Upcoming seminars

The Science of Reading: Essential Knowledge for Teachers

Reading is one of the most extensively studied aspects of education. There is now strong consensus among researchers about how children learn to read and the most effective method to teach them, based on thousands of rigorous scientific studies from multiple research disciplines. This free Five from Five 90-minute event is recommended for anyone looking for an overview of the key concepts in the Science of Reading and why they are important.

Deep Dive into Systematic Synthetic Phonics

Educators need a strong understanding of how the English alphabetic code is used to translate language from print to speech and vice versa, and how to best teach this knowledge to beginning and low progress readers. This free Five from Five 120-minutes seminar does a deep dive into code-based instruction, using the scientific evidence base to provide valuable information about teaching principles and practices.

YouTube channel

Go to the Five from Five YouTube channel for more videos of events, webinars  and presentations.

Past presentations

No time to lose: Effective reading instruction to work towards 100% literacy

Jennifer Buckingham

Tasmanian 100% Literacy Alliance, online event

September 13, 2021

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Language and literacy: The science of reading

Jennifer Buckingham

Queensland Association of State School Principals conference, Mackay QLD

June 4, 2021

Reading instruction in Australia: What has changed and what remains to be done?

Jennifer Buckingham

Eszterházy Károly University, Hungary

March 2, 2021

Primary Reading Pledge: A policy and a plan for literacy

Jennifer Buckingham

researchED, Bob Hawke College, Perth (video presentation)

October 17, 2020

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Fluency: The misunderstood middle child in the ‘Big 5’ of reading instruction

Jennifer Buckingham

Sharing Successful Practice, Perth (video presentation)

Friday 9 October 2020

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Primary Reading Pledge

Jennifer Buckingham

Weekly Wednesday Webinar, Learning Difficulties Australia

Wednesday 9 September 2020

Click here to download slides

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From sounding out to sight words: The research base underpinning synthetic phonics

Jennifer Buckingham

Sharing Best Practice conference, Marsden Road Public School, Sydney

Monday 30 September 2019

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Evidence-based reading instruction: How far have we come and what barriers remain?

Jennifer Buckingham

Include, Improve, Inspire – Learning Difficulties Conference, Brisbane

Friday 20 September 2019

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How the ‘reading wars’ are being fought in Australia

Jennifer Buckingham

researchED National Conference, Chobham Academy, London

Saturday 7 September 2019

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From sounding out to sight words: The research base underpinning synthetic phonics

Jennifer Buckingham

Sharing Best Practice conference, Bentleigh West Primary School

1 July 2019

Jennifer will be presenting again at the Sharing Best Practice event at Marsden Road Public School in Sydney on Monday, 30 September 2019

From sounding out to sight words

Jennifer Buckingham

Literacy Summit, South Australia Department of Education

Adelaide Convention Centre

26 February 2019

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Phonics in context is not enough: Synthetic phonics and learning to read

In partnership with the Australian College of Educators


Tuesday 31st July 2018, Wesley Theatre, Sydney

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Click here to read the full transcript

Opening remarks: The Hon Rob Stokes MP
Moderator: Natasha Robinson, ABC

Speakers for the proposition:

1. Distinguished Professor Anne Castles, Macquarie University
2. Dr Jennifer Buckingham, The Centre for Independent Studies
3. Mr Troy Verey, Marsden Road Public School

Speakers against the proposition:

1. Professor Robyn Ewing, University of Sydney
2. Dr Kathy Rushton, University of Sydney
3. Mark Diamond, Principal, Lansvale Public School

Why do New Zealand and Australia suck at PIRLS and what can be done about it?

Jennifer Buckingham’s presentation at ResearchED Auckland, Auckland Grammar School, 2 June 2018

Click here to download slides

Phonics in teaching reading: Essential knowledge for educators

Professor Rhona Stainthorp

Thursday, 28 September, 2017, The Centre for Independent Studies, Sydney

For literacy levels to improve, it is essential to have a framework, based in evidence, about the processes that are involved in reading: these are the word reading processes and the language comprehension processes.

Word reading does not just ‘happen’ through exposure to text, but has to be taught directly and systematically. There is overwhelming evidence that teaching phonics as the first approach to word reading is the most effective strategy for independent reading and development of spelling.

