Staff at Parramatta Marist High School (NSW), Como Secondary College (WA), Parafield Gardens High School (SA) and East Loddon P–12 College (Vic) discuss how they select staff and deliver training to support an MTSS framework aligned with AERO’s guidance.
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Duration: 4:52


Prue Dawson, Diversity Coordinator, Parramatta Marist High School: I think our school’s been successful in implementing tiered interventions because we have taken a team approach. It hasn't been just the support staff that have worked in this area. We have brought everybody with us.

Mileva Tubbs, Head of Learning Support Program, Como Secondary College: At the college, we have a number of staff who work in the Intensive Learning Team program, and each has a really crucial role to play in the intervention.

Kathryn Lawrenson, Diversity Teacher, Paramatta Marist High School: All of us have had experience working with students that require more support. There’s one diversity teacher on each year, and then we've got teachers' assistants as well.

Beth Pontifex, English Coordinator, Parafield Gardens High School: There's a massive group of us that all work really closely together to make our tiered intervention happen. My role as the English coordinator looks at the systems and structures, the staffing, timetabling. Then we have our literacy lead teacher, who plans the actual curriculum and lesson planning. Our senior speech pathologist and her work really closely on that together. Our inclusive education assistant principal helps in identifying those students and making sure that they're getting what they need. Then we obviously have a lot of support from our deputy and our principal in running programs like this.

Steven Leed, Principal, East Loddon P–12 College: The actual tiered intervention itself is largely led by a literacy learning specialist and 2 of our senior English teachers as well. They're all fantastic operators, really good at their craft. We've also tried to involve a lot of our primary school teachers as well, who have got generalist backgrounds, but also very strong in the literacy area. We need those really high-level operators that can lead programs like this and actually bring people on board.

Digby Mercer, Principal, Como Secondary College: It's important that the teacher is very competent, but also very willing to learn new skills, and has to be a teacher who has the appropriate training. A teacher who can create that warm, welcoming classroom environment where that student's going to feel safe, where it's okay to make a mistake, and where they're going to experience success maybe for the first time in their school life.

Kirsty Amos, Principal, Parafield Gardens High School: We have a literacy lead teacher, we have an English coordinator, we have the speech pathologist and we also have a deputy principal. So those people meet regularly and they discuss things like: how is the program going? Are there any modifications needed? What is it that the broader staff are doing really well? Are there specific people that need support?

Mileva Tubbs: We meet very regularly and we know it's crucial to assess student progress at least every 5 weeks as a team. And that collaboration will look like very collaborative discussions, usually about data. So, we're looking at the progress that students are making using the interventions.

Stasha Demosthenous, Literacy Lead Teacher, Parafield Gardens High School: So, we've engaged in a range of professional development to support with the implementation of our intervention programs. We've also upskilled our teachers in their knowledge and understanding of morphology and morphology instruction. I've done a lot of work on morphology over the years and been supporting our staff with it. We've also been upskilling our teachers in their ability to explicitly teach vocabulary. And we as a whole school have been undergoing training and development on just how important vocab and morphology are for our students, particularly in their reading.

Prue Dawson: I have staff from both high school and primary-based training, so they've all needed to be able to implement the intervention with fidelity. So, they needed to have a really good understanding of the pedagogy around the science of reading and how our intervention fitted in with that. If they understand why a student might struggle with their reading, I think they're much better at being able to support them in the classroom.

Tina Brunton, Diversity Teacher, Parramatta Marist High School: Coming into a literacy intervention program, from being a trained English high school teacher, I had to learn a lot because the assumption is that they can read when you get them, and that's not the case. Having the support of a really great team who are primary teachers works really well.

Prue Dawson: High school teachers aren't necessarily trained in how to teach reading, so we needed a program that would be able to support them as well. So, we picked a program that ticked those boxes for us and it came with a training package. So, any staff that were involved in the implementation of the intervention were trained in that intervention program.

Keywords: multi-tiered system of supports