Learning Support & Explicit Direct Instruction (EDI)

Clayton South Primary School uses Explicit Direct Instruction (EDI). EDI enables our teachers to deliver well-developed, carefully planned, and effective lessons that can significantly​ improve outcomes and learning support for all learners, including students with specific learning disabilities-difficulties (SLD).


We offer comprehensive intervention in all year levels. We have specialist intervention tutors trained in Sound Write to target word-level reading and spelling. A Speech-Language Pathologist guides our literacy intervention practice and assists children with oral language delays. The RTI model is used for literacy and numeracy. 


At Clayton South, we have adopted the Response to Intervention (RTI) model, a multi-tier approach to the early identification and support students with learning delays, including impairment in reading (dyslexia). Clayton South Primary School children in tier 2 or 3 intervention access a multi-tiered support system with systematic and explicit instruction.


  • Tier 1: whole classroom instruction using evidenced-based teaching, so all children access research aligned core curriculum in the classroom.
  • Tier 2: small group sessions for students identified as at risk to supplement skill-building.
  • Tier 3: individual intensive 1:1 targeted support/remediation, which is evidence-based for our struggling learners. 




Most learning disabilities and difficulties experienced in primary school tend to be with literacy. The grade 3/4 reading slump is a phenomenon that is common in education where children who have not received solid synthetic phonics instruction with decodable readers as beginning readers start to struggle. Some students with reading difficulties are often not noticed until middle primary. They have learned (and sometimes been taught) guessing strategies that 'mask' their core phonological awareness and decoding issues. The expectation jumps in middle primary as texts become more complex and there are more multisyllabic words. 


"Early, Early, Early - 8 is too late" - is a catchphrase by Tanya Forbes, Founder Dyslexia QLD Support, Producer of Outside the Square, Research Development Manager at Bond University! The window for early intervention can close very quickly and widen over time. Enter the Matthew Effect. This term describes how when children begin their learning journey successfully, they will continue to do well later in school, while the gap will exponentially widen for those children who begin poorly and do worse.

  • Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. Characterised by difficulties with accurate and fluent word recognition (reading), poor spelling and decoding abilities. 
  • Dysgraphia is broadly defined as a disability with writing. It can include difficulty with written expression, fine motor skills, handwriting or poor spelling.
  • Dyscalculia is a math learning disability.

Nancy Young's globally recognised Ladder of Reading illustrates the ratio of students who require an explicit, sequential, systematic, synthetic phonics approach. The infographic draws a comparison to the small percentage of children who learn to read effortlessly.


The Ladder of Reading succinctly shows us how Structured Literacy, as we use at Clayton South Primary School, is advantageous for ALL students, not just struggling learners.

Below is a link to a very informative clip by Bill Hansberry, a leading Australian education consultant on reading instruction, intervention and the importance of decoding for ALL learners, particularly for those with learning difficulties: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhwxWv_D_YU


"Explicit teaching of alphabetic decoding skills is helpful for all children, harmful for none, and crucial for some."

C.Snow and C. Juel (2005) Harvard Graduate School of Education


The Simple View of Reading (Gough and Tunmer, 1986) is an evidence-based representation of how reading comprehension comprises two sets of equally essential skills: decoding and linguistic comprehension.


The Riches of Speech-Language Pathology – Language & Literacy


More information on learning difficulties and the RTI model is available on the DET website: