Literacy Acquisition for Pre-Primary Students (LAPS)

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The LAPS program emerged to meet an identified need in early years literacy education in the Kimberley. LAPS was developed by the Broome-based Aboriginal organisation Waardi Limited in consultation with schools. Tailored to suit the unique needs of schools in the Kimberley, the program continues to evolve based on emerging research on best practice literacy teaching.

LAPS was initiated as a pilot program in 2014. A trial of the program began in 2015 and continued into 2016 and 2017. LAPS partnered with Monash University to examine and report on the effectiveness of the program.


LAPS builds the capacity of teachers and educational staff through the transfer of high quality professional learning into excellent classroom practice.

This is achieved through an intensive coaching model.


“LAPS has undeniably been the most effective and supportive program that I have had the privilege of utilising in my Pre-primary classroom this year.“
Izzy Stewart | Pre-Primary Teacher | St Joseph’s Primary School, Kununurra

“The LAPS program has been tailored specifically to cater for Kimberley schools and caters for our students’ unique needs. The program promotes the use of two-way learning, valuing our students home language. The recognition and valuing of students first language is a critical element for our students to successfully attain Standard Australian English.”
Samantha Price | English Coach | Cable Beach Primary School

“It enhances the management of the workload of our teachers rather than adding to their busy programs.”
Zoe O’Hara | Acting Principal | Purnululu Aboriginal Independent Community School

“LAPS works for our school because it complimented what we already had in place at our school. We were able to add LAPS procedures and processes to strengthen our literacy blocks rather than having to reinvent them.”
Gabrielle Franco  | Principal | St. Joseph’s School, Wyndham

“It has been incredibly helpful having such a high quality consultant come out to Yiyili school regularly to work directly with myself, the children, AEW’s and parents. These visits are very meaningful to us and ensure high quality teaching is followed up on and relationships formed and strengthened. “
Sashi Douglas | Teacher | Yiyili Aboriginal Community School

“My data (reading, writing, PA) and my students growth has been exceptional, I could not be more happy and confident in my pedagogy in regards to reading and writing. ”
Katie Dyson | Kindergarten & Pre-primary Teacher | St Joseph’s School, Wyndham

Our Team

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Debra Hannagan (Torres)

Debra Hannagan has over 15 years’ experience in Aboriginal education, including teaching, specialist and leadership roles in remote schools and in Broome. She has worked as an Early Years Literacy Specialist with Waardi Limited since the pilot of the Literacy Acquisition for Pre-primary Students (LAPS) program in 2014. Debra is passionate about supporting students learning English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D). Her expertise in this in this area is enhanced through an EAL/D accreditation and Postgraduate studies in Applied Linguistics.


Page Last Updated on 01/05/2022