On Friday and Saturday last week, we attended the 2019 National THRASS Literacy Conference, held in Melbourne at the Novotel in the CBD. It had always been a bit of a dream to attend the conference, however after submitting an abstract earlier this year we were surprised, excited and terrified by the fact that we had been asked to present.
Months of preparation went into the presentation, which was centred around ‘The Reading Wars’ and the fact that neither a phonics or whole language approach works on its own, that a balanced approach was the most effective way to teach. We spoke about the pedagogies happening in our school, and the fact that at CHPS we are driven by growth, with the collective power of PLC being looking at students as ‘ours’ not ‘mine and yours’.
We presented to around one hundred people, from around Australia, from principals to PHD students, to grassroots teachers and everyone said they took so much from the information presented. The feedback from the presentation was incredible, and made us truly proud to be teachers from Chelsea Heights Primary School.
Alongside presenting, we were also able to attend many other presentations over the two days. We listened to the ways in which many schools implement THRASS and definitely got a multitude of ideas on how to improve our practice here at Chelsea Heights PS. There was discussion from Speech pathologist, Rhonda Campbell , who discussed the countless different variables involved in students learning to read, as well as speakers from South Australia talking about some incredible ways to challenge and intervene with exceptional students. Moving forward we now have big plans, so stay tuned for more information.
We are so grateful to everyone who was involved in the process, the support was overwhelming. It was a huge opportunity for us, as well as a way of putting CHPS on the map for another positive reason.
Natalie Peacock and Paris Hargreaves