The study of English is central to the learning and development of all young Australians. It helps create confident communicators, imaginative thinkers and informed citizens. It is through the study of English that individuals learn to analyse, understand, communicate and build relationships with others and with the world around them. The study of English helps young people develop the knowledge and skills needed for education, training and the workplace. It helps them become ethical, thoughtful, informed and active members of society.
Although Australia is a linguistically and culturally diverse country, participation in many aspects of Australian life depends on effective communication in Standard Australian English. In addition, proficiency in English is invaluable globally.
English also helps students to engage imaginatively and critically with literature to expand the scope of their experience.
Each classroom at Tarneit Rise Primary School has two hours of explicit English teaching every day and parent participation is welcomed and encouraged in the two-hour literacy block. A Classroom Helpers’ Program is run at each semester to provide parents the skills, confidence and knowledge to be able to support children’s learning, at home or at school.
Classroom grouping is according to the learning needs of the children and this includes a balance of whole class and small group activities. Cooperative learning strategies are also used because working together is a very effective way to learn from each other.
Reading approaches include modelled reading, shared reading, guided reading, reciprocal teaching, independent reading and literature based reading. Each classroom has its own classroom library and reading conferences occur daily between teacher and student so that children’s individual learning goals can be set and monitored.
We use a Structured Literacy approach to teaching reading, writing and spelling. Structured Literacy explicitly teaches the building blocks of language in a systematic and structured way. We begin by developing children’s phonological awareness skills and their knowledge of how speech sounds are mapped onto the letters and letter patterns that make them. As students’ skills develop, they use their knowledge to blend sounds in order to read words and segment sounds in order to spell words with increasing difficulty. While developing these fundamental skills, we also have a strong focus on building students’ morphological awareness, vocabulary development, literal and inferential comprehension skills and ability to read and write proficiently across a wide range of text genres.
Our Structured Literacy instruction forms part of a comprehensive literacy curriculum involving the Big 5 areas of literacy:
Planning for instruction across these five key areas ensures that our students are developing the skills and knowledge required to meet the literacy demands of the 21st century while becoming proficient readers and writers in all areas of the curriculum.