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Thornlie Cluster Literacy Development

The aim of this project is primarily to improve the reading outcomes of low-achieving students in four schools in an area of low socio-economic index. While most children learn functional reading skills during their primary school years, significant numbers of students are not achieving this critical milestone. This project focuses on building the pedagogical content knowledge of school leaders, many of whom have never taught reading in the early years. It will also build their understanding of fine-grained reading assessments and how to target precise areas of need so that intervention programs can be more effective.

The school leadership teams are supported by professional learning days and ongoing mentoring visits as they analyse student assessment data, decide on appropriate programs or strategies to address identified needs, build staff knowledge and skills related to reading instruction and implement targeted intervention programs. ECU's research focus is on the strategies used by each school's leadership team to determine the intervention focus, resources and professional learning required; and the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the intervention. The research team will also collect the classroom observations made by the school leaders and the pre- and post-project reading assessment results of students in the targeted classes whose parents have provided consent for this to occur.

Increased understanding of how to analyse student achievement data to plan for instruction will improve the capacity of school leaders in this key curriculum area. Teachers will also gain expertise in using explicit teaching strategies to support students who are not acquiring basic reading skills, and therefore increase the reading outcomes of their students.

Funding agency

WA Department of Education (The South East Education Network (SEEC)
Additional individual contributions from:

  • Yale Primary School;
  • Thornlie Primary School;
  • South Thornlie Primary School; and
  • Thornlie Secondary School.

Project duration

March 2016 – February 2017


Associate Professor Deslea Konza
Dr Susan Main

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