Teachers Certificate Course 20162018 Certificate Course for Teachers of Students with Specific Learning Difficulties

Learning Difficulties (L.D) can include Reading issues / Dyslexia, Writing issues / Dysgraphia, Maths issues / Dyscalculia, Attention issues / ADHD and many more..

This SPELD NSW course will provide up-to-date, research-based information concerning the acquisition of literacy and numeracy skills. 

It has been designed for:

  • Teachers of students who have learning difficulties
  • Mainstream classroom teachers who wish to update their teaching skills
  • Anyone wishing to become a SPELD NSW tutor

This course will be run on 6 weekends between May and September, 2018.

The 2018 TCC is now full. You can register your interest for 2019 intake by emailing

Teachers Certificate Course 2018 Info. and App. Form (PDF)


Norma Cowper Scholarship (applications close 30th March 2018)

A scholarship for a Department of Education Teacher from a NSW Regional area to undertake the 2018 course. Scholarship will cover costs of travel and accommodation and provide a meal allowance for the six weekends of the course. It does not include the Registration Fee.

CLICK HERE for more information on the scholarship.



The purpose of this course is to provide opportunities for participants to learn how to:

  1. Select assessment and diagnostic methods and tools which are consistent with their purpose(s);
  2. Search for, and evaluate, research on spelling, early reading, comprehension, written expression and numeracy acquisition and instruction;
  3. Identify instructional programs whose effectiveness has been empirically demonstrated; derive principles from these to guide the evaluation and, where necessary, the supplementation, of commonly used instructional programs and materials;
  4. Construct instructional programs for learners with special needs, based on the findings of the literature search;
  5. Measure the effectiveness of instructional procedures in reading and spelling used with learners with special needs.

Learning Experiences

Participants will experience learning in this course through the following methods: lecture, small group activities, quizzes, class discussions, individual readings.

tutors needed
Target Audience  

  • Literacy tutors
  • Support teachers
  • K-6 primary school teachers
  • Secondary School literacy teachers

Topics each weekend (and 2018 dates)

  • Introduction – 5th & 6th May
  • Spelling – 26th & 27th May
  • Reading – 23rd & 24th June
  • EAL/D, Grammar, Written Expression – 28th &29th July
  • Numeracy – 25th & 26th August
  • YARC & Speech Path., Graduation – 15th & 16th September


  • 9.00 am – 4.00 pm Saturdays
  • 9.00 am – 3.00 pm Sundays


Mantra Parramatta


$2900.00 (incl. GST). Individual membership worth $70 is included.

Costs have been kept as low as possible in line with SPELD NSW’s commitment to support teachers in their professional development.

Participants will receive

Handouts each weekend
Booklet of research papers for prescribed readings
A wide range of teaching materials/samples
Morning tea and a lunch each day


Participants will be required to read supplied research papers each fortnight in preparation for the upcoming weekend, and complete two major assignments; A case study, including a teaching journal and a 1000 word research paper on early literacy reading.



NESA Endorsed Provider

Completing The Certificate Course for Teachers of Students with Specific Learning Difficulties will contribute 66 hours of QTC Registered PD addressing 1.1.2, 1.2.2, 1.3.2, 1.5.2, 2.1.2, 2.5.2, 3.2.2, 4.1.2, 5.4.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.



tutors neededTeachers Certificate Course 2018 Info. and App. Form (PDF)


“It was my privilege to attend the six weekend course at Sydney last semester.

Over many years I’ve completed many hours of Professional Development and I can without hesitation say that the recent SPELD NSW course I completed was by the far the best I’ve ever attended. I looked forward to each weekend and always came away with new ideas, resources, contacts and an excitement to implement change.  The speakers were all highly experienced and credentialed, always providing practical and essential training to further successful intervention. 

It was great to form friendships with other teachers from various sectors all whom shared a passion to assist the struggling student.

The assignments tasks were relevant and enabled clarification of learning needs and additionally, in depth evaluation of teaching methodologies and process.

It is my pleasure to highly recommend this course.”

Lyn Maxwell, 2014 T.C.C. Graduate
Trinity Anglican College, Albury/Wodonga.

“Certificate Course for Teachers of Children with Specific Learning Difficulties was without doubt the most practical and inspiring professional development program I have undertaken.  Experts in their various fields shared the latest research and best practice models to enhance the learning outcomes of our students. Meeting over six weekends with a group of highly motivated people was also a plus.  Everyone benefited from each other’s skills and experiences. 

I would highly recommend this course for new and ‘old’ teachers alike.”

Nadine Cooke, 2015 T.C.C. Graduate
Danebank Anglican School for Girls, Hurstville.

“I recently completed the SPELD NSW Certificate course for teachers of students with specific learning difficulties. The course was wonderful it included hands on activities, resources, recommended readings and research, highly skilled and passionate teachers/instructors.

I added many ideas and strategies to my classroom in 2016 and noticed a dramatic improvement in all my students not just those with specific learning needs. If you are passionate about helping every student in your class I highly recommend this course..”

Deborah Peters, 2016 T.C.C. Graduate
Teacher at NSW Department of Education and Communities.

