At Sunbury West Primary School, students are engaged in 10 hours of English per week as we understand how vital English skills are to support all learning. We use evidence-based methods to ensure all students succeed and thrive in this area.
Explicit and systematic teaching of fundamental knowledge and skills is the pillar of our approach at SWPS to provide the best possible environment for all students to develop the ability to read, write and understand the rules that underpin the English language.
We are regularly exceeding expected growth across Prep to Grade 2, where the fundamental skills of reading must be embedded, which is leading to sustained improvement and growth through to the later years.
Reading is made of six key areas:
1. Phonological Awareness
3. Sight Words
Our structured reading and writing approach includes:
Phonological awareness and phonics skill screening on arrival
Explicit teaching of phonological awareness and phonics
Automaticity training in the recognition of irregular words/high-frequency words
A guided practice to improve fluency
Vocabulary development. Including structured morphology from Prep to 6
Explicit teaching of comprehension strategies
Explicit teaching of comprehension questioning techniques.
Students from Grades 2 to 6 study novels from a range of authors. The books are provided by the school. All students have access to Audio versions of these books.
Fluency is defined as the ability to read with speed, accuracy, and proper expression. In order to understand what they read, children must be able to read fluently, whether they are reading aloud or silently. When reading aloud, fluent readers read in phrases and add intonation appropriately. Their reading is smooth and has expression.
Spelling activities involve students spelling, blending and segmenting words. Students are also explicitly taught the six syllable types and morphology (prefixes, suffixes) and the spelling rules that govern them. High-frequency words (learned words) are included in the daily English structure.
Spelling Mastery is an additional program used from Grades 1 to 6 daily.
Grammar is the system and structure of language, which is taught so students can make the correct grammatical choices in both written application and speaking and listening. An explicit, whole-school approach to grammar has been adopted so that our students gain essential knowledge and understanding of the functional use of grammar in standard Australian English.
Vocabulary is one of the six major components of reading and is linked to academic success. Vocabulary instruction provides essential background knowledge for reading and writing. If students are taught the meaning of words that they don’t know from the text, they have a better chance of comprehending what has been read.