Literacy @ Chilwell PS
At Chilwell Primary School we believe in developing a love of literacy. Students are supported to become insightful, critical thinkers through the delivery of research based, consistent whole school practices. We build the capacity of our students to be independent and motivated literacy learners through experiences that are relevant and purposefully designed using student voice and data to inform our practice.
Our Literacy Program consists of three domains based on the Victorian Curriculum: Reading and Viewing, Writing and Speaking and Listening. Our consistent approach to the delivery of Literacy lessons, promotes greater autonomy for students as they move through our school and build upon their prior learning.
Children engage in Literacy learning for a minimum of ten hours per week.
The teaching of reading is a multifaceted process that involves phonemic and phonological awareness, word recognition, fluency and comprehension. At Chilwell Primary School we use the Reader’s Workshop model to ensure our students are well supported as they move from through the different levels of reading proficiency. Our Reader’s Workshop model uses an explicit structure, which ensures predictability for our students.
Learning Intention and Success Criteria
Each lesson has a clear learning intention and success criteria so students understand the skill they will be learning that lesson and what success may look like.
Students are given the opportunity to apply and practise the skill being taught. They are provided with multiple exposures to a skill and opportunities to practice it. During this time the teacher will conference with individual students to set, monitor and assess their personal reading goals. Students are provided with very individualised feedback on their reading through the conferencing process.
Rich mentor texts are used to teach and demonstrate the skill being taught. The skills and strategies taught are related to decoding (deciphering words), fluency (reading smoothly) and comprehension (understanding what is being read.
This time is an opportunity for students to reflect on their learning and determine their success based on the learning intention and success criteria. It is also a time for teachers to ask careful questions of students to determine their level of understanding and clarify any misconceptions that may be present.
Independent reading time is an opportunity for students to immerse themselves in a variety of texts that they enjoy. They spend this time applying and practising the skills that have been explicitly taught as well as their individual reading goals. During this time, the teacher works with small groups of students who have a similar learning need or reading goal, providing them with explicit and very targeted teaching.
At Chilwell Primary School, our consistent Instructional Framework for the teaching of writing is Writer’s Workshop. The purpose of the Writer’s Workshop is to develop a passion for writing and build student knowledge and skills through a structure consisting of five elements: whole class focus (explicit teaching), uninterrupted, sustained writing, individual and small group conferencing, small instructional groups and reflection. It provides students with a variety of engaging stimulus and prompts that allow them to generate writing ideas and bring them to life using a broad range of text types.
Ideas and principles that underpin the Writer’s Workshop model:
- Students are scaffolded throughout the different stages of the model, providing support and instruction at a whole class, small group and individual level.
- Students are explicitly taught a variety of text types and techniques to create pieces of high interest with a specific target audience in mind.
- Students work on individual goals to assist their learning growth.
- Provides a high level of engagement and motivation, as students have a voice regarding their text types and topics.
- Uses mentor texts to provide rich examples of specific writing skills.
- Provides multiple opportunities for students to receive feedback on their learning from a teacher and their peers.
- Provides a specific process for students to work through from the generation of ideas to a published piece of work.
At Chilwell Primary School, the Sound Waves spelling program is implemented across all year levels. Sound Waves is an evidence based systematic synthetic phonics and word study program. It uses a sound-to-letter strategy, which acknowledges that sounds can be represented more than one way in written form. This approach focuses first on phonemes – the basic units of sound. It then explores the letters, referred to as graphemes, that represent these sounds and how they can be put together to form written words. Students engage in a range of learning opportunities to develop their knowledge of phonemes and graphemes through explicit instruction, individual and small group activities as well as engaging in online learning resources.
Speaking & Listening
The relationship between oral language, reading and writing is interdependent. A strong speaking and listening foundation is crucial to becoming proficient in reading and writing.
At Chilwell Primary School students are explicitly taught speaking and listening skills and provided with regular opportunities to practise these skills.
Skills that are explicitly taught include:
- Giving and receiving feedback.
- How to have a respectful conversation and positive peer to peer interactions.
- Using prior knowledge to enhance learning.
- Respectfully challenging the ideas of others.
- Clarify and elaborate on thinking
- Oral presentations
- Explaining their learning and understanding via digital platforms such as … which provide opportunities for parent involvement and discussion about learning at home.
- Explain their learning using language specific to the task/learning
- Building schema through conversations
- Conversations to consolidate learning
- Higher order thinking promotion
- Giving and receiving feedback
- Peer to peer positive interactions
- Academic conversations
- Challenging the ideas of others
- Synthesising learning
- Elaborate and clarify
A full overview of the English Curriculum can be found here