At Waverley Meadows Primary School we offer a comprehensive and challenging English program which promotes literacy skill development in reading, writing, spelling, speaking and listening in a supportive and stimulating environment.
Teachers plan for comprehensive daily literacy lessons which are based on the Victorian Curriculum and guided by student ability, need and interest. Assessment practices across the school are designed to pinpoint student learning strengths and requirements in order that individual students can be supported appropriately.
We use a Reader’s Workshop Model for teaching reading. The model consists of three parts:
Individual classroom libraries are complemented by our lovely whole school library. Students visit the library once a week with their class for exploring books with their teacher and classmates and to borrow books to take home each week.
Writing lessons are designed to teach children the way language is used for a variety of social purposes. They learn to recognise the structures of various genres when reading texts and how to break these down in order to organise their writing according to the genre being developed. Increasingly complex genres are added at each year level, as students become more proficient in their writing abilities.
Genres taught include:
During writing lessons, students follow the five step writing process
Spelling is taught using the SMART spelling system. SMART spelling incorporates the systematic teaching of spelling each week and student’s personal word lists. SMART spelling is designed to be sensible, systematic, multi-sensory and sustainable. Spelling rules
Foundation (prep) students are taught using synthetic phonics to first learn to recognise sounds and be able to match these to letters and then blend them together. The children are taught how to break up words (decode them) into individual sounds and then blend all the way through the word. Sounds are introduced in an order that enables them to decode more words sooner, rather than in alphabetical order.
Students are also introduced to the M100W words (100 most used words) which are broken into coloured sets according to the frequency with which they appear in texts. Once students can recognise all of the golden and red words, they can read 25% of all written texts.
Oral language development is embedded throughout all curriculum areas and follows the Speaking and Listening component of the Victorian Curriculum. Being able to actively listen to others and respond in meaningful ways enhances the social capabilities of students as well as enabling them to contribute effectively during class discussions.
Digital technologies are incorporated into our English programs with students accessing planning and publishing software, digital text subscriptions, online assessment tools, research sites and various programs to support their learning.
Reading intervention and literacy support is provided through our Personalised Learning Approach.
Parents are encouraged to become involved in classroom reading programs as helpers who can listen to and encourage children to read.