English at Armstrong Creek School

English

Language is fundamental to learning and permeates the entire Primary Years Program.  By learning language as well as learning about through language, students develop an appreciation for the richness of language.  They develop an understanding of cultures and a love of literature.  Students are provided with opportunities to think, speak, listen, read and write about significant things, for a wide range of audiences.

The Early Years Program recognises the significance of the acquisition of literacy skills in the early years of schooling.  Essential features of our Early Years Program are daily two hour literacy sessions, home and school liaison, and students matched to appropriate text and continual monitoring and assessment.

Reading

We combine the Systems of Strategic Actions for Reading outlined by Fountas and Pinnell along with the Key Aspects of Reading (DET, 2017) to create high quality learning experiences for our students which are differentiated to meet individual needs.  We ensure that what we teach follows a continuum of clear, coherent learning pathways together with a scaffolded approach to developing literacy knowledge in our learners.

We adopt a simple view of reading that explicitly teaches decoding and comprehension through five components:

Phonemic Awareness

Phonics

Fluency

Vocabulary Knowledge

Comprehension

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.

There is consistency in teaching reading across the school with a shared understanding of practices, skills and strategies.

Our work is informed by evidences; 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.

As part of the English program, students are explicitly taught the four major areas of speaking and listening:

Phonological Awareness

Vocabulary

Comprehension

Fluency