Literacy underpins everything we do throughout our educational years. At Carwatha College P-12 our philosophy is to empower students from a diverse range of backgrounds with the Literacy skills they will need in order to be successful in life. In Primary, our Literacy program includes a balance of reading, writing, spelling and oral language and is designed to be relevant to the contemporary learning demands of the 21st Century. In order to reach each student’s exact point of need, a variety of teaching strategies are used to personalise learning. This ensures that students are continually engaged in their learning and extended along the literacy learning continuum. Daily one hour workshops in reading and writing maximise students’ literacy learning opportunities.
During the reading workshop, students are immersed in a world of quality children’s literature including multi literacies. They select a collection of books appropriate to their individual interests and reading ability. They work with these books throughout the reading workshop where they apply their knowledge of the reading process when reading independently.Through explicit lessons teachers refer to ‘what good readers do’ placing an emphasis on the thinking processes that good readers use. They use a range of teaching strategies such as conferencing, focus teaching groups, independent activities and workshops to the target specific reading needs of students.
During writing workshops strong connections are made between reading and writing through the use of children’s literature. Writing conventions including grammar and punctuation are embedded and explicitly taught as part of the writing process. Throughout the primary years, students are exposed to a wide range of text types and multi literacies. Teachers use a range of strategies to personalise learning in writing. Children engage in the writing process by making choices and having a clear sense of purpose about what they write.
A strong emphasis is placed on teachers reading to students for enjoyment, to develop phonological awareness and to familiarise them with the language of books. Students are explicitly taught reading strategies and they are given many opportunities throughout the day to independently practise these strategies with texts that are predictable and which have illustrations that strongly support the printed text.Children engage in writing activities on a daily basis. Teachers model writing and make connections between written and oral language. This leads to a growing awareness of the connection between letters and sounds as students begin to record their own thoughts and ideas in written form.
Level 1 & 2
Through their growing awareness of reading strategies students learn to comprehend more complex text. They encounter an increasing amount of unfamiliar vocabulary.Daily writing workshops continue to provide students with opportunities to create a range of imaginative, informative and persuasive texts. They begin to work through the writing process, planning, composing, revising, editing and publishing.
Level 3 & 4
Students participate in daily reading workshops where they have opportunities to independently read for pleasure. They are extended through texts involving complex sequences of events within a framework of experiences familiar to students. They engage in informative texts that present new content about topics of interest and topics being studied in other areas of the curriculum.Students deepen their understanding of text types through daily writing workshops. Their developing awareness of audience and purpose influences the choices students make about their writing. Students deepen their understanding of writing conventions through the writing process.
Level 5 & 6
Daily reading workshops continue to provide opportunities for students to read for pleasure over extended periods of time. They engage in texts with more complex sequences and explore textual features such as characterisation, shifts in time, interpersonal relationships and ethical dilemmas.Through daily writing workshops, students engage in the creation of more complex forms of writing across a range of text types. Students experiment with how vocabulary choices can influence the effect on their audience.