Balga Literacy

Reporter: Andrea Burns

This whole class at Balga Senior High School used to struggle to read or write. These days, not only can they do it, they also enjoy it.

When it came to reading, fourteen year old Ryan Bucar was below standard and now, within one school term he's reading at university level.

Craig Henderson devised the programme that many claim is turning lives around.

It's called The Sound Way. The former teacher is now exporting the programme around the world. He came up with it after he was allocated a class of remedial students. Despite many years teaching experience, conventional lessons weren't getting through. Craig found focussing on sounds first, changed that.

He believes learn all the ways a sound might be spelt and you can read.

"If you have a word say like institution, in-sti-tu-tion. Break it down into syllables. Now remember, this is done sequentially. How hard is that? In, i-n, sti, s-t-i, tu, t-u, tion, s-h-o-n…institution. So words aren't really hard. They're just a series of sounds" says Craig.

It even improves handwriting.

Literacy curriculum facilitator at Balga Senior High School, Liesl O'Keefe admits she was sceptical at first, but the results changed her mind.

School Principal, Jeff Harris says he's thrilled to see kids who were once left behind, getting back on track and they in turn, are able to help their families.

Craig Henderson claims results are equally impressive with adults who can't read and also people who are dyslexic or have learning difficulties.

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