“So many children being helped in so many ways beyond their literacy development. I see so clearly just in my little group how improving their skills and confidence in this area flows on to their everyday attitude and endeavor. How wonderful for you to know you have been pivotal in not only changing the lives of so many children, but also educators who will go on doing their jobs better for years to come. I only wish you had come along earlier in my career!”

Literacy teacher in the No Limits Program

Education

Data from our schools shows the current systems in education and preschool learning are not meeting the needs of our children such that they can achieve at expected levels.

This means as our children grow into adult years they have major barriers to successfully engaging in the labour market.

Over the last fours years MPF has supported a growing group of pre, primary and secondary schools to make significant changes to their teaching practices and whole system operations.

Fundamental to these changes has been the beginning of the implementation of the Science of Learning, including systematic synthetic phonics.

This change was instigated by the introduction of No Limits, a community led response to low rates of oral language in children in preschool and the early school years.

No Limits started in 2019 as an external intervention provided by speech therapists, but over the years it has become a systemic change in which schools and preschools are reassessing their approaches to teaching and specifically the teaching of oral language and literacy

 

 

 

 

 Results so far have been outstanding with wonderful outcomes for children including their rapidly improved oral language skills which enable them to understand what is going on in the classroom, participate in class activities, feel part of the class, form relationships and friendships, sometimes for the first time, succeed in learning and grow in confidence.

Teachers have embraced the new practices. Schools have moved at different rates, with some adopting a complete transformation from one practice to the other, while others are taking it more slowly, navigating the numerous elements of change.

As we work towards the end of year four, we are planning with the preschools and schools ways to build on the great work done to date and sustain the changes going forward.

A great network is developing, with a strong sense of purpose and momentum. Our donors have been incredible in supporting this massive change which truly has the potential to break the cycle of disadvantage on the Mornington Peninsula.

The Western Port Learning Guarantee (WPLG)

The WPLG is an every evolving initiative created and pursued by visionary and dedicated educational leaders in the Western Port region. 

It has grown from their belief that all children and young people should have access to high quality education and that in order to provide this, the system needs to change. 

MPF is proud to support this work that links together a series of initiatives that ensure no child falls through the cracks.

  • No Limits focuses on oral language and literacy in the early years (kinder – year 2);
  • Music is for all primary school students in the four primary schools;

 

  • Learning Enhancement focuses on literacy and wellbeing years 3 – 6;
  • Elevate builds an inclusive school and concentrates on attendance, retention and completion in secondary school.

No Limits and Music are in operation at Tyabb Railway Station, Crib Point, Wallaroo, Hastings and Tootgarook Primary Schools. 

Learning Enhancement is currently at Tyabb Railway Station and Crib Point Primary Schools.

Elevate at Western Port Secondary College.

WPLG works closely with the Family Support Service at Western Port Community Support Centre as a crucial partner in this community wide, community driven, place based initiative. 

No Limits

No Limits is changing the way preschool and primary school teachers and educators teach oral language and literacy. 

  • Primary Schools: Eastbourne, Tootgarook, Mornington Park, Hastings, Crib Point, Tyabb Railway Station, Wallaroo
  • Kinders: Community Kinders Plus (Tyabb, Hastings, Wallaroo, Crib Point, Mornington Park), Seawinds Community Hub and Tootgarook
  • Speech Pathology Partner: Peninsula Speech Plus
  • Evaluation Partners in 2022: Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and University of Melbourne
  • Donors: Bertalli Family Foundation, Collier Charitable Foundation, RM Ansett Trust, Zagora Foundation, Bowness Family Foundation, Grace and Emilio Foundation, Sentinel Foundation, SALT Impact, Ross Trust, Allan and Kate Gibson Family Foundation, Johnstone Family Foundation

No Limits began as speech therapy intervention. Some schools have reviewed their whole approach to teaching oral language and literacy. Each school is different, but the fundamental commitment to the Science of Learning is driving the changes the program was set up to address. Results are incredibly impressive.

This work is flowing directly into the Learning Enhancement program in Western Port and our work with Rosebud Secondary College.

Megan Ingram
Director of Peninsula Speech Pathology,
MPF Partner in No Limits

Tina Coumbe
Principal, Crib Point Primary School

Jill Oborn and Stacey Hidasi
Preschool educators at Tyabb Preschool

The Learning Enhancement Program (LEP)

  • Schools: Western Port Secondary College, Tyabb Railway Station Primary School, Crib Point Primary School
  • Donors: Helen Macpherson Smith Trust, Ross Trust, Igniting Change, Mellett Family Foundation
  • Community Partner: Western Port Community Support Centre

The Learning Enhancement changes teaching practices and engagement with community services to support all children to be at expected levels in literacy and numeracy when transitioning from primary to secondary school.

The program involves

  • assessment and targeted intervention in literacy using evidence based synthetic phonics;
  • a consistent whole school response to intervention and
  • a coordinated response to child trauma and family stress in partnership with local family services.

The initiative involves the appointment of two additional staff members: the Learning Coordinator and the Wellbeing Coordinator. Both are based at the Secondary School, but outreach two days per week to the two participating primary schools. 

Elevate

  • Participating School: Western Port Secondary College
  • Major donor: Hugh D. T. Williamson Foundation

Elevate uses systematic synthetic phonics to bridge gaps in literacy, trauma informed teaching practice and a commitment to school wide inclusion.

 

Students work at the Elevate House, which is separate to mainstream classes, but on the school campus. They are supported by dedicated staff  to work through individual learning programs with the aim of transitioning back into mainstream.

MPF is hugely grateful to the Hugh D. T. Williamson Foundation for magnificent support of this program in 2020 and 2021 and for continuing this in 2022 towards sustainability.

Music

  • Schools: Western Port Secondary College, Crib Point Primary, Tyabb Railway Station Primary, Wallaroo Primary, Hastings Primary
  • Donor: Life Fitness Australia Ltd

The MPF Music program integrates into the Western Port Learning Guarantee by networking four of the feeder primary schools with the Secondary College.

 

The music teacher is based at the Secondary College, and outreaches four days a week to four different primary schools.

The program teaches the children the language of music. It brings schools together in combined choirs and productions and supports students in their transition from primary to secondary.

We are sincerely grateful to Life Fitness Australia for enabling the establishment of this program and its continuation in 2022.

MPF Scholarships

Since 2017 MPF has partnered with St Vincent de Paul Rye Chapter  to build the MPF Scholarships Program.

Annual scholarships of $500 are awarded to students transitioning from year 6 to year 7 and for students in years 10, 11 and 12.

 

Over 250 scholarships have been awarded to date, funded generously by a number of donors, with our founding donors, the Grace and Emilio Foundation and the Sentinel Foundation remaining part of the program continuously. Sincere thanks to these two foundations and all of our donors who make this possible.

Rosebud Education

We are excited to be beginning a three year formal partnership with Rosebud Secondary in 2022 and integrating this with our work with local primary schools, Eastbourne and Tootgarook.

Again with a focus on literacy and a phonics based approach, we will be working closely with these schools to address the underlying oral language issues in the early years, the learning and wellbeing in upper primary and literacy and engagement in early secondary.

MPF is a Public Benevolent Institution with Deductible Gift Recipient Item 1 tax status. All donations are tax deductible. As all operational costs are covered by the George Hicks Foundation, 100% of donations are distributed as community grants.