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SharpReading In-School Support

In-School Support

A Better Way for Professional Development

We have many miles of experience in getting staff on board with a new teaching approach, making sure the implementaion across the school is accurate and ensuring you get longevity for your investment. Once you have decided that this is the teaching approach you want to implement in your school, we will make it happen.

Positive Outcomes from SharpReading In-School Support
  • A very practical approach ensures that teachers make strong connections between theory and practice 
  • Immediate transfer of new ideas into classroom practice - in-class support means teachers get the coaching they need to make it happen with THEIR kids as quickly as possible.
  • Teachers are empowered - we get overwhelmingly positive feedback from teachers about the usefulness of in-class sessions ("best PD ever!") 
  • We train up SharpReading Trainers within your school to carry on the legacy. 
  • The training model is a great vehicle for developing professional dialogue and open classrooms


1. Start-Up Workshop - laying the foundation
A Start-Up Workshop gives us a chance to pass on the important points of difference in the SharpReading approach and introduces teachers to the all important teaching routines.

2. In-Class Support - establishing the routines
Within two weeks of the iinitial workshop (the sooner the better) we make a start on in-class support. A SharpReading trainer spends an hour in each teacher's classroom making sure that the teacher is underway with the guided reading routine. This usually involves modelling the routine with the teacher's own students and shared teaching with the classroom teacher. This ensures that the way ahead is crystal clear for everyone involved.

3. In-Class Support - Round 2
A second round of in-school support is scheduled for 6-10 weeks later. This usually starts with an observation of the classroom teacher to see how well the programme has been bedded in then more modelling or shared teaching as is required to firm up any areas that the teacher needs further coaching in.

4. In-Class Support - Round 3 - Identifying SharpReading Trainers in the School
In the third round of in-class support, we are usually able to identify teachers who have the qualities and the interest in becoming SharpReading Trainers within the school. This is a most important step towards a school becoming independent and the SharpReading Programme becoming self sustaining. During this round our focus shifts from the classroom teachers to training the in-school trainers to take over our role in the classroom.

SharpReading Schools
Our experience tells us that a realistic expectation is that it takes three years of support for a school to become an accredited SharpReading School - a school that has the programme embedded in all classrooms, where all teachers who have been in the school for more than a year are accredited SharpReading teachers, and SharpReading Trainers within the school who are providing ongoing support for existing teachers, train up new teachers and can monitor the delivery of the programme school-wide.
What do the principals and literacy leaders think?
SPREYDON SCHOOL -  Rick Wardrop, Principal
We needed a common approach to reading instruction in our school and SharpReading presented itself as the ideal package for achieving this. Eighteen months into the training we are delighted with the results and now have established this as our 'sacred ground' for reading instruction.Already we are seeing the benefits for teachers and students in every classroom.The two designated SharpReading Trainers from our staff are well on the way to being accredited in this role which is will ensure that the integrity of the programme is maintained. Our goal is to to achieve SharpReading School status next year and we are working with Brian and Hilton to become an accredited SharpReading Training School here in Christchurch sometime in the near future - a very exciting prospect for us all.  
MEDBURY SCHOOL - Claudia Pennell, Literacy Leader
This year we took up Hilton's offer for in-school support. This involved a presentation at our TOD, short 1 hour workshops with clusters of teachers followed up by observations of the teachers implementing the routines in classrooms.
This has been brilliant because it has forced us all to make a start and 'do it' in the midst of a very busy programme. It has been a bit of an eye-opener to see how we all unintentionally put a different spin on the same thing. Having Hilton as an external moderator has really helped to get consistency with the routines as they are a key to the delivery. Once teachers have that sorted it frees up the planning and 'teaching' and allows us to really zero in on monitoring how the students are processing text.

The SharpReading feedback model is very non-threatening and teachers have found it so useful to identify the things that are going well and the things to work on. Following Hilton around and being part of the observations and feedback has been wonderful PD for me as the literacy leader and is helping the school to develop healthy professional dialogue about our teaching practice.
Australian International School, Hong Kong

Cameron Reed, Dean of Studies (Primary)
Our Primary Division embraced SHARP Reading because it was easy to understand, simple to implement and helped us create a common language from P-6. SharpReading gives every child in your class the opportunity to be an active participant and every student an opportunity to have a go at interpreting what they are reading and then receive immediate feedback. Brian and Hilton were very proactive in developing a Professional Development program that suited our school community. We look forward to continuing to work with SharpReading to ensure our students understand the process and benefit from it.

Greatest Benefits (Cameron)            Progress in the Junior School (Erin)          Value for Money? (Cameron)

Shen Wai International School, Shenzhen  
Fiona Johnstone, Principal

The SharpReading In-School Training model model is an extremely effective way of implementing a whole school pedagogical approach to reading, ensuring consistency and continuity across all Grade levels. Prior to their first visit, Hilton and Brain invested some time in researching the context of our school, as well as the teaching and learning needs of our students, so that they could design a programme that would best support our teachers. 

The Start-Up workshops were very focused and gave teachers a clear understanding and experience of the routines. Following this, the teachers were able to implement the strategies and routines in the classroom with personal support and feedback from either Brian or Hilton. Multiple opportunities were provided for teachers to rehearse the routine and move through a reflection and feedback process. Brian and Hilton have now trained In-School SharpReading Trainers who are equipped to conduct ongoing observations of the teachers and give them objective feedback. 

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