Western Port Learning Guarantee has come on leaps and bounds since its humble and inauspicious beginnings in 2018. With very significant donor support and courageous educational leaders who are not afraid to be wrong, the work has grown momentum that is powering along.

Initially starting with two primary schools and the secondary, WPLG focused on the low levels of literacy and readiness for secondary transition in the upper primary students. With the great learnings from No Limits, leading to the adoption of the Science of Learning and the understanding of the importance of systematic synthetic phonics as a basis for reading and writing, teachers are beginning to turn things around so more and more children are reaching expected reading levels in their journey through primary school.

All three schools have trained most of their staff in Sounds Write, a systematic synthetic phonics program that equips teachers with the skills to ensure all children have the foundations for literacy by the time they finish year 2. For those children in the upper years who missed out on these, additional support is required, and that is the essence of Learning Enhancement, the upper primary program.

In 2023 two more primary schools will join the WPLG Learning Enhancement program. Wallaroo and Hastings Primary will join Crib Point and Tyabb Railway Station Primaries. This will mean all the main feeder schools for Western Port Secondary will be using the same approach to literacy teaching, they will have regular community of practice sessions and share resources and learnings. It’s an exciting time as the evidence shows and more and more children are on track as they enter secondary school.

In addition, exciting things are happening for Elevate, the secondary program addressing very high rates of disengagement. Deloitte Access Economics has provided outstanding pro bono support to assist the team with a monitoring and evaluation framework and documentation to translate what they are doing and seeing on the ground into materials that can be more widely understood and disseminated – a crucial step in advancing this work.

MPF is very excited to continue to expand the reach for our Peninsula communities so they have access to high level support that can amplify their work.