Goodness gracious, it’s been a busy year! We’ve been hard at work with our wonderful clients, helping them to achieve their best at school through developing such skills as systematic phonics instruction, structured language intervention, evidence based written expression approaches and targeted support in numeracy. We love working with the students and parents. We strive to make this evident in every single one of our sessions. The team meets fortnightly to share evidence based strategies and innovative ideas (not to mention eating copious amounts of cake) to ensure that we continue to deliver the highest quality services to our students.
Whilst our traditional sessions have been running, we’ve also been implementing the SKILL (Supporting Knowledge in Language and Literacy) Program at Fitzroy Primary and Sacred Heart School, both located in Fitzroy. This program was generously funded by the City of Yarra and aims to address the high incidence of children with low levels of communication and language skills in the Fitzroy area. We are very proud of our work in this space and have just applied for funding again for next year, such has been the success of the programs at school. Fingers crossed we receive it and can continue to deliver Response to Intervention (RTI) Tier 2 programs to students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds next year.
In addition to this, we are also running two programs at Fitzroy High. Thanks must go to the tireless work of Linda Mitchell and her staff who have helped get these programs up and running. Identified students in Year 7 attend a Word Study group on Monday afternoons to support their spelling acquisition. This program has been ably supervised by Teri Sibson, one of our talented SLPs at Gameplan. The students have been working on developing letter sound correspondences, phonemic awareness, morphology and vocabulary skills through lots of games, interactive activities and, of course, evidence based approaches. The second program, run by Saskia Bissland, special educator extraordinaire and one of our most experienced staff members, aims to support Year 9 and 10 students with their written expression skills. Both programs have been very successful and we are so appreciative of the opportunity provided to us by Fitzroy High to deliver RTI Tier 2 programs to students.
We are also THRILLED to announce that, in conjunction with the Department of Education’s School Focused Youth Service and Thornbury High School, we will be implementing a writing skills program for identified students in Years 8 and 9 this term. This program, run by Saskia Bissland and supported by the wonderful Lisa Dunne at Thornbury High starts this week and will run for the rest of the year. Based on evidence based approaches to written expression, we aim to support students, their parents and teachers, to develop skills so that students can experience success with their assessment tasks at school and get prepared to manage the writing demands of VCE. Thanks to the incredible Sally Ball at SFYS for supporting this initiative.
Our work with the AFL continues on and we love the fast-paced energy, the teamwork and the enthusiasm of the club environment, not to mention the motivated athletes who are keen to make the most of their AFL experience!
Finally, we've completed the annual review of our service fees, taking into careful consideration our fees compared to those charged by similar practices, the value that Gameplan provides and our initiatives to ensure the ongoing delivery of best practice intervention. The new fees will apply from Term 3 to 30 June 2018 and a detailed schedule (including payment options) is available available for download.
Unfortunately for new clients, we’ve become fully booked this term and now have a 'waiting list'. If you'd like you add your details to our waiting list please contact our lovely Business Services champion Carolyn Darke at firstname.lastname@example.org or 03 9417 3099.
So, all in all, what an amazing year so far. But it ain’t over yet! I am putting the finishing touches on my presentation for the LSTAQ conference in Brisbane later in the year, where I’ll be talking about my passion for narrative language and its potential to develop language and literacy skills in school aged children across the age spectrum. If you feel like a little trip in September to see some amazing presenters and soak up some beautiful Brisbane weather (yasssss!!!) please let me know so we can meet up for a coffee.
Keep in touch with all our comings, goings, tips and information on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Gameplanedu/.
Please continue to let me know how we can continue to improve our services to you. Your feedback, the positive and the not so positive (constructive), is essential to ensure that we continue to strive to be the best language, literacy and learning practice in Melbourne.