The study of English is central to the learning and development of all young Australians. It helps create confident communicators, imaginative thinkers and informed citizens. The study of English plays a key role in the development of reading and literacy skills which help young people develop the knowledge and skills needed for education, training and the workplace. It helps them become ethical, thoughtful, informed and active members of society.
The teaching of literacy at Mawson Primary School incorporates explicit and systematic instruction in the skills, knowledge and understandings required for students to be literate. Literacy is taught in a balanced and integrated way in a two hour literacy block each day. In the early years, literacy includes the explicit teaching of: phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary knowledge, comprehension; concepts about print, grammar, punctuation, spelling and handwriting.
The primary school literacy program at Mawson Primary School draws on the strengths of a comprehensive range of evidence and research-based approaches to meet the learning needs of students. Teachers run a Balanced Literacy Program. When teachers design a Balanced Literacy Program they are planning, organising and structuring the literacy block to maximise success for all students. Within our classrooms there are a diverse range of learners. In a Balanced Literacy Program, teachers carefully scaffold learning to ensure growth for all students.
Teachers at Mawson Primary School use Pearson and Gallagher's Gradual Release of Responsibility Model to scaffold student learning. This model moves students through the processes of familiarising, analysing, modelling, sharing and guiding students to independence in applying their skills in reading and writing. During the course of this process, the role of the teacher decreases as the skills of the student increases. Students are given multiple opportunities to learn from explicit teaching throughout this process across a range of text types.
At Mawson Primary School we believe that:
Reading should be interesting and purposeful. It is the foundation of all learning. We should engage readers with a wide variety of texts to develop a love of reading.
Reading should be explicitly taught through the research based essential reading components (oral language, phonological awareness, letter-sound knowledge, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension).
Students should have opportunities to read every day through modelled, shared, guided and independent reading.
Repetition and practice are essential.
We use the gradual release of responsibility model and teaching should be differentiated.
Skills in reading are transferable to other languages.