The experience from England of the introduction of explicit phonics teaching as the first approach to word reading and the Phonics Screening Check to ensure this is occurring, is that children’s decoding ability can be improved. However, it requires considerable investment in high quality teacher professional development – both for trainee teachers and those with many years of experience.

In this presentation, Professor Stainthorp explains why effective phonics instruction requires a high level of expertise on the part of teachers and principals, and why curricula and assessment must also reflect the evidence on how children become proficient readers.


Professor Rhona Stainthorp is a Research Professor in the Institute of Education at Reading University. She began her career as a teacher and since moving into academia has published extensively on reading, spelling and writing development in typical and atypically developing children. Her most recent book is Reading Development and Teaching, co-authored with Professor Morag Stuart. Professor Stainthorp has been advising successive UK governments for the last 25 years on various aspects of the teaching of literacy, including the development of the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check.

Watch video now

Resistance to research: Why don’t all children receive effective, evidence-based reading instruction?

Presentation by Dr Jennifer Buckingham, from the Reading and Spelling Workshop, 27 September 2017, Macquarie University, Sydney


Like frogs in a water well: Why is it so difficult to close the research to practice gap in reading instruction

ResearchEd Melbourne, Brighton Grammar School, 1 July 2017

Presentation by Jennifer Buckingham

Facing facts in education: What the evidence says about improving schools

Tuesday, 11 April 2017, The Centre for Independent Studies

England’s schools have undergone substantial changes in the last decade, including: introducing systematic phonics teaching and the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check; implementation of the Shanghai model of maths education in thousands of schools; and the expansion of free schools and academies. These reforms and others were driven by evidence of how children learn and policies that maximise opportunities for children to attend high-quality schools.

What does an evidence-based education look like and why is it so important?
What can England and Australia learn from each other?
What does an evidence-based education look like and why is it so important?
What can England and Australia learn from each other?


Watch their segments here:

The Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP, UK Minister of State for School Standards

The Hon Rob Stokes MP, NSW Minister for Education

Mark Scott AO, Secretary of NSW Department of Education

Dr Maryanne Wolf – Tales of the Reading Brain

Learning Difficulties Australia in conjunction with The University of Sydney and The Centre for Independent Studies present Dr Maryanne Wolf – Tales of the Reading Brain: Reading Development, Dyslexia and the Digital Culture, with Dr Jennifer Buckingham and Lisa Ridings.

Parramatta Mantra Hotel

Sydney, Wednesday 7 September, 2016

Learning Difficulties Coalition Seminar

Parramatta Leagues Club

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Presentation slides

Staff Development Day

North Haven Public School
Port Macquarie, Monday 18 July, 2016
Teacher survey
Presentation slides

ResearchEd Melbourne

Brighton Grammar School
Melbourne, Saturday 21 May, 2016

Australian Schools Forum

With Alannah MacTiernan MP, Dr Jennifer Buckingham and Dr Lorraine Hammond
Perth, Saturday 19 March, 2016
Presentation slides: Jennifer Buckingham JBuckingham_AusSchoolsForum_Perth_March 2016_slides
Presentation slides: Lorraine Hammond LHammond_AusSchoolsForum_Perth_March2016_slides

Association of Heads of Independent Schools in Australia/ Independent Schools Council of Australia National Education Forum

Canberra, Tuesday 15 March, 2016

Transcript: Jennifer Buckingham TRANSCRIPT_JenniferBuckingham_15March2016


Five from Five launch

NSW Parliament House, Tuesday 8 March, 2016

Transcript: Jennifer Buckingham TRANSCRIPT_JenniferBuckingham_8March2016

Video: The Hon Adrian Piccoli MP, NSW Minister for Education

Video: Dr Kerry Hempenstall, Educational Psychologist and Reading Researcher

Video: Simon Birmingham, Federal Education Minister

Putting Evidence into Practice: 10th Anniversary of the National Inquiry into Teaching Literacy

CIS Roundtable, Tuesday, 8 December, 2015


Why Jaydon Can’t Read: A Forum on Fixing Literacy

CIS Forum, Thursday, 14 November, 2013

Video 1: Jennifer Buckingham
Video 2: Justine Ferrari and Tom Alegounarias
Video 3: Q&A