At Wales Street Primary School, we use a whole school, structured literacy approach to teaching reading, writing and spelling based on best practice research. Structured Literacy explicitly teaches the building blocks of language in a systematic and sequential way. We begin by developing children’s phonological awareness skills and their knowledge of how speech sounds are mapped onto the letters and letter patterns that make them through the PLD (promoting literacy development) program. As students’ skills develop, they use their knowledge to blend sounds in order to read words and segment sounds in order to spell words with increasing difficulty. While developing these fundamental skills, we also have a strong focus on building students’ morphological awareness, vocabulary development, literal and inferential comprehension skills and ability to read and write proficiently across a wide range of text genres. This includes narratives, information reports, persuasive texts, recounts and poetry. The students are provided with rich, authentic writing tasks that enable them to understand the true value and purpose of the writing process. The students are also explicitly taught the conventions of grammar, punctuation, handwriting in order to become successful writers. Strong links are made between reading and writing and each classroom has its own classroom library.
Each classroom also provides a rich vocabulary oral language program with daily opportunities for children to develop their skills. Using a confident voice, organising thoughts, listening attentively and asking clarifying questions are important skills that are specifically taught.
We teach reading and writing through the Workshop Model consistently across the school from Foundation to Grade 6. As a whole school students have lessons daily that include:
- A mini lesson where the skills of reading and writing are explicitly taught and modelled to students
- Independent reading and writing work
- Reading and writing conferences
- Small strategy and guided reading groups
- Reflection time
At Wales Street Primary School we aim to foster a lifelong love of reading. We provide a wide range of imaginative, informative and mentor texts which provide opportunities for children to question, make connections, infer meaning and develop deeper understandings about their world.
A positive and structured environment is created to enable students to develop the skills and attitudes to become active, self-directed learners. Through choice, reflection, goal setting and assessments, students are empowered to take ownership of their own learning.