Literacy – Growing the next generation of readers, writers and speakers
At Yarrawonga P-4 we strive to ensure that our Literacy Curriculum is challenging, interesting and diverse. Our collaborative planning ensures that we maintain collective responsibility for all students, with every staff member invested in boosting the performance of each and every student. Our aim is to capture our student’s imagination, passion, and interest, so they can achieve their personal goals and aspirations. Our campus uses evidence-based teaching approaches to ensure we maximise these opportunities.
Throughout our learning environments, you will see the use of the gradual release teaching approach, which is where the teacher will explain or model a concept to students, then the teacher will work with the students to support them to more thoroughly understand what was taught, and finally the students will work independently, applying their learning. This approach supports the individual needs of our students and allows them to have greater control of their learning. It is during the independent learning time that students work on their individual reading and writing goals, which are developed in consultation with the student based on their most current assessment data.
We use the Victorian Curriculum to guide our planning, but we also utilise student data to create engaging, point of need learning experiences that build on, and extend, student’s current knowledge and skills. The ‘data’ we collect can take the form of a pre-test to gauge students’ prior understanding on a topic, reading notes, writing samples and formal reading and writing assessments, which ensures we provide learning opportunities to cater for all of our students’ learning needs.
Students participate in rich literacy experiences on a daily basis and our use of the Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop models help facilitate this. Our students participate in individual reading & writing practice, group reading & writing practice and targeted small group work, with students placed in targeted groups based on the skill or concept they are working on. To support students in achieving their individual goals they have access to levelled texts, choice texts and online texts as well as an array of educational games which ensures the learning needs of each of our students are catered for.
Helping our students to see themselves writers, and to understand how writing is a tool to help them convey their ideas and thoughts, is a goal at our College. We value, celebrate and explicitly teach the 7 traits of good writing- Ideas, Word Choice, Voice, Organisation, Sentence Fluency, Conventions and Presentation. We challenge the misconception that good writing means just great spelling, grammar and handwriting, instead helping our students see that great writing begins with great ideas. We build our students’ writing stamina and confidence through the use of Writer’s Notebooks.
Our Readers and Writers Workshop approach allows our students to thrive in a community of trust and sharing, where they are given opportunities to talk about their ideas and experiences as readers and writers, where they play with language and take risks as they explore and develop their literacy skills. Daily Reader’s and Writer’s workshops provide our students with every possible opportunity to build and cement their reading, viewing, writing, speaking and listening skills, ensuring our students become confident communicators.