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Sound Waves Foundation wins two prestigious awards

Barbara Murray - Wednesday, September 11, 2019

The Educational Publishing Awards Australia recognises the best of the best in educational resources with 2019 producing outstanding resources for student learning across the country. Twenty vital learning tools produced by local publishers and used in primary, secondary and tertiary classrooms were awarded.

At the awards ceremony held in Melbourne this month, Sound Waves Foundation, authored by Barbara Murray and Terri Watson and published by Firefly Education, won two awards:
  • Best Primary Teaching Resource: Sound Waves Foundation (Teacher Book, Online & Student Book)
  • Outstanding Primary Resource: Sound Waves Foundation (Teacher Book, Online & Student Book)

caption: Firefly Education’s Nicole Forrest, Curriculum Content Manager (Literacy), and Peter Stannard, Director.

Sound Waves was also a winner in 2017 with its Sound Waves Online version of the program.
So what made these award winners worthy of their accolades?
Judges of the awards said Sound Waves Foundation was awarded the most outstanding primary resource because it was innovative in harnessing sound searches and bespoke images to help students use sound for literacy development.
Last year's revamp of the Sound Waves Foundation program included explicit teaching lesson plans, engaging teaching tools, full-colour illustrations and more.

Nicole Forrest, Firefly Education’s Literacy Specialist, advocates that, "all schools need systematic, evidence-based approaches to spelling and reading instruction. The last few years have propelled change, and we are in the middle of an exciting and productive time for literacy teaching."

The Sound Waves Foundation is a systematic synthetic phonics and word study program that aligns with research on the best practices in early reading and spelling instruction. The Foundation program has a two-phase structure that reflects the highly specialised nature of instruction required when teaching students to spell and read in their first year of school.
Peter Stannard recognised
A new award was made in honour of Professor Mike Horsley, who co-founded the EPAAs in 1994. The award is for dedication to the educational publishing sector and was awarded to Firefly Education's Peter Stannard who has been immersed in the education industry for close to 50 years.
Having authored more than 60 educational titles and selling more than one million copies of those texts, Peter's contribution to the Australian educational landscape is awe inspiring. It’s a well deserved win for such an accomplished industry leader.
Carlee Driscoll, General Manager for Firefly Education, shared, "I've been fortunate enough to work at Firefly for seven years with Peter and Annie at the helm. Our company culture is absolutely led from the top. Peter's teaching insight, capacity for new ideas and his generosity in mentoring has made, and continues to make, the culture at Firefly Education truly innovative, creative and fun."
Firefly Education congratulates all finalists and winners and thanks the Educational Publishing Awards Australia for acknowledging the hard work that goes into creating learning resources that set a high standard for Australian classrooms.

Comment from Barbara Murray

Twenty years ago I inadvertently stumbled across Ann Smales and Peter Stannard as they were moving their fledgling publishing business from their garage to a small property next door. That property, now renovated several times, houses an exciting and very prosperous boutique publishing business. Ann and Peter continuously amaze me with their flair for choosing the best people for their business, nurturing their various talents and building them into a cohesive, skilful and very productive team. Sound Waves has been in the best place possible for presentation and accessibility to the educators of literacy in the primary school. I pinch myself all the time at the amazing Sound Waves success story. I am forever grateful to Terri Watson, my co-author, and everyone at Firefly Education for making Sound Waves into such an awesome resource.

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