What is the Literacy approach?

Centred on improving literacy outcomes, our Literacy approach will help us realise our goal of “every student a competent reader”. Teachers will be supported with professional learning, resources and instructional material focused on a Science of Reading evidence-based approach to teaching literacy to positively impact student outcomes.

What will teachers learn?

  • What the Science of Reading is and how this research impacts how we teach a child to read
  • How to embed an evidence-based pedagogy and curriculum resources to improve literacy outcomes for students

Evidence-based approach to teach reading

Research has identified five essential elements critical to the development of reading, known as the five components to reading –

  1. Phonological awareness
    The ability to identify and manipulate the distinct individual sounds in spoken words
  2. Phonics
    The ability to decode words using knowledge of letter-sound relationships
  3. Fluency
    Reading with speed and accuracy
  4. Vocabulary
    Knowing the meaning of a wide variety of words and the structure of written language
  5. Comprehension
    Understanding the meaning and intent of the text
  6. Oral Language (often referred to as the 6th component)

Teaching these elements systematically has been proven to drive positive student reading outcomes.


Our aim is for all schools across the Archdiocese to participate in an endorsed programs, these include

Literacy Intervention

With our focus on reading competency across all year levels, schools are also implementing evidence-based literacy intervention programs. These programs, which are intended in most cases to be temporary, are targeted for students who require some additional scaffolds, to be able to more effectively re-engage in the whole class literacy instruction.

Helpful Resources

Catalyst – Transforming Lives Through Learning

Sep 2022

Ross Fox, Director, Catholic Education, Archdiocese of Canberra & Goulburn together with teachers and Principals from across the system speak about the vision of Catalyst, its importance and the impact it is having on both teachers and students. Hear about the Science of Learning and the focus on the teacher, as the most important learner in the system. This video captures insights from St Thomas the Apostle Primary School, St Thomas More’s Primary School and St Mary MacKillop College.

Tags: Video, Leadership, Literacy, Science of Learning

Catalyst Knowledge Pack for Teachers

Nov 2021

A curated suite of articles, podcasts and webinars that provides teachers with core knowledge about the research that underpins Catalyst.

Tags: Reading, High Impact Teaching Practice, Leadership, Literacy

Advance Thinking Through Writing with Toni-Ann Vroom

Jan 2021

Learn how evidence-based writing instruction can be embedded across all subjects and years

Tags: Video, Catalyst Events, High Impact Teaching Practice, Literacy

Catalyst Knowledge Pack 1.0

Jan 2021

A suite of resources and readings that will give you a greater understanding of the foundational research and theories that underpin the Catalyst program

Tags: Reading, High Impact Teaching Practice, Leadership, Literacy, Low Variance Curriculum

Science of Reading Presentation by Pamela Snow

Nov 2020

Watch Pamela Snow’s presentation on the Science of Reading

Tags: Video, Catalyst Events, Literacy, Science of Learning


      • What is our Literacy approach?

        Our Literacy approach is based on the Science of Reading, which is a comprehensive body of knowledge on how students learn to read​.

        It is centred on improving literacy outcomes for all students, and will help us to achieve our boal goal “every student is a competent reader”.


      • What is a “competent reader”?

        According to the Simple View of Reading, reading comprehension is the combination of using both decoding and language comprehension skills.

        A student becomes competent at reading when they can use both of these skills to read and understand texts appropriate to their year level. This is true of every student across all  year levels.

      • What does this mean for K-2 students?

        All K-2 classrooms across CECG schools will implement an endorsed evidence-based literacy program. These programs teach Systematic Synthetic Phonics in structured lessons, which has been proven to drive positive student reading outcomes.

      • What is Systematic Synthetic Phonics?

        Research has identified five essential elements critical to the development of reading, known as the five keys to reading

        1. Phonological awareness
        2. Phonics
        3. Fluency
        4. Vocabulary
        5. Comprehension

        Teaching these elements systematically has been proven to drive positive student reading outcomes, creating the Systematic Synthetic Phonics (SSP) program.

      • What will be used to determine/assess what makes our students competent readers?

        Through the introduction of the DIBELS assessment tool and other reading based assessments in 2021, we can access more reliable data to inform our baseline level of reading across year levels.

        In the coming years, we will continue to use these assessment models to track improvement in reading outcomes.