Learning

Frank Niklas, University of Melbourne; Caroline Cohrssen, University of Melbourne, and Collette Tayler, University of Melbourne.The next cohort of five-year-olds are just starting school. While parents will be proud and excited about this important step in their child’s life, some will also have concerns.Will my child be happy at school? Will they make Read more

 Lorraine Hammond, Edith Cowan University. Education Minister Simon Birmingham has announced that all Australian six-year-olds will soon be required to do a phonics test.Researchers, parents and others concerned about our system’s failure to identify children who initially struggle to learn to read – and can go on to have a reading disability – have pushed Read more

 Mark Onslow, University of Sydney. Starting school can be daunting for any child. Often it is the first excursion into the world without parent contact. The teacher is a new person in the child’s life, who, among many other things, is a daytime caregiver.For a child who stutters, the school years can be a wonderfully supportive experience. However, those Read more

Hua-Chen Wang, Macquarie University.The efficacy of phonics as a method of teaching has been debated for several decades, and has recently come back to the forefront of public debate.This time, the focus is on the phonics check – a screening tool designed to identify early readers who may be in need of intervention, and provide some indication of how successful current phonics Read more

Letter of Introduction If your child has learning difficulties, you have an extra task to do before your child starts high school. It is wise to prepare a teacher information sheet about your child and make 10 copies.Personally hand this sheet to each teacher and the year coordinator so they all understand your child’s special needs. A one-page summary is all that is needed and Read more

You’ve worked hard all year trying to keep all the balls in the air. Your child is exhausted from another year at school. Then school reports come home and…you feel like you’re having to start again!School reports provide an overall summary of how your child has performed throughout the year and how they compare to their peers. It is important to read the guide from your school to Read more

By Dr Samantha Hornery, Education Manager.The transition to high school is a rite of passage in life’s journey. I survived, you survived, other children have survived and so too will your current Year 6 child.In primary school your child is well supported in a friendly environment where they have gradually become familiar with their surroundings, staff and Read more

Kevin Larkin, Griffith UniversityAs a parent – or even teacher – you are likely to have been asked the question: “What’s the point of maths?”This is often followed by: “When will I ever use this stuff?” or “How will Read more