Site visit by philanthropic funders leads to increased literacy resources in Frankston North 

Students in Frankston North have increased access to literacy resources thanks to philanthropic funders.

How it began 

In May 2022, philanthropic partners of our Frankston North sites, The Ross Trust and RM Ansett Trust, undertook a site tour of both Frankston North primary schools. This visit allowed our philanthropic partners to directly see how their support was making an impact and meet with staff and students.  

During the site tour of Aldercourt Primary School, Assistant Principal Dan Steele, discussed the new evidence-based approach to phonics learning and teaching the school had introduced in late-2021. While discussing the early successes so far, Dan asked if there was the opportunity to apply for any funding to assist the school in progressing the approach. The Ross Trust could see the value in this important approach to learning and teaching and agreed to investigate further and explore possible opportunities for support. Our Place then facilitated a connection between the school and The Ross Trust so that further discussions could occur.  

Aldercourt Primary School submitted a proposal to The Ross Trust outlining the need for increased literacy resources, and how the program would be implemented. The Ross Trust, in collaboration with RM Ansett Trust, agreed to fund targeted resources to support the school’s literacy program.   

Making use of the funding 

This support to increase literacy resources for students has allowed the school to purchase over 850 decodable books to be used across the whole school. The resources are sequenced to progressively support and challenge students’ use of phonics, fluency and comprehension strategies and will be used with small groups of students and individuals across Foundation to Year 6.  

The funding has also allowed the school to purchase: 

  • Low Interest High Ability (LIHA) Decodable books: These help build reading fluency, vocabulary, background knowledge, and regain children’s interest in reading. 
  • ORIGO Big Books – Teachers will use these to engage students in learning and model the language needed to set up problem solving sessions and activities for students across Foundation to Year 4. 

It has taken a lot of coordination and a team of parent volunteers to enter the new books into the school system, handwrite codes on the inside covers of the books and cover every book to ensure their longevity. School and Educational Support staff have also spent a lot of time sorting and classifying the books according to levels. Training for educators to use the resources and support the school’s literacy program has also commenced as students have begun to use the new resources. 

Aligning with the Our Place Approach  

Our Place has identified an opportunity to extend the focus on literacy site-wide and will support parents to learn the teaching method so they can continue supporting their child’s education at home. Our Place Frankston North has also commenced conversations with Paint The Town REaD Ltd. and will be working in partnership to create a community-wide literacy movement. 

This article is also an example of the Our Place evidenced based element of High Quality Schooling in action. For more information about this element Click Here 

Being able to visit both primary schools was fantastic. Site visits really assist to connect Trustees with the work of Our Place and the opportunities and challenges in Frankston North

Meghan, The Ross Trust