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  • Contact details:
    Contact us through our website: Follow us on Facebook and Instagram Instagram Facebook
  • What are the Locations for your Reading Ready Groups?
    Albert Park: Gasworks Arts Park, Albert Park. 21 Graham Street, Albert Park VIC 3206 Elwood Elwood and St Kilda Neighbourhood Learning Centre 87 Tennyson St Elwood VIC 3184
  • Term Dates
    One class per week during school terms *These may be subject to change Closed on Public Holidays
  • Who runs the classes?
    Nat and Sarah are the Directors and Co- founders of SailAway Readers. Both are qualified primary school teachers who have a passion for Structured Literacy. Read more on the ‘who we are…’ page. All of our staff are qualified teachers who have specific training in teaching the SailAway Readers program. They are passionate, caring and a lot of fun. Everyone working withing SailAway Readers are qualified to do so and hold a current Working With Children Check (WWCC) and have up-to-date first aid training.
  • My child is already at kindergarten, will they learn anything new from coming to SailAway Readers?"
    Currently there is no expectation for Early Childhood Services to explicitly teach either phonological or phonemic awareness as part of the curriculum. Children learn so many important skills in the kinder setting, but classes can be large. Our classes run for one hour and we have a max of 8 children per session (there may be some exceptions to this). For this reason we have time to focus on explicit literacy teaching, differentiated for individual children. If we feel your child needs a little more support in any area, or extending with another aspect, the small numbers in our groups allow an educator to be able to do this. We provide lots of opportunities for school readiness skills, encouraging listening and speaking in turn, following instructions, fine motor skill development, developing independence and taking responsibility for belongings. Each week we select two ‘helping hands’ who have the responsibility of helping to set up the activities.
  • What will my child learn in Prep if they come to Reading Ready classes? Will they be bored?
    Not at all! We teach phonological awareness skills and the fundamental beginnings of synthetic phonics. We want children to enter school with confidence and have an understanding of the alphabetic code. Just like any code, children need to have the skills to crack it and we explicitly ensure there is no room for guessing! Recent studies across the world suggest that if children do not have the knowledge and skills needed to read by age 6, then the gap will widen as they progress through school. By allowing children access to explicit literacy instruction before they start school we hope that children can begin to see and feel success, developing a lifelong love of reading, writing and spelling.
  • What do you teach in the Reading Ready Group and why?
    Our three year old Reading Ready Groups focus on securing phonological awareness; introducing rhythm, rhyme, alliteration, movement and play. We incorporate explicit teaching of vocabulary, oral language and fine motor skills through multi-sensory activities. Our four year old Reading Ready Preschool Groups are designed to introduce your child to the fundamental beginning reading skills. We use an evidence based approach that uses rhythm, rhyme, movement and play to explicitly teach the letter-sounds. We develop fine motor skills for handwriting while helping your child to build a love of reading and writing, for life.
  • How many children are there in each session?
    Our groups work with a maximum of 8 children with one educator. We want to ensure our programme works at the pace of our learners and we move on when all the children have mastered each skill.
  • My child already sees a Speech Pathologist, will coming to SailAway Readers contradict what they do at speech therapy?"
    No, in fact we have had many referrals from local speech pathologists who feel that SailAway Readers complement the work that they are doing. Equally, if we notice your child is having significant difficulty with particular aspects of literacy in our literacy programme, we will approach you to discuss this and and make a referal. In order for children to proficiently read, write, and spell, they must develop phonological awareness skills. These skills help them understand that words are made up of sounds and that sounds are represented by letters. These skills are essential for reading and are often impaired in children with speech disorders, especially phonological disorders. Children with speech and language delays often have difficulty with literacy skills. Children who have difficulty pronouncing or understanding certain speech sounds may have difficulty with reading and writing those sounds, this can lead to trouble decoding and sounding out words. Our SailAway Readers sessions focusing on developing phonological awareness skills by incorporating the following... - Rhyming - Alliteration (same beginning sounds) -Compound words -Syllables - Letter-sound correspondences - Manipulating sounds in words - Identifying sounds at the beginning, middle and end of words.
  • If we didn’t start classes at the beginning of the year can we still join?
    Yes. Ideally children will start a Reading Ready group at the beginning of a term, however it is never too late to join us. We will discuss with you the most appropriate class to join depending on age, student numbers and your child’s confidence and skills.
  • Do you run sessions during the school holidays?
    No, not our SailAway Weekly Program. We know that lots of people commit to other activities, family time and holidays away during the school holidays. Children need time and space to process everything that they have been learning. As educators, and parents, we use this time to reflect on the learning within sessions, plan for the following term and spend time with our own families. However, we do host holiday programs that now have a local cult following! These are standalone programs designed for fun ( though are still choc full of literacy skills). Check our website and social pages for updates on holiday program sessions.
