The development of Language helps to create confident communicators, imaginative thinkers and informed citizens. At Debney Meadows Primary School we place a strong emphasis on developing literacy skills through meaningful contexts and learning opportunities. Our Literacy program is underpinned by the Victorian Curriculum, which provides a comprehensive set of prescribed content and common achievement standards across Victoria, and is used to plan for student learning, to assess student progress and to report to parents.
The English curriculum is built around the three interrelated strands of Language, Literature and Literacy. Teaching and learning programs balance and integrate all three strands. Together the three strands focus on developing students’ knowledge, understanding and skills in Reading and Viewing, Speaking and Listening, and Writing.
Debney Meadows Primary School has robust structures in place to ensure that student learning needs drive the Literacy curriculum and learning. Teachers systematically and consistently collect and analyse data in light of student performance and intentionally plan learning experiences in response to student needs in order to ensure growth and progress. With explicit and needs-based coaching and ongoing professional learning, teachers keep up-to-date with researched best practice to ensure high levels of teacher capacity and student learning.The Readers Workshop
The Readers Workshop involves our students using skills and strategies to access and interpret spoken, written, visual and multimodal texts. Our teachers provide plentiful opportunities for our students to navigate, read and view texts using applied topic knowledge, vocabulary, word and visual knowledge. Students are exposed to a variety of texts including traditional oral texts, picture books, various types of print and digital stories, poetry, non-fiction, film, multimodal texts and dramatic performances. Students work towards developing their skills in acquiring and applying an expanding vocabulary to read increasingly complex texts with fluency and comprehension.
Some of the ways in which we actively engage our children in reading are through:
- excellently resourced classroom libraries filled with engaging texts catered to student interests and needs.
- an independent reading program that encourages reading for enjoyment, builds reading stamina and ensures students can self-monitor their own reading and thinking processes.
- multiple exposures to quality texts to stimulate learning.
- unlimited access to the school library.
- teaching readers, not just reading.
The Writers Workshop involves building expressive language and engages students in composing different types of texts for a range of purposes. These texts include spoken, written, visual and multimodal texts and students explore, communicate and analyse information, ideas and issues that are relevant to their own learning journey. Students create a range of texts using a variety of structures such as imaginative, informative and persuasive texts. Throughout the Writing curriculum students build on their knowledge of grammar and how language is constructed. Students also develop their spelling skills through rich inquiries into the English language and by making generalisations using the knowledge gained. These generalisations are made using visual strategies, knowledge of morphemic word families, syntax and semantics as well as morpho-phonemic language traits (morphology, phonology, orthography, etymology) and letter combinations (blends, diagraphs, trigraphs).
Students also become familiar with the ‘Writing Process’ that involves them in planning, drafting, editing, revising and publishing their writing pieces.
Some of the strategies that we use to develop our children as authors include:
Speaking and Listening
- tracking students’ progress with daily writing conferences and targeted writing workshops.
- exposing children to high quality literature.
- making the explicit connection between reading and writing.
- using a Thinker’s Journal as a tool for developing writing.
- analysing quality texts to explore the author’s craft.
- teaching writers, not just writing.
Our students are involved in using interactive skills, including active listening behaviours and communicating in a clear, coherent manner using a variety of everyday and learned vocabulary as well as appropriate tone, pace, pitch and volume. Students engage in conversations and discussions, showing interest, building attentive listening skills, and contributing ideas, information and questions.
We develop our students in terms of listening and speaking through:
- providing multiple opportunities to experience language.
- modelling language and vocabulary accurately to our children.
- providing opportunities for students to communicate with real and varying audiences (sometimes as the speaker, and others as the listener).
- providing meaningful and authentic contexts for language development and experience.
- providing each student with a range of appropriate experiences to enhance their literacy skills in all components of English learning.
- promoting confidence and developing every child’s proficiency in language learning.
- building on students’ prior learning to create and develop new understandings.
- providing a wide range of authentic and relevant resources and books, including classroom libraries and whole school library resources.
- exposing all students to a range of multimedia texts and opportunities.
- promoting thinking, collaboration, reflection and co-operation through all learning opportunities.
- supporting our students to become confident authors, readers and publishers in the 21st Century.
Our Literacy Program provides extra support through:
- providing a Levelled Literacy Intervention Program for students in Grades 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6.
- implementing Individual Learning Plans where necessary to support students to reach their full potential.
- enrichment and targeted learning (Thinker’s Lab)
- encouraging parents to be actively involved in their child’s education.