Early Stage 1 Conference - Dynamic Learning for the First Year of School


Early Stage 1 Conference - Dynamic learning for the first year of school

This whole day conference will focus on the particular needs of students in their first year of schooling as they transition from the Early Learning Framework to the English and Mathematics syllabuses. Our goal for the first year of schooling is to teach students to become dynamic learners who are positive in attitude and full of energy and new ideas. Through the many options offered on the day teachers will gain an understanding of effective teaching in English. Developing mathematical concepts will be explored and ways to take learning outside as well as including music and movement will be considered. The emphasis of this conference is on dynamic learning.

There will be four speakers. All are experienced K-6 teachers. Mary-Ellen Betts, Sandra Rowan and Jenny Williams work as Educational consultants in a number of NSW schools. Jann Barry is currently teaching in an inner west school and has taught Early Stage One in a variety of settings.

The day will consist of a plenary talk: “Beginning with the end in mind” and a final session, ‘Where to next?’ The middle sessions will be elective sessions. Participants will be able to select three elective sessions across the day.

A. Sparking Joy – Teaching Reading

Presenter: Jenny Williams

The big picture in the teaching of reading is supporting students to read for meaning and understanding not just decode text. This workshop examines how to teach reading effectively so that students see themselves as readers and experience the joy of reading and viewing texts. Participants will examine the reciprocity between reading and writing and explore how to use the key processes of responding and composing in their teaching.

B. Playing into Literacy – Learning Centres

Presenter: Mary-Ellen Betts

Kindergarten should be a dynamic and creative year that establishes positive attitudes for all the students’ school years. It should also be fun. This workshop looks at the idea of learning centres that promote language and literacy development through play.

C. Maths is all around us. Connecting maths to everyday

Presenter: Sandra Rowan

Learning maths in kindergarten provides a solid foundation for all future understanding of mathematical concepts. Exploring maths in everyday life helps students understand why we learn maths. This practical workshop  will assist teachers to embed mathematics across the curriculum.

D. Taking Kindergarten Outside

Presenter: Jann Barry

Taking Kindergarten students outside for learning and play can quickly develop their confidence and emotional connection to their school. It also sows the seed for sustainability and learning across the curriculum. This workshop will examine how to safely explore the world of the playground and use outside spaces for activities such as developmental play, maths, science, geography and shared experiences for writing stimulus.

E. Setting up Your Room for Success

Presenter: Jenny Williams

Creating a community of learners involves thinking about the classroom space, what is displayed and the routines that are established. This workshop will explore how dynamic learning is enhanced when students feel a sense of independence and ownership in their learning space.

F. Dice, Hoops and Chairs

Presenter: Mary-Ellen Betts

Continuing the theme of dynamic learning in Kindergarten this workshop examines hands on and playful ways to teach grammar in the first year of school. Starting with quality literature, a range of hands on activities is shared to demonstrate the ease and importance of teaching grammar to our youngest learners while having fun!

G. Behaviour Management

Presenter: Sandra Rowan

Dynamic learners are independent, confident and self regulated. This doesn’t just happen. This workshop will examine how Kindergarten teachers play a crucial role in developing these characteristics. We will discuss practical ways to create a calm, dynamic learning space for all students.

H. Making Music and Movement Part of the Daily Routine

Presenter: Jann Barry

In this workshop participants will learn how  to use music, singing and movement as part of the  daily routine to create a sense of community in the  classroom, deepen knowledge and encourage creative thinking. Participants will be able to try out some simple music and singing activities that can used in English or maths as well as creative arts.


Completing a Early Stage 1 Conference – Dynamic Learning for the First Year of School conference will contribute 5 hours of NESA Registered PD addressing: 1.2.2, 2.5.2, 4.1.2, 6.2.2, 7.4.2, from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.

Target Participants

Teachers in DEC pre-schools: ES1 teachers and executive:

Teachers differentiating learning to meet student needs in Stage 1


There will be a plenary talk and a range of workshop sessions with some choice for participants. Discussion and sharing by participants will be a feature of the day.