Literacy at Canadian Lead PS
At Canadian Lead there is a shared vision and goals expectation for Literacy Teaching and Learning. Literacy teaching is purposeful with all teachers providing opportunities that assist students to make connections and apply literacy knowledge to the world around them. Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) meet weekly to plan ahead for reading, writing and word study. We also use the PLC Improvement Cycle which supports teachers, school leadership teams and school improvement teams to focus on better outcomes for our students. Improvements to teaching practice and student learning are strongly dependent on effective implementation within evidence-based improvement cycles.
As learners of literacy, students develop efficient reading, writing, speaking and listening skills daily through evidenced based teaching practices. Teachers have an understanding of effective teaching of Literacy including the Reading Rope (Scarborough, H. S.), the Simple View of Reading (Gough & Tunmer) and the six elements of effective reading instruction (phonemic awareness, phonics, oral language, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension).
Students are scaffolded to self-assess and develop learning goals through individual conferences. Teachers give explicit feedback to their students and create personalised programs for students by assessing their strengths and needs. All teachers engage in moderation to ensure consistent judgement.
Lessons follow the whole school Instructional Model, learning intentions, success criteria and reflection are built into lessons ensuring that teachers are building on literacy knowledge that students already possess and targeted teaching to the needs of all students as individuals. A differentiated curriculum is provided at point of need for all students through targeted focus groups within lessons. The 2-hour Literacy Block consists of Reading, Word Study and Writing. Our focus includes a ‘non-negotiable’ uninterrupted daily block of time dedicated to literacy whilst teachers also provide students with additional opportunities for literacy integrated into other curriculum areas.
In 2020 we introduced Sounds-Write across out F-4 classroom for Word Study. Sounds-Write is a quality first phonics programme. Its purpose is to provide teachers with a comprehensive system with which to teach reading, spelling and writing. Our F-4 classes run daily 20-25 minute sessions in the classrooms. Sounds-Write not only helps students to decode when reading but it also assists them with spelling and writing of words.
In 2020 we also introduced the Heggerty Phonemic Awareness Curriculum. This is an explicitly taught for the first 10 minutes of each day F-2.
Writing is taught through the Writing Cycle and the use of Writer’s Notebooks. It is celebrated at Canadian Lead in multiple ways within the classrooms and across the whole school.
Supporting and extending the classroom Literacy we have a partnership with the Western Bulldogs “Bulldogs Read” program and with other schools in Ballarat through the “Young Authors” program.
The teaching of Literacy is complimented by the use of technology. All students have access to the following online programs; Story Box Library and Sunshine Classics/Online, as well as Literacy Pro for select 3/4 students and all of our 5/6 students. These programs allow our teachers to set individualised programs to give further support and extension to all students.