Mary Ratcliffe grew up in Geelong, Australia, where she attended Sacred Heart College and then studied at Australian Catholic University. She has two sons and a daughter. She has been a primary teacher in Australian schools for over 20 years. She has experience teaching all levels and has been a curriculum leader at several of the schools she has worked in.
As a curriculum leader, she has had the opportunity to attend many conferences and participate in workshops to develop her knowledge of how children learn and how teachers can use the best strategies to enhance their learning. She has been fortunate to focus on her main area of interest, Literacy. Researching and developing ways to improve the reading and writing skills of her students has been one of the goals she has worked toward achieving in her teaching career.
Several years ago she trained as a Reading Recovery teacher. This is an intensive program created by Marie Clay. It is designed specifically for Year 1 students who have not yet developed their reading and writing strategies.
Mary has also completed a course to develop her skills in using another support program called Leveled Literacy Intervention. This programme has been designed by world recognised experts, Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. It also supports students who are working below their expected year level in Reading and Writing. Mary worked with small groups of students in Year 2.
She continues to teach and is currently working in a Year 3 classroom.