Literacy


Sunbury West Primary School’s vision is to maximise learning opportunities for all students in Literacy and Numeracy. We continuously reflect on this vision and implement strategies to ensure every student is completing high-quality learning tasks in all learning areas.

 

We acknowledge that the study of English (Literacy) is central to the learning and development of all young Australians. It helps to create confident communicators, imaginative thinkers and informed citizens. Through the study of English, 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 and plays an important part in developing the understanding, attitudes and capabilities of those who will take responsibility for Australia’s future.

 

At Sunbury West, our Literacy programs provide opportunities for students to:

  • listen to, read, view, speak, write and reflect on a variety of rich fiction and non-fiction texts
  • develop an understanding of communicating through spoken and written language
  • read and write a variety of texts for pleasure and authentic purposes
  • complete tasks that are customised for students’ individual learning needs
  • reflect on their learning and strive to achieve their individualised learning goals that have been created with the support of their teachers.

The three dimensions of English are Reading and Viewing, Writing and Speaking & Listening. At Sunbury West Primary School, students generally complete two hours of explicit Literacy instruction each morning. During this time, they undertake tasks that our teachers have carefully designed. Through a rigorous assessment and ongoing goal-setting between our students and teachers, we strive to develop personalised instruction to meet every student learning needs. We cater for students with differing abilities, interests and learning preferences, and our goal is for all students to learn what they need to learn and not repeat what they already know.

 

Reading

Reading and Viewing involves students understanding, interpreting, critically analysing, reflecting upon, and enjoying written and visual, print and non-print texts. It encompasses reading and viewing a wide range of texts and media, including literary texts. Reading involves active engagement with texts and the development of knowledge about the relationship between them and the contexts in which they are created. It also involves the development of knowledge about a range of strategies for reading. We continuously monitor our students’ reading progress and set learning goals based on our ongoing assessment. All of our Reading programs are influenced by research and evidence. We assess students formally using The Fountas and Pinnell Benchmarking System. Every student at Sunbury West Primary School has access to a variety of quality home reading materials.

 

At Sunbury West, we have a large focus on:

  • Oral Language
  • Letter Sound Knowledge (Phonics)
  • Phonological Awareness
  • Vocabulary
  • Comprehension
  • Fluency

Writing

Writing is a complex process that involves planning, composing, editing, revising and publishing. It involves using appropriate language for particular purposes and expressing and representing ideas and experiences. Our Writing programs at Sunbury West are developed in response to ongoing student assessment results. Students participate in whole-class, small group and individual conferences with their teachers, who scaffold learning and explicitly teach each of the 6+1 Traits of Writing. Individual learning goals are also developed during these conferences.

 

The 6+1 Traits of Writing were developed by Ruth Culham and are heavily supported by research. By using the 6+1 Traits, it provides students with opportunities to explore the following elements of quality writing:

  • Voice
  • Ideas
  • Presentation
  • Conventions
  • Organisation
  • Word Choice
  • Sentence Fluency

Speaking and Listening

Speaking and Listening refers to the formal and informal ways spoken language is used to convey meaning. It involves the teaching of language and how spoken language changes according to the situation. Speaking and Listening also involves developing active-listening strategies and an understanding of the conventions of different spoken texts. Throughout the school year, teachers continuously provide opportunities for students to improve their skills in this domain. Every class co-constructs (the students and teachers work together to create something) class discussion protocols through our Jumpstart program and continuously refers to them across the year. We promote the importance of being articulate speakers and teach the link between spoken language and written language. We encourage students to share their ideas at the appropriate times and to value the contributions of others. 

 

These are the foundations of literacy learning and are the focus for students across years Prep to Six. In the early years of schooling, oral language development, phonics, and phonological awareness form the foundation of literacy skill acquisition. Students are exposed to both fiction and non-fiction texts to support their reading, writing and speaking and listening. Through our home reading program across year Prep-6, students are encouraged to take books and other reading materials home to share with their families to continue to develop their abilities. Teachers conduct weekly library lessons to complement this, where students are encouraged to borrow books to foster a love of literature from our well-resourced library.

 

 

Wednesday 27th May was National Simultaneous Storytime. The 2020 book was Whitney and Britney Chicken Divas! Our 3-6 cohort participated virtually, listening to the book on Story Box and doing some word searches, code breakers, chicken coop designs and chook files. Our P-2 team were lucky enough to have a live reading and made some SUPER special and sparkly chickens and crowns! We hope you enjoy it.

 

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