Literacy


Western Australian Curriculum Rationale:

 

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 with 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. In this light it is clear that the Western Australian Curriculum: English plays an important part in developing the understanding, attitudes and capabilities of those who will take responsibility for Australia's future.     (SCSA 2022)

 

Aims:

 

Our school adopts the aims of the Western Australian English Curriculum. We strive towards ensuring that our students:

  • Learn to listen to, read, view, speak, write, create and reflect on increasingly complex and sophisticated spoken, written and multimodal texts across a growing range of contexts with accuracy, fluency and purpose
  • Appreciate, enjoy and use the English language in all its variations and develop a sense of its richness and power to evoke feelings, convey information, form ideas, facilitate interaction with others, entertain, persuade and argue
  • Understand how Standard Australian English works in its spoken and written forms and in combination with non-linguistic forms of communication to create meaning
  • Develop interest and skills in inquiring into the aesthetic aspects of texts, and develop an informed appreciation of literature

 

Planning, Assessment & Reporting:

 

Assessment, monitoring and reporting are integral to the achievement of excellence for learning outcomes and form an essential part of the teaching and learning process. Assessment practices will be consistent with the Principles of Teaching, Learning and Assessment outlined in the West Australian Curriculum and Assessment Outline.

Assessment is supported by the SCSA Judging Standards which is a tool to support teachers when reporting against the achievement standards for each year of schooling; when giving assessment feedback; and when explaining the differences between one student's achievement and another's. In addition to this, KPS adopts several evidence based assessments across kindergarten to Year 6. Data from these assessments are used to drive planning within the English learning area. Students are tracked termly, yearly and across years to ensure there is growth in their learning. Examples of such assessments include, but are not limited to,

  • Rainbow Assessment Tool (K)
  • Blank Screen Comprehension (K)
  • On Entry (PP)
  • Sounds Write (PP-2)
  • Sound Waves (3-6)
  • Sparkle Kit (1-2)
  • Lexile Pro (4-6)
  • PAT – Reading (2-6)
  • DIBELS ORF (3-6)
  • NAPLAN Writing, Reading and Conventions of Language (3 and 5)
  • Hot/Cold Writing Tasks (P-6)

 

KPS teachers regularly utilise the Response to Intervention Model within classrooms and year level cohorts to inform effective, high-quality and targeted instruction for all students. Please see the Instructional Model Policy for more information regarding this.

 

Instruction:

 

The staff at KPS are committed to timetabling a minimum of four Literacy Blocks across the week. These blocks run for 110 minutes and cover all aspects of the English Curriculum. The English Committee, in collaboration with external agencies and research, have developed a Kindergarten, PP-2 and a 3-6 Literacy Block Template (at the end of this document) which covers the following:

  • Daily Review
  • Spelling
  • Fluency Pairs (3-6)
  • Reading (whole class and small group)
  • Writing (Talk 4 Writing)
  • Handwriting

 

Reading:

 

Reading is a multifaceted skill, gradually acquired over years of instruction and practice (Hollis Scarborough, 2001). As Scarborough’s Reading Rope demonstrates, a skilled reader is made through developing the skills of language comprehension and word recognition. As word recognition becomes increasingly automatic, language comprehension becomes increasingly strategic.

 

 

At KPS, we apply evidence-based practices from pre-primary to support the development of reading within the school. Research has shown that there are six essential skills (The Big Six – Deslea Konza) for reading and that these skills need to be explicitly taught and built upon across a student’s school career. These are embedded into a curriculum rich in oral language and knowledge.

 

Oral Language

 

Oral language provides the foundation for learning to read, and is related to overall reading achievement throughout primary and secondary schooling (Snow et al., 1995; Wise et al, 2007). Students in early childhood at Kinross Primary School engage in literature based units and follow a scope and sequence developed in consultation with the West Coast Language Development Centre. The program, Talk 4 Writing, also focuses largely on oral language development. This takes place from Kindergarten to Year 6.

Phonics and Phonological Awareness

 

Reading is explicitly taught using a range of strategies. This officially begins with the explicit teaching of phonics (visual and auditory) and phonemic awareness (oral/auditory) from pre-primary. KPS utilises the evidence-based synthetic phonics program Sounds Write from pre-primary to Year 2. We also run Sounds Write as a withdrawal program for students at educational risk.

 

Vocabulary

 

Vocabulary instruction is covered both within Sounds Write and Sound Waves instruction and within the Daily Review component of the Literacy Block. Tier 2 vocabulary is taught explicitly, and where possible, in relation to a rich whole class text.

 

                   

    

Fluency

 

Students are better able to make sense of what they are reading and do so at a faster as pace as the skill of decoding becomes more developed. This is covered in Fluency Pairs practice at the end of the Daily Review in Years 2-6.

 

 

Comprehension

 

Reading comprehension strategies are explicitly taught and then applied daily within the reading part of the Literacy Block. Students engage in modelled reading of rich whole class texts, partner reading and individual reading lessons and complete various activities to develop and assess their comprehension abilities.

 

Intervention

 

*Subject to funding requirements. The Reading Assistance Program is for identified students with reading difficulties or disabilities. Students in Years 1-6 who are experiencing difficulty with reading are provided with explicit, direct instruction lessons involving decoding and comprehension strategies. Trained education assistants run small withdrawal groups (4-6 students) up to four times per week. Students enter this program through the use of targeted assessments and teacher recommendation.

 

Spelling and Grammar:

 

Spelling and grammar are essential skills which allow children to communicate their understanding across all curriculum subjects. In order for students to develop into effective and confident writers, they need to develop and use a range of effective spelling and grammar strategies. We believe that students learn best in an environment where there is an emphasis on explicit teaching of spelling and grammar as well as excellent modelling and repetition of strategies in both written and spoken grammar and spelling.

 

Spelling

 

Teachers use Sounds Write in PP-2 and Sound Waves in 3-6 to complement the Western Australian Curriculum. Spelling is taught explicitly and systematically with pre-tests to assess prior knowledge and post-tests to assess what has been learnt.

 

         

 

Grammar

 

At KPS, grammar is taught explicitly and embedded in Daily Reviews and short burst writing practice. Teachers use the WA Curriculum and Scope and Sequence to teach grammar in a way that is developmental, and provide students with ample opportunities to apply their new understanding across all subject areas.

 

 

Writing:

 

Talk 4 Writing is taught from pre-primary to Year 6. The program was developed in the UK and enables children to imitate the language they need for a particular topic orally before reading, analysing and then writing their own version. Throughout all classrooms students practice model texts orally, develop story maps, innovate on the text with teacher input and use their vocabulary, grammar and structural knowledge to invent their own version of the text in a post-test.

 

At KPS, we follow a writing scope and sequence for different genres. This is on a two year rolling cycle to ensure students in composite classes never have to engage in the same text twice. Over the course of the year, students participate in units of work including poetry, fiction and non-fiction texts.

 

 

                     

 

    

Translator

© 2022 Kinross Primary School