  • How do I pay for sessions?
    All bookings and payments can be made through our website.
  • My child receives financial support, can this be used for SailAway classes?"
    Allocation of funding is based on individual needs, we are more than happy to provide information required or liaise with your provider to support your request.
  • What is your cancellation policy?
    Please see this link for our policy.
  • Does my child need any special resources for class?
    Through our website we sell a one off ‘essentials pack’ that includes a copy of Milo’s Birthday Surprise, a Learning Journal (to remain on site at SailAway Readers), and a tote bag for $35. These resources support the learning taking place in our sessions.
  • Do you send work home for my child to practise?
    At the end of each session your child will leave with a piece of craft that they have completed. Have fun chatting through what they have done with them and offer lots and lots of praise. These experiences help to create a positive mindset for your children with regards to their learning and their achievements; ready for their journey to primary school! On joining SailAway, each child will receive a Learning Journal. These are kept at SailAway and can be viewed throughout the year. At the end of their year with us, or earlier if they can’t complete the whole program, they will be given to your child to take home. When we feel the children are ready, each child will take home an appropriate decodable reader to share with you at home. These are special books and you will receive more information about them when they get their first one. These are to be returned and swapped each week. There is a small charge on any book that is not returned at the end of the year to ensure our stock is replenished for all students.
  • Do parents stay with their children in the session?
    If required, parents are welcome to stay. However, we feel that allowing your child to learn away from you gives them independence and prepares them for school; developing this aspect of school readiness is another unique part of our programme. Most parents make the most of the hour, our locations are close to wonderful cafes and allow time for parents to recharge before the day continues. We often find children settle a lot quicker when they are confidently left by their parents and know that they will return at the end of the session.
  • If my child begins reading, where can I find suitable books?"
    Through completing the Reading Ready programme with us your child will learn the skills of segmenting and blending sounds - this is reading! We have a wide selection of sound appropriate decodable readers which your child can loan on a ‘library’ system to take home. Your child's teacher will discuss this with you when they feel your child is ready to take home a decodable book. We do highlight the importance of sharing quality literature with your child too; studies have found that young children who are read to and/or listen to audiobooks have a significantly increased vocabulary to those who do not.
  • My child is already at school, but is finding reading and writing difficult, can you help them?"
    We currently run various online and in-person, after school classes for school aged children, please contact us through our website to express an interest in these classes. Alternatively, we work 1:1 with a number of children across Victoria. These sessions take place within the school day and begin with a diagnostic assessment, they are generally reserved for children with specific learning needs. To find out more about these sessions please contact us through our website.
  • I think my child is dyslexic, can you help?"
    Both Nat and Sarah have completed professional learning in Specific Learning Difficulties, specifically Dyslexia. If you have any concerns for your child, or simply want further advice, please contact us directly
  • Why did you start SailAway Readers in the Port Phillip area?
    Nat and Sarah’s paths crossed whilst working 1:1 with children with specific learning difficulties at a local primary school. Through professional discussions they realised that they both felt passionately about The Science of Reading, Synthetic Phonics and Structured Literacy. Although they believed the 1:1 work they were doing with children was hugely beneficial and rewarding, they discussed how the cycle of being asked to work with children in Grade 2 and 3, who were falling behind their peers, could be prevented? How could children who needed intervention have access to specialist support before the gap widened? Sarah had completed her teacher training and 10 years of her teaching career in the UK, where literacy standards are internationally ranked higher than those in Australia. She had witnessed first hand the success of explicit teaching of phonics to children in their early years of school and was unsure why the same model wasn’t being taught in Australian schools? On discovering two of her four children also had specific difficulties with literacy, she decided to complete extensive training in multi-sensory learning, how to support and use strategies for learners with dyslexia, and began studying and learning about The Science of Reading through various professional development. Sarah started working with a number of children with dyslexia on a 1:1 basis, witnessing personal success with each of her students. Nat is a classroom teacher who wondered why reading success for her students was so random. She often felt there had to be a better way that could support ALL students toward reading success. She was in the early days of parenting her two children when she decided that returning to university to take a deeper look at reading instruction, as well as special and inclusive education, was a wise idea. Through research, post graduate study, a lot of professional development and returning to the classroom as a literacy intervention teacher, Nat learned about evidence-based practices designed to support ALL learners, the science behind reading instruction, and best practice for children with specific learning differences including dyslexia. SailAway Readers was born out of the strong belief that early literacy can be beneficial for learners before they even begin school. By introducing children to the explicit teaching of rhyme; rhythm; sounds and letters; using a multi-sensory, fun delivery can prepare children for the skills of learning to read, write and spell. At SailAway Readers we believe we bridge the gap between kinder and school, using evidence-based methods of literacy teaching. Our passion is evident in each of our classes. Due to increasing demand we are growing our classes in a range of locations. across Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula.
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