In Foundation-Year 2, the primary focus of reading instruction is “learning to read.” Reading instruction is provided daily with a minimum of five hours each week. This involves explicit teaching of phonemic awareness and phonics through the Little Learners Love Literacy ® approach. Little Learners Love Literacy® is an explicit and sequential literacy approach for teaching children to read, write and spell with confidence. At Dunolly Primary School, we also recognise the importance of sharing quality picture books. Students are read quality picture books and mentor texts to help to develop their love of reading and stories and to extend their vocabulary.
In Year 3-6, our reading focus moves from “learning to read to reading to learn.” Reading instruction is provided daily with a minimum of five hours each week. Morphology, etymology, building vocabulary, fluency and extending comprehension skills form the key components of reading instruction. The Fountas and Pinnell systems of strategic action act as a guide to the key comprehension skills that are taught. Students learn skills to think within the text, beyond the text and about the text. Teachers also use mentor texts as a stepping point for vocabulary and comprehension, explicitly teaching the meaning of Tier 2 words and guiding discussions to delve deeper into the text. Teachers follow our Phonics and Morphology Scope and Sequence to gradually introduce morphemes. The etymology of key Greek, Latin and Anglo-Saxon roots are explicitly explained and explored.
At Dunolly Primary School, we acknowledge that if students can’t say it…they can’t write it. ‘Talk time’ (teacher to student, student to student, student to teacher) forms a key component of our writing hour. Talking about writing supports the development of oral language and is vital to writing inspiration. Teachers use ideas and strategies from VCOP (Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers and Punctuation) to build student skills as writers. Mentor texts and worked examples are used to model writing and to explore the devices that good writer’s use to make their writing more interesting. In the upper grades, Author’s notebooks are used to gather ideas and examples for student’s own writing. Big Writes and Cold writes are used in all year levels to monitor and assess student learning. In Foundation-Year 2 there is also a key focus on the development of accurate letter formation and handwriting. ANLF (Australian Literacy Numeracy Foundation) YabaYaba Tommy Turtle and sky, grass, dirt lines are used to assist in developing these skills. Writing instruction is provided daily with a minimum of five hours each week.