL Facilitator, to
update their training on revised and new modules
developed by Marianne
and teachers
 Terms 3 and 4 2010 Ongoing whole staff professional
learning led by Literacy Leaders during RFF, in Grade,
Team and Staff meetings and School Development Days
to enable teachers to effectively implement AL pedagogy
in classrooms throughout the school.
The journey – increasing knowledge
 Parents and members of the community have been
involved through P&C Meetings, AECG meetings to create
awareness among Aboriginal Parents, open classrooms
and demonstration lessons for parents, regular parent
newsletters and updates on our school website.
 Teachers from Moruya Public School visited to observe
Sue P and Elaine teach literacy sessions in classes across
the grades.
 Other schools regularly contact Sue P and Elaine for
Major shifts
 We don’t ‘teach AL’, we teach literacy as mandated by the
English K-6 syllabus and supporting documents, using the
pedagogy of Accelerated Literacy. As a staff, we talk about
literacy sessions and study texts.
 A major shift in thinking has occurred, one that has united us
as teachers with a common goal. It has begun to eliminate
confusions that exist around ‘teaching AL’; what can I or can’t I
 Teachers plan literacy programs in grade groups supported by
a tutor or mentor and are able to revisit parts of the training
modules as needed, or introduce new information in modules
Marianne Bunt has developed in response to teacher needs eg
Grammar, Factual Writing, increased understanding of PQR.
Major shifts
 Teachers have been supported in this planning by
Departmental Initiatives like Best Start Assessment and
‘a continuum of critical aspects of early literacy
development’ K-2 and the early learning plans literacy in
monitoring and tracking student outcomes
 The newly released draft literacy continuum K-6 and
developing support documents will enable Stage 2 and 3
teachers to monitor and track student progress and cater
more effectively for them.
The challenges for teachers
 As teachers-in-training change the way they teach, the
Teaching Sequence occupies a large section of the
morning literacy session. Some previous practices have to
be shed in favour of implementing the sequence.
 Teachers need to understand that parts of the Teaching
Sequence can be employed to teach skills and strategies
they would previously have taught in other ways e.g text
deconstruction for writing.
 As teachers gain experience with the pedagogy, time
spent on each set of strategies is reduced, allowing
greater time for other ‘good practices’ during the literacy
The challenges for teachers
 ‘The Hand’ developed by AL Expert group has assisted
teachers in recognising opportunities to further support
the learning modelled during the teaching sequence.
 Developing and using supplementary activities that are
high quality, purposeful and support students in guided
and independent practice.
 Analysing data from a number of sources (NAPLAN
results and school-based assessments) and applying
information to the teaching-learning cycle.
The journey – tighten the teaching
 SLSOs given a snapshot of the pedagogy as well as ideas
for practical ways to assist in supporting teachers and
students in classroom literacy sessions.
 Ongoing professional learning in School Development
Days, Extended Staff Meetings, Grade Planning Sessions
and RFF focussing on
Lesson Observations
Questioning Strategies
A Teaching and Learning Cycle
Text Purposes with appropriate stage-based resources.
Ongoing Impact of the Pedagogy – students and parents
 Increased levels of student engagement with lesson processes,
content and concepts, leading to improved on-task behaviour
of all students during literacy sessions.
 Observations of students engaging in class discussions about
their literacy learning. Students have clear lesson goals and
overall text goals to support them in regulating their learning.
Students want to know the purpose of learning experiences
and how these contribute to the overall focus of the study
 Parent feedback has indicated that students are motivated to
engage with the techniques used by authors. Students are
taking home their new learning and sharing it with their
families. Children are wanting to write at home like ‘Roald
Ongoing Impact of the Pedagogy - teachers
 Increased levels of professional dialogue around teaching,
learning and assessment. This dialogue is occurring
during team meetings, staff meetings and during general
staffroom conversation.
 The AL pedagogy, as well as teachers’ increased
understandings of the Syllabus and the Quality Teaching
Framework, has provided the common ground for such
 The teaching sequence firmly embedded in the pedagogy
has provided teachers with the platform from which to
explicitly teach the content of the syllabus.
 Challenges and successes are shared by all teachers in an
environment of professional acceptance.
Ongoing Impact of the Pedagogy - Preschool
 Mundarra students are familiar with the Low Order
Literate Orientation and Book Reading sections of the AL
Teaching Sequence, and are confident to speak about
authors and books and how they work.
 They share their understandings of themes and
illustrations in texts with excitement and enthusiasm.
 Students sit for increasing amounts of time engaged in
literate discussion of texts.
Ongoing Impact of the Pedagogy - Preschool
 Teachers have witnessed an increased readiness for
school in students who feed into our Kindergarten classes
from our Mundarra Preschool each year. Those 30-35
Preschoolers set the benchmark for other students and
assist in creating a more settled start to Kindergarten.
They are familiar with the ‘big’ school, the canteen,
Library, playground and Kinder classrooms. They have
regularly visited Kindergarten classes and had
Kindergarten classes visit them in the Preschool.
 They also carry with them to school an expectation that
books will do something for them, are excited by texts
and have no fear of ‘getting into books’.
Future directions
The challenges
 Analysing assessments to better inform teaching
 Short sharp focus of sessions in small group interventions
 Continuous updating of teacher knowledge particularly
for Literacy Leaders
 Changing the mindset – what kids can’t do
 Staff changes through retirement and grade changes
 Training casual teachers
 Sustainability in the face of no funding beyond TPL
 Innovative practices for sustaining the pedagogy
regardless of staffing challenges
Our belief
If we empower teachers and build capacity,
this in turn ensures that
the curriculum needs are met,
all students are engaged
and outcomes are high …
our journey continues ...
Batemans Bay Public School Literacy Team
August 2011

Accelerated Literacy at Batemans Bay Public School