English


At Mount Waverley Primary School, we are committed to providing our students with a dynamic, evidence-based approach to Literacy learning that is consistent across our school. Students learn to be successful readers, writers, speakers and listeners and gain a range of strategies that they can draw upon to progress their own learning throughout their educational journey with us.

 

Reading
“We can’t learn to swim without swimming, to write without writing, to sing without singing or to read without reading”

 At Mount Waverley Primary School, students are immersed in reading as we foster a love of reading and aim to create lifelong readers. We want our students to actively think about what they read, engage in discussions about what they read and form their own ideas and opinions. They use metacognition and their schemas to relate what they have read to their own experiences, other texts and the wider world. Students are taught to use strategies to think within the text, about the text and beyond the text.

 

During our daily reading lessons students are explicitly taught reading strategies with the gradual release of responsibility (I Do, We Do, You Do). They enjoy ‘Read Alouds’ with their teacher who models the strategy, followed by peer discussions before engaging with a range of texts and practising the strategy themselves. Students will individually conference or participate in focus strategy groups with their teacher to set future learning goals and celebrate successes. During our daily reading lessons students are also explicitly taught how to read accurately and fluently.

 

Our Daily Reading Lessons empower students to:

  • View reading as a time to think deeply about the text, as opposed to one about words and word parts
  • Identify and talk about many titles, authors and genres
  • Independently choose books of interest at their reading level                                                                           
  • Self-monitor for understanding and use reading strategies when necessary
  • Engage in meaningful reading for a sustained period of time
  • Discuss and think about books with others
  • Set individual goals through conferences with their teachers.

Writing
“If they can’t say it, they can’t write it.” Ros Wilson

 At Mount Waverley Primary School our daily writing lessons consist of explicit modelling of writing practices combined with the use of rich language and student discussions to generate ideas. Our approach to writing utilises Big Write and VCOP as well as engaging language games and handwriting practise.

 

What is Big Write and VCOP?

Big Write and VCOP is a fast paced, fun filled writing program that is based around talk. At the heart of Big Write is the development of the writing voice. Big Write and VCOP creates a positive ethos towards writing for all students. Writing improvement is achieved through a series of highly motivating, differentiated lessons that embed all the basic skills and knowledge that children require to be successful and continue to improve. The use of the Australian Criterion Scale ensures consistency of assessment between and across year levels. The Big Write methodology is; ‘if they can’t say it, they can’t write it.’ With talk and communication, an imperative element of the approach, it directly appeals to those who are reluctant writers. Our students are encouraged to be ambitious, up-level their writing and focus on the elements of VCOP. By highlighting these areas and independently using the Student Criterion Scale our students are empowered by understanding the simple and successful ways to improve their writing and strive towards their individual goals.

 


Spelling
At Mount Waverley Primary School our students are explicitly taught the 44 phonemes and 26 letters of the alphabet. We teach the explicit instruction of phonics to develop our students’ ability to decode words in the English language. They are immersed in texts from Prep and are encouraged to become ‘code-breakers’. Using their knowledge to segment unfamiliar words into sounds when they read and also apply their knowledge of sounds and spelling rules to accurately spell words. As they move through the school they explore the meaning of words through grammar, word morphology and etymological knowledge and apply these skills in their writing.

 

Speaking and Listening
 ‘The relationship between oral language ability and academic success has been well established.’ Resnick and Snow.

 We pride ourselves on developing confident speakers and active listeners throughout all aspects of the curriculum. This is achieved through our passion for Student Voice, Agency and Leadership within the classroom and its integration into all lessons. Our students develop these skills through participating in rich classroom discussions, conferences, small group tasks and collaborative learning opportunities, presentations to peers, debates, turn ‘n’ talks, reciprocal teaching and their continued display of our school values. Staff in our school model the use of higher-level vocabulary using subject specific terminology.

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