Literacy Acquisition for Pre-Primary Students (LAPS)

What is LAPS

The Literacy Acquisition for Pre-primary Students (LAPS) program aims to help Kimberley schools achieve the best possible literacy outcomes for children in their first year of compulsory schooling. Pre-primary teachers and support staff in participating schools are upskilled in their teaching of reading and writing.  The LAPS approach is based on the successful Language, Learning and Literacy (L3) program from New South Wales and has been tailored in consultation with Kimberley schools to suit their unique needs.  The approach involves age-appropriate explicit teaching of reading and writing in context, including the use of small-group teaching such as guided reading and writing.  Working with students in a small group allows teachers to closely observe children’s learning and effectively cater for their needs, providing targeted, individualised support. LAPS acknowledges the culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds of students in the Kimberley.  We promote valuing students’ first language or dialect while aiming to achieve successful learning in Standard Australian English.







Schools’ participation in LAPS involves offsite training and ongoing onsite coaching for Pre-primary teachers by Waardi’s Early Years Literacy Specialists.  Onsite training is also offered to Pre-primary teaching assistants. Professional Learning focuses on upskilling teachers in specific literacy teaching procedures with an understanding of the underpinning theory of how childrenn learn to read and write.  Teachers are encouraged to use observa
tion and assessment of student learning to inform and enhance their teaching.  Participating schools also receive funding from Waardi to support their implementation of the program.

The History of LAPS

LAPS was initiated as a pilot program in 2014. A trial of the program began in 2015 and continued into 2016 and 2017.  LAPS partnered with Monash University to examine and report on the effectiveness of the program.  The published Monash University reports on the program and summaries of the reports can be accessed via the hyperlinks at the bottom of this page.

School’s Feedback

The feedback from schools has been overwhelmingly positive with many schools stating that the program has had a significant impact on students’ literacy learning in Pre-primary.  Teachers say the program has changed their practice and increased their confidence in teaching reading and writing.  Strengths of LAPS cited by teachers and administrators include the following:


  • the flexibility of the program;
  • the coaching approach;
  • the balance between explicit teaching and play-based learning;
  • the focus on individual students’ needs through small group teaching;
  • the resources provided; and
  • the opportunities for networking and professional dialogue with other teachers

This anecdotal feedback from schools is backed up by the reports on the program by Monash University.

LAPS Results

Effect size is a way of measuring the impact of teaching on student learning over a school year. According to John Hattie, teachers should aim for an effect size of 0.4 or higher to demonstrate they have added value to students’ learning.  An effect size of 0.6 or above is rated as excellent.  Students participating in LAPS were assessed at the beginning and end of the year in their Reading Level, Phonological Awareness (the ability to hear sounds in words) and their understanding of Concepts about Print. Based on this data Monash University calculated the effect sizes in these three areas.  As indicated in the graphs below, the effect size for students’ learning across all areas assessed demonstrated excellent progress.




To find out more about the LAPS program, please contact Waardi and ask to speak to our Education and Training Coordinator, Maree Gaffney.

Literacy Acquisition for Pre-primary Students Report on the First Year of Implementation

For a brief summary of the report, please click on the link below:

LAPS 2015 Report Summary

Literacy Acquisition for Pre-primary Students Report on the Second Year of Implementation

For a brief summary of the report, please click on the link below:

LAPS 2016 Report Summary

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