The Literacy Committee at Orelia Primary School is committed to the development of a whole school approach to the teaching of English. This encompasses common pedagogical approaches as well as the development of scope and sequence documents that guide staff in planning, pedagogy, targeted outcomes and the measurement of student progress.
Daily novel reading by the teacher is a priority. Reading aloud helps students learn how to use language to make sense of the world; it improves their information processing skills, vocabulary, and comprehension. Reading aloud targets the skills of audio learners. Research has shown that teachers who read aloud motivate students to read.
Whole Class Modelled Reading- The text is carefully selected to suit the teaching purpose, students’ interest level, understandings and challenges for their learning. This allows students to have access to a broad range of literature i.e. fiction and non-fiction. The teachers then explicitly teach comprehension strategies to the children.
Words Grammar Fun– This program is used in early childhood to target the semantic and grammar skills of children with the overall goal of improving oral language outcomes for all children.
Letters and Sounds Synthetic Phonics Program – Our teachers have been trained to use this program to build children’s speaking and listening skills as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills.
Words Their Way– Once children have completed all 6 phases of the Letters and Sounds Program, they move to Words Their Way. This is a developmental spelling, phonics, and vocabulary program which allows teachers to provide differentiated efficient, effective instruction in phonics, spelling, and vocabulary.
Writing– The Talk for Writing approach is used across the whole school to enable children to read and write independently for a variety of audiences and purposes. All teachers have been trained in this approach which enables children to imitate orally the language they need for a particular topic, before reading and analysing it, and then writing their own version. The approach moves from dependence towards independence, with the teacher using shared and guided teaching to develop the ability in children to write creatively and powerfully.
Brightpath offers support to our teachers in the area of assessment, moderation and making judgements about student achievement. Our teachers use this program to identify what learning is required to enable students to progress and demonstrate improvement.
PAT Comprehension– This is a thoroughly researched and normed test for measuring and tracking student achievement in reading comprehension, word knowledge and spelling. It provides our teachers with objective information for setting realistic learning goals and planning effective programs.
Book Week and National Simultaneous Story Time are some of the activities organised on a yearly basis to promote and inspire the love and value of reading among our students. The Oral Language Festival is a wonderful opportunity for students to creatively express their love of literature and orally retell a story.
Our staff have high expectations for every student, and use Explicit Direct Instruction, in combination with evidence based teaching programs, to ensure success in this priority learning area.