Karen's current workshops


Workshop 1:  Creating an Inclusive Learning Environment for students with Dyslexia and other LDs: for teachers, class aides, tutors, specialist teachers


Workshop 2 (with Dr Kate Jacobs): Leading Student Achievement Through a Whole School Approach to Response to Intervention (RTI) for school staff including principals, senior managers, teachers & student support services (psychologists and speech pathologists) see below

Workshop 3; NDCO full day workshop with Karen Starkiss  Supporting Students with Learning Disabilities in your Class September 18th (see below)


Workshop 1:

For the first time in  over two years I am running 3 regional workshops in Melbourne, Wangaratta and Warrnambool. There is an Early Bird price and a limit to attendees for each workshop. To book please click on the Location UNDERNEATH the flyer.




‘There are widespread concerns that students with dyslexia are not consistently well supported in their specific needs by all schools.’ PSD Review Report (2016)


Course Overview:

 This workshop will be practical; it will enable participants to:


  • Feel confident in identifying students with a range of learning difficulties in your class.
  • Be aware of a range of screening, assessment and intervention tools they can use at each RTI tier of need
  • Know how to support students in class
  • Leave with a wide range of ideas, activities and resources that you can use immediately.

Students with SpLD require support in class & often individually, lessons must be structured so that Direct, Explicit Teaching is offered. Hard research shows that explicit teaching offers a powerful way to structure your lessons for all students.

By creating a ‘Dyslexia-Friendly’ Classroom all learners will benefit. It is essential for students with SpLD


  • Workshop Content
  • Understand why some students learn differently
  • Know how the specific weaknesses present in class and advice on screening and assessment tools
  • Explicit, direct, systematic teaching- what a lesson looks like
  • The Big 5 of reading; looking at phonemic awareness, synthetic phonics, sight words and vocabulary
  • How to create an inclusive classroom environment to support all learners
  • Strategies, approaches and resources that can be implemented immediately
  • Introducing a range IT to support students and ideas for classwork
  • Lots of ideas and practical activities to support learners
  • Useful websites with free resources to support the teacher and the students


Cost: $220 (Early Bird and then $240)  for the full 7.5 hours

Includes: presentation, comprehensive handouts, Morning tea.


Karen Starkiss brings over 30 years experience as a teacher of primary & secondary students in the UK and therefore knows what to recommend and what is practical for teachers. In UK, she was principal of one of the top performing schools, despite having the highest number of students with severe LDs in the county. She has supported “failing” schools to quickly improve standards of teaching and learning & helped many schools audit their provision to become inclusive for students with LD. In Australia, Karen has been asked to run a number of workshops on behalf of the Departments of Education in ACT, Northern Territory and Victoria about RTI and Inclusion.



The information Karen shared was very much what staff needed to help them understand what to expect from students with different learning needs. Her ability to make the content of her presentation interesting and fun was really appreciated by the audience. She was able to resonate with each and every participant.

Questions were able to be asked at any time and always answered with clarity. Staff from every school commented to me at the end of the day how much they had

learnt and how much they enjoyed Karen’s frank, informative and humorous presentation. Everyone went away from the day with activities and strategies to try with all students, not just those with learning difficulties. Julie Butler Principal- April 2017


Registration and more information: click location below




Venue: Karstens Conference Centre

Venue: Qlty Hotel Wangaratta Gateway

Venue: Pavilion La Bella Room

123 Queen Street, Melbourne

29-37 Ryley St, Wangaratta

50 Viaduct Rd, Warrnambool

Date: 15th September 2017

Date: 11th October 2017

Date: 23rd October 2017

Time: 9 am – 4.30 pm

Time: 9 am – 4.30 pm

Time: 9 am - 4.30 pm


Workshop 2:

Last year I ran RTI training for over 200 school principals and SSSOs on behalf of DET victoria and Speld Vic. For one session SSSOs and school leaders worked together and all said how useful it was for SSSOs to hear school concerns and know how they could help best and School leaders said SSSO input was really helpful.

In addition, for some time, many educational psychologists and speech pathologists have said either they don't feel totally confident in making a diagnosis of an SLD or they don't know they best tools to use. Even now the WISC does not contain all subtests to assess dyslexia symptoms.

Kate Jacobs and I have therefore put the two training courses together into one day for Melbourne, Bendigo and Geelong:


Workshop 2

Leading Student Achievement Through a Whole School Approach to Response to Intervention (RTI)


A practical workshop for school staff including principals, senior managers, teachers & student support services (psychologists and speech pathologists)


This workshop will help school senior managers, teachers and SSSOs work together to

1.     Identify students at risk for learning difficulties before they fail,

2.     Intervene effectively with tiered support for those with more significant learning needs, and

3.     Identify students whose learning difficulties are the result of a specific learning disorder (SLD) such as dyslexia.

