Literacy

At Westmeadows Primary School, our students are given explicit and systematic teaching in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. Using the Victorian Curriculum as our basis, students develop knowledge, understanding and skills across the strands of Language, Literature and Literacy.

Our whole school Reading approach is framed on the research of Irene Fountas and Gay Pinnell (F&P). We recognise that Reading is a complex process in which the reader actively constructs meaning. The reader draws on cognitive and linguistic strategies, as well as a range of information, both within and outside of the text, to process the language and develop meaning and understanding. Students develop reading comprehension skills and strategies that enable them to comprehend increasingly challenging texts and are encouraged to develop a love of reading through exposure to a range of text types, genres and topics.

Literacy involves:

Understanding texts though listening, reading and viewing
Making texts through speaking, writing and creating
Developing text, grammar, visual and word knowledge

At Westmeadows Primary School our commitment to Literacy includes:

Reading

  • Daily Reading with whole class and small group teaching
  • Reading Intervention as needed (LLI Program)
  • Independent Reading Time
  • Teaching of phonics (sounds) through the Soundwaves Program
  • Individual conferences (learning discussions) with students on books they read
  • Celebration of stories from different cultures
  • A school library for the students to borrow books from different cultures
  • Mini Libraries in every classroom

The Westmeadows Instructional Model supports the explicit teaching of specific reading strategies and skills, providing scaffolding for students as they make the transition from emergent through to independent readers.

Writing

Our whole school Writing approach follows the methodology of Big Write and VCOP (http://www.andrelleducation.com.au/). It follows the premise that ‘if they can’t say it, they can’t write it,’ Learning is scaffolded to allow children to become articulate thinkers and speakers, who will then become articulate writers. This program engages students in writing by enabling them to fluently engage with, critique and improve their writing, with a focus on vocabulary, connectives, sentence openers and punctuation.

Students will be involved in:

  • Daily Writing with whole class and small group teaching
  • Handwriting
  • Spelling
  • Grammar
  • The publishing of work using Digital Technology
  • Individual conferences (learning discussions) with students on their writing
  • Writing Intervention as needed

Speaking and Listening

Teachers recognise that speaking and listening, like writing, is used in formal and informal ways. The degree of formality used in an oral language interaction is dependent upon the subject matter to be discussed, the relationship between the participants and the way the interaction will occur.
Oral language
– involves expressive and receptive skills.

Expressive language – encompasses the words and actions used to convey meaning, including tone, volume, pauses and inflections.

Receptive language – is the understanding of language expressed by others. Expressive and receptive oral language are often referred to as speaking and listening.

Speaking and Listening is integrated within Literacy, Numeracy and our units of inquiry.

Students will experience:

  • Language experiences
  • Participation as listeners and speakers in conversations, discussions and presentations
  • Practice using a range of vocabulary