The Firefly Story…
At Firefly Education we make kids smarter and teachers and parents happy. Here’s a look at how we have been doing this for the last couple of decades!
Peter Stannard, Ann Smales and Lesley Englert decide to publish a companion literacy book to Exploring Science (written by Peter Stannard and Ken Willamson). Lesley wrote this innovative workbook to help kids decode the language of science.
Ann and Peter were approached by author Mary Schwenke to revise her long standing phonics and handwriting series Letters and Sounds! Sadly Mary passed away in 2011. She had dedicated her life to teaching kids of all ages to read and write well, and has left a mighty legacy through her Letters and Sounds books.
Chris Linthorne and Brian Doolan pitched their idea for a revolutionary new maths series – Jigsaw Maths. Chris and Brian turned boring maths into fun and engaging maths. Pure genius!
Barbara Murray met publisher Ann Smales at a local school function. She mentioned that she and her teaching partner Terri Watson were working on a way of teaching spelling using the phonemic approach. Were we interested in hearing about the success of their work? Absolutely, and so Sound Waves was born!
2000 and beyond – our team
The year 2000 marked the start of Peter and Ann gathering a cast of exciting and talented people to work in the Firefly team. With new people came new ideas, new ways of doing things and, of course, new products. Without such a dedicated team Firefly would not be the success it is today.
2000 and beyond – our products
During this time Firefly produced a range of teacher support materials including Teacher Timesavers, Primary Teacher’s Planner, Key Maths, Myriad Maths, Cards and Games and even a canteen cook book.
Sound Waves was shortlisted as a primary textbook finalist in the Australian Awards for Excellence in Educational Publishing (2007). These awards, presented by the Australian Publishers Association, recognise and honour the best educational materials published during the year.
Peter had always believed that students learned best when they were investigating and could see the relevance of what they were doing. He was driven to apply this principle to a maths series that used an Investigations based approach.
The result was iMaths - the collaborative effort of six experienced maths teachers guided by Peter’s experience and passion.
iMaths was shortlisted in the category of Best Primary Textbook Series in Australia (2009) at the Australian Publishers Association awards.
Work started on the revision of the Sound Waves series for the new Australian Curriculum. This included a complete rewrite of the Student and Teacher Books and brand new digital content.
With the imminent release of the new Australian Curriculum the iMaths series had to be revised and reworked. It was a big job, but what a team!
Brad Gaylard led a team of editors and designers to oversee the production of this innovative new series.
With the Australian Curriculum shaping up, Sound Waves National Edition was being used in schools right across Australia and was getting a great reception. The iMaths package was completed and ready for schools to use in 2012. Our new website was launched and all Professional Development Sessions were a sellout.
A busy, busy year!
iMaths National Edition takes out the Award for Best Primary School Student Resource for Mathematics at the Australian Educational Publishing Awards 2012!
Peter’s award winning team of authors, along with the Firefly team, are honoured to be recognised nationally for this truly innovative and effective maths program.
With Sound Waves and iMaths going from strength to strength in 2013, Firefly Education managed to squeeze in the time to launch Teacher Timesavers Online!
Developed for busy teachers, Teacher Timesavers Online is home to 1000s of classroom resources that teachers can download to save precious time.
Firefly started 2014 with Writing Time – a handwriting series with a difference. With early release books for Queensland already available, the team will be busy finishing the series for F-6 classrooms across the whole of Australia.
What next for the Firefly team? With the digital age upon us we are keen to venture forth. With ideas abounding and an energetic young team we are keen to flex our muscles in this exciting new world of electronic delivery.
Watch this space!