A Principal making strides in student literacy

Principals are tasked with an engrossing range of commitments and issues and teaching is usually no longer part of that schedule.

But St Charles’ Catholic Primary School Ryde Principal Peter Watkins said there are three reasons why he carves out time to take part in his school’s Reading Recovery program.

“The biggest thing is that it gives you the opportunity to work with infant grades, it supports the teachers, and it gives you credibility with your staff,” said Mr Watkins.

At St Charles’ students with the weakest literacy levels (those in the lowest 10-20% of the class) in Year 1 currently take part in Reading Recovery at their school.

Mr Watkins the students receive one on one support from Kindergarten to Year 2 teachers for each day of the school week for half an hour.

They stay with the program for 12-16 weeks.

Reflecting on his choice to become a Reading Recovery Teacher, he said if you’re talking about literacy with staff you also have a background in it, and staff are aware of your work and acknowledge it.


Kylie Bertram, Reading Recovery St Gertrude’s

“If you have a real core breadth of experience in different areas of Teaching and Learning then staff understand and are willing to take on the vision you have,” said Mr Watkins.

Reading Recovery Teacher at St Gertrude’s Catholic Primary School Smithfield, Kylie Bertram, said her role not only supports and develops the children’s literacy, she also learns strategies that she can take back to her classroom.

“I am also studying a Master of Religious Education at ACU, and Reading Recovery is helping me with an alternative experience in leadership,” said Ms Bertram.

Reading Recovery is targeted at Year 1 students and encourages parents to be actively involved by listening to their children read at home, they can also contact their child’s Reading Recovery Teacher to discuss progress.

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