The English program at BWPS is designed to improve the literacy skills of all students, in the three key areas of Reading and Viewing, Writing and Speaking and Listening, in line with the Victorian Curriculum. Teachers continually monitor and track student progress, and design classroom programs that cater for individual student needs. We use CAFE, VCOP and Fountas and Pinnell programs, strategies and assessment.
During reading and writing sessions, students are involved in whole-class teaching and learning, independent work, small-group work, as well as whole-class sharing and discussion. Students are encouraged to reflect on their learning and, with teacher support, set new goals for future learning. Here is a brief outline of some of the literacy teaching strategies used in our classrooms:
Language Experience – there is a powerful relationship between spoken language, written language and reading in English. Our teachers provide many opportunities for student discussion, through planned and incidental shared experiences in the classroom and directed play.
Reading to –involves the whole class listening to a text read aloud by the teacher. The teacher models skilled reading behaviour, enjoyment and interest in a range of different styles of writing and types of text.
Guided reading –conducted in needs-based small groups. This involves the teacher guiding students as they read, talk and think their way through a text.
Shared reading –involves teacher and students working together using an enlarged text. The text can be used to demonstrate the reading process to students or to demonstrate how texts work.
Independent reading –involves students selecting and reading texts of interest.
Conferencing- involves the teacher meeting with individual students in reading or writing sessions, to monitor progress, provide support, discuss learning and set new goals.
Modelled writing –involves the teacher writing and making explicit the considerations and thinking behind a piece of text as well as articulating the process.
Guided writing –involves the teacher guiding a small group of students as they create their own individual texts. The teacher guides, extends students’ thinking and responds to questions.
Interactive writing–involves the teacher and small groups of students jointly composing a large print text on a subject of interest to the students and sharing responsibility for the recording at various points in the writing.
Shared writing–involves the teacher (as scribe) and students collaboratively composing a piece of writing.
Big Write-students prepare for a piece of writing on a given topic.