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Stage 1 Training Course Content

Learn how to use the Steps software programme and supporting workbook courses and game materials.

This course is suitable for primary or remedial teachers, teacher aides, literacy specialists, and any parents who want to be able to help their child with literacy.

Note:  This course has been revised to provide more time for practical teaching information and methodology.  There is now a separate course covering the theory of literacy development and neurological issues.  It is also expected that participants are reasonably familiar with the Steps software programme.  Attendees are advised to attend the Steps introduction presentation or watch the introductory video on the website and download the trial.

The course covers:

  • The programme structure, explaining the key components of the course
  • StepsWeb workbook courses
  • Teaching principles
  • Methodology
  • Different uses of Steps to support the curriculum
  • Planning, organisation and record keeping
  • Whole-class or whole-school options
  • Integrating remedial literacy with whole-school progression

Feedback from previous courses:

“Presentation of information was slick and very relevant.  I really enjoyed the fact that the resources are so user-friendly and useful for teacher programmes.  It was good that Ros showed us how easy the resources were to use and the fact that they weren’t only useful for one activity – could be used within programmes in different ways.  Finally it was good to have a programme that was based around the needs of New Zealand children.”    

D.  , RTLB

Course times are usually 9.30 am – 3.00 pm with a morning break and lunch.

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Stage 2 Training Course Content

For teachers, RTLB’s, teacher aides or tutors who are using the Steps software programme and workbook-based literacy courses.  The course is suitable for staff who have completed the Stage 1 training course and want to extend their knowledge of processing and perceptual skills, particularly phonological awareness, visual perception and memory.

The course will include

Discussion/question opportunity

  • Raise queries which are relevant to your school/institution/learners. 
  • Find out how other schools are using Steps
  • Opportunity to re-cap any areas you are not sure of
  • Revision of 3,3,3/Wordrace system


  • Introduction to new features of Steps
  • Advanced features – particularly customizing Steps for individuals or for your school.  Covers writing complete courses for your school or institution
  • Whole-school facilities, including ‘flipped classroom’ concept and how it applies to literacy
  • Supplementary teaching activities, including using the ‘alphabet rainbow’ and Resource Manual materials

Games and hands-on activities

  • Phonological screening.  Participants will be given screening and recording forms for use with their own learners
  • Using the Schools Gameset Pack.  Caution:  This will be ‘hands-on’!

Course times are usually 9.30 am – 3.00 pm with a morning break and lunch.

Literacy Development   

Understanding the significance of recent neurological evidence – work with the brain, not against it!

This course is suitable for primary or remedial teachers, teacher aides, literacy specialists, and any parents who want an insight into how our theories of literacy development link into recent research into neurological functioning.  It covers:

  • How literacy develops, covering common models, such as the ‘Three Phases of Literacy Development (Frith 1985) and the more recent ‘Five Big Ideas in Beginning Reading’ (USA National Reading Panel 2000).
  • How reading strategies change over the course of this development and why some learners struggle
  • Brief discussion of reading theory, covering phonics approach vs. whole-language and where there are still ‘gaps’
  • Neurological aspects, linking recent neurological research with strategies employed at different stages
  • The ‘Reading Ladder’ – discussion about the importance of strategic reading approaches
  • Catering for dyslexic learners and others with reading difficulties
  • Understanding the key processing/perceptual skills involved in literacy
  • Methodology,  with particular emphasis on struggling readers


Feedback from Learning Difference Convention, Sydney, August 2015:

“Thank you.  Best analysis of reading development I’ve ever heard.”

Joanna Westerink, Teacher, NSW

“Best presentation I’ve heard in a very long time.  Fascinating and clear explanation of links – has made me look at some of our struggling pupils in a new light.”

N.T. , Principal, Canberra

Courses usually run from 9.30 – 12.00 with a short break for morning tea.

Steps Presentation

Come and see NZ’s only major-level literacy software programme!

This is a chance for teachers, SENCOs, principals and RTLBs to see the Steps software programme and supporting resources.  The presentation will cover:

  • Presentation of the Steps software programme
  • Workbook courses and supporting games/activities
  • Overview of uses within a school or institution, including remedial literacy, whole-school applications and Māori content
  • Introduction to creating your own materials using Steps


RTLB Feedback from previous presentations:

Ros’s presentation was both useful and enlightening. It introduced us to a great new resource and reinforced some of the knowledge we had around students with learning differences. We have already shared what we learnt with some of our schools and can certainly see it being a very valuable targeted T/A programme that could be used support many of the learners on our rolls.”


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Learning Staircase Ltd,
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