“I strongly recommend this course to all teachers at all levels of experience. Provided me with the skills to
confidently make changes to my teaching methods in order to better meet the needs of my students.”

Clare Karlis, 2017 T.C.C. Graduate
Special Needs Teacher – St Therese Primary School


Course Educators

Lin Meeks M.A. (Spec. Ed), B.A., Grad. Dip. Ed.

Lin is the Convenor of the Certificate Course for Teachers of Students with Specific Learning Difficulties. Currently, Lin is a PhD candidate at Macquarie University, researching the preparation of primary and early childhood pre-service teachers to teach evidence-based early literacy skills. Lin will be presenting the Spelling and Comprehension weekends.


Kate Gurjian BA Ed.Grad Dip Ed (ECS) Grad Cert Ed (Learning Difficulties)

Kate describes herself as a disruptor. It was her unwillingness to sit by and watch children fail, when a classroom teacher, and to challenge the status quo, that motivated her to establish Time to Shine, carving out a niche in the education of children.

“I will not stand idly by and wait for a child to fail, nor will I tolerate teaching practices that fly in the face of proven science. So I decided not to move the behemoth that is the ‘system’ – instead I chose to do it myself.”

Previous to Time to Shine, Kate had worked for two decades as a primary teacher, early childhood educator, special needs practitioner, a published author, head of department and principal. In addition, has qualifications in Education, Early Childhood and Learning Difficulties.

For Kate, teaching children well holds the key to students’ current success, happiness and future outcomes. Every child everywhere should expect to be taught well. Kate will be presenting the Reading weekend.



Sally Robinson-Kooi B.Ed. (TESOL), Diploma of Teaching (Primary)

Sally is currently a Doctoral candidate at Edith Cowan University where she is conducting research on explicit instruction in components of literacy. She is an independent literacy and TESOL consultant providing NESA accredited professional development to teachers in primary schools. She has worked with diverse socio-economic groups and NESB cultures in Australia and overseas and is trained in working with indigenous communities.

In Victoria and NSW she taught both mainstream and EAL/D students in primary schools. At Macquarie University, she taught units on professional development, early literacy and ESL on the program for undergraduate primary teachers. Sally has published in Practically Primary on Grammar and Text Types. Sally will be presenting a half day on EAL/D, LDS or both and a half day on Grammar in Texts.


Toni Hopper Dip Ed MEd PhD MACE

Toni has over 30 years teaching experience. Toni has taught in Undergraduate courses in Education at both UTS and Wollongong University in Special education courses. For the last 9 years she has been a part time lecturer at Macquarie University where she has taught across a number of Units offered in postgraduate special education courses. She has been a reviewer for submissions to several peer reviewed journals and has written several of the MUSEC Briefings.

Toni is an independent educational advisor with a busy practice working with a wide range of students their parents and schools concerning students with special educational needs. Toni is a member of Australian College of Education and The Australian Association of Special Education and a Life member of SPELD NSW.

Toni has a special interest in numeracy and literacy and education for those working with children with special education needs. Toni will be presenting Day 1 of the Maths weekend.


Samantha Hornery PhD

Samantha is a primary and special education teacher who has worked in school and community settings teaching, developing, and managing educational programs for students with learning difficulties for over 20 years. She has extensive experience in the development and implementation of professional learning opportunities for teachers and health professionals.

Samantha completed her PhD evaluating Learning Links’ Reading for Life Program and won the NSW Institute for Educational Research Outstanding Thesis in 2012. She appeared as an educational advisor in the ABC documentary, Kids on Speed? Supporting children with ADHD and their families.

Recent professional learning presentations include “Maths and Learning Difficulties” (June 2016, Learning Difficulties Coalition NSW Inc), “Working as part of a team to meet the needs of students with learning difficulties” (October 2016, The Professional Association for Learning Support Inc), in addition to ongoing teaching professional learning at Learning Links. Samantha will be presenting Written Expression and Day 2 of the Numeracy weekend.


Guest Speakers

Wendy Coggins B. App. SC (Sp Path), MSPAA, CPSP

Wendy is a Certified Practising Speech Language Pathologist with over 30 years’ experience specialising in communication and literacy problems of primary school students. Wendy has worked in over 20 schools and has presented a range of in-service programmes to state and independent schools.


Walter Howe, Educational Psychologist and Director, Psychological Assessments Australia Pty Ltd

(Disclaimer: Walter Howe and his company, PAA, derive income from the sale of various standardised assessment instruments.)

Walter is a Sydney based Educational and Developmental Psychologist. He worked as a secondary teacher and school counsellor in NSW before becoming involved in test publishing in 1988. He has managed Australian standardisation studies for the WISC III, the Woodcock Johnson III; the new Woodcock Johnson IV Tests of Cognitive Abilities; Tests of Achievement and Tests of Oral Language (WJIV) and the York Assessment of Reading for Comprehension (YARC).

PAA distributes a wide variety of assessment products, including the WJ IV and the YARC. He is a member of the Australian Psychological Society, the American Psychological Association and the National Association of School Psychologists (USA). He is a regular presenter at professional conferences on topics ranging from dyslexia to emotional intelligence.

Teachers Certificate Course 2018 Info. and App. Form (PDF)