The Response to Intervention (RTI) Model significantly improves student achievement; in turn promoting better learning and mental health outcomes for all students.

Delivered in two half-day workshops, it is recommended that

·        Senior managers and teachers attend the morning workshop, while

·        School Psychologists and Speech Pathologists attend the full day


Workshop 1 (morning) learning outcomes will include the ability to:

·        Explain the difference between a learning difficulty and learning disorder and why these students often fail to make progress

·        Identify students at risk for learning difficulties in the classroom

·        Conduct a self-evaluation audit to identify school strengths & challenges

·        Describe the characteristics of each tier of the RTI model

·        Design and implement effective methods of screening and assessment for your school at each tier

·        Design and implement learning interventions, accommodations & supports at each tier that can be easily communicated to school staff & parents

·        Locate helpful RTI screening, assessment and class resources


A comprehensive manual & school self-evaluation audit will be provided


SSSOs who attend the morning session will be able to provide professional support to senior leaders and teachers during practical sessions and to hear of the concerns and barriers that schools are facing. This in turn will help them in knowing how best to offer support to schools during implementation of an RTI model.


Workshop 2 (afternoon) learning outcomes will include the ability to:

·        Identify the cognitive abilities important for literacy and numeracy acquisition that are often impaired in students with SLD

·        Evaluate the usefulness of the WISC-V for SLD identification

·        Construct
 comprehensive educational assessments capable of diagnosing SLD in line with the DSM-5 using a range of different cognitive and achievement tests

·        Pool data from different testing sources (teacher, speech pathology and/or psychological assessment) to develop a comprehensive understanding of student learning needs

·        Link assessment results to intervention




http://www.raisethebarpsychology.com.au/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/website-pic-50.jpg Dr Kate Jacobs (B.A., Post.Grad.Dip.Psych., PhD/M.Psych., MAPS, MCEDP) is an Educational Psychologist and university lecturer in psychological assessment. She lectures and conducts research on cognitive theory and assessment, in addition to providing assessment and intervention for learning difficulties in private practice.
http://www.raisethebarpsychology.com.au/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/me-for-flyer-2.jpg Karen Starkiss (Cert Ed, B. Ed, Post. Grad.Dip.SpLD) has over 30 years teaching (primary and secondary) and school principal experience in the UK. She has supported “failing” schools to quickly improve standards of teaching and learning, and assists schools to implement an inclusive education policy. She has run many workshops on behalf of the education departments of VIC, ACT and NT, as well as SPELD VIC.

If you would like your school/organisation to be invoiced please submit an enquiry above. 


For further event information or to purchase tickets, select a location below.



7th September 2017


13th September 2017


25th October 2017



Dear Karen and Jason,

 Just a short email to thank you for the outstanding work you have done in providing the Response to Intervention workshops around Victoria.  The sessions have been attended by over 200 school leaders and Student Support Services Officers around the state and feedback has been very positive. Karen, your skills and knowledge have been particularly valued in the delivery of this work…..

I look forward to continuing to work with you both through the Learning Difficulties and Dyslexia Working Group as we progress the Government’s Inclusive education for students with disabilities and additional needs.

 Regards  Mark 

 Mark Tainsh

Director, Inclusion, Access and Participation Branch, Department of Education and Training


NDCO full day workshop with Karen Starkiss

Supporting Students with Learning Disabilities in your Class 

Date: Monday 18 September 2017

Time: 9.00 am

Venue: Westall Secondary College, 88 Rosebank Ave, Clayton South VIC 3169

Cost: $50 per person

Registration: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/supporting-students-with-learning-disabilities-in-your-class-tickets-36126718989

For students with dyslexia and other learning difficulties – Karen StarKiss

Workshop content includes:

How to recognise dyslexia and other LDs in your class

What are the specific challenges faced by people with Learning Difficulties

The range of strategies students can use to overcome their learning difficulties

How you can support students in class and enable them to reach their potential

Tools and Technologies to help students access the curriculum and demonstrate their understanding

Lots of ideas and practical activities to support learners

Useful websites with free resources to support the teacher and the students

Enquiries: Sally Bailey, National Disability Coordination Officer, Southern   Melbourne Sally.Bailey@skillsplus.com.au (03) 9784 0400 0439 897 027 

or to arrange a session for your organisation please direct your inquiry to karen@dyslexiasupportservices.com.au 




r teachers, teacher aides, speech therapists and parents who want to teach their stud & children to love reading!achers, teacr ai

des, speech therapists and parents who want to teach their students & children to love reading!



E-mail: karen@dyslexiasupportservices.com.au Phone: 0402225051