English at Armstrong Creek School

English

At Armstrong Creek School, knowledge, understanding and skills in English are taught explicitly across the Victorian Curriculum strands of Language, Literature and Literacy. Students from Prep to Year 10 participate in a comprehensive teaching and learning program which incorporates essential elements of Reading, Writing and Speaking & Listening. Evidence-based instructional practices are adopted  by teaching staff and a whole-school Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum ensures that all children are given the opportunity to learn prioritised content.  Teachers design and implement classroom instruction and curriculum systematically  through the application of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support. This allows us to implement instructional practices which respond directly to the needs of individual learners.

Reading

We adopt a simple view of reading which recognises that successful reading is the product of decoding (the ability to read words on a page) and language comprehension (the ability to understand those words). Teachers explicitly teach and assess decoding and language comprehension using six components; Phonological Awareness, Phonics, Fluency, Oral Language Comprehension and Reading Comprehension. A Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum emphasises the priority learning within these six components and all instruction in Reading links directly back to the ‘Big 6’.

Teaching Strategies

Using the workshop model, there is a focus on explicit instruction which includes teacher modelling and teacher guidance.

Our teaching practices include modelled reading, shared reading, guided reading, independent reading, reciprocal reading, literature circles and close reading.

  • There are high levels of student and teacher interactions.
  • We build upon strengths and capacity of educators through continued professional learning.
  • All students have individual learning goals in Reading
  • There is consistency in teaching reading across the school with a shared understanding of practices, skills and strategies.
  • Our work is informed by evidence; teachers use student learning data and respond to individual needs in reading using the most appropriate instructional practice.
  • We monitor and use assessment data so that student learning is personalised and purposeful.

Writing

With explicit reference to the Victorian Curriculum, the teaching and learning of writing at Armstrong Creek School is designed using the Fountas and Pinnell Writing Continuum as guidance.

Curriculum requirements are met through carefully designed learning experiences in four major areas of writing:

Genre

Conventions

Craft

Writing Process

All students engage with each area of writing at increasingly sophisticated levels as they progress in their learning.  We recognise that writing and reading are complementary processes; learning in one help learning in the other.

Speaking and Listening

At Armstrong Creek School, we emphasis the explicit teaching of oral language skills and the critical links between these and learning in Reading and Writing. Phonological Awareness, Fluency, Vocabulary and Oral Language Comprehension all play a critical role in Speaking and Listening and feature heavily in our comprehensive English teaching and learning programs.