The Kindy Language Program covers the essential phonological awareness (PA) skills that students must be taught to build a strong foundation for reading and spelling. While strong PA is the target for the end of Kindy, students who are ready should be extended.
Let's Decode (Kindy)
Students are explicitly introduced to single sounds and common digraphs. A range of integrated oral and written activities are used to practise and consolidate their phonic knowledge. There will be a strong focus on correct articulation of sounds to assist with reading and spelling development.
Sight Words are introduced when students have a sound understanding of word level concepts and have been introduced to the single sounds and letters of the alphabet. These words will also be decodable words that are useful for early reading, which will enable students to develop a small bank of early reading sight words.
Talk 4 Writing
Students will orally learn poems, rhymes and stories using the Talk 4 Writing approach. This is important for internalising a sense of language, structure and text and developing the ability to innovate and create simple oral texts.
Integrated Literacy Activities
Engagement in hands on, integrated and multimodal activities allows students to practise skills they have explicitly learned in a variety of engaging ways.
Assessment of Oral Language
Students will be assessed on an ongoing basis throughout the year. Each concept will be assessed after it has been taught and consolidated. This provides teachers with information about individual student progress and needs as well as whole class planning and teaching. Students will be tested again in Term 4.
Phonics Program (PP-2)
The Starlite Phonics Program covers the Initial and Extended Phonics Codes with specific teaching points and activities. It is important that students learn and practise phoneme-grapheme correspondence in the context of a word. They will engage in building, reading, spelling and writing words and sentences; phoneme manipulation; and dictation of words, sentences and passages.
Spelling Mastery is introduced in Year 2 and continued through to Year 6. In just 25 minutes, 3 days a week, Spelling Mastery can help teach your student the strategies they need to become successful, life-long spellers. Using a combined approach of phonemic, morphemic and whole-word strategies, Spelling Mastery helps students to understand the relationship between sounds, word parts and spelling patterns. Students are taught in small steps using sufficient practise so that they comprehend how spelling works and can become proficient writers.
Our aim is to create an environment that allows students to use grammatical knowledge and understandings in order to make appropriate choices in getting their message across in both written texts and in speaking and listening. An explicit, whole-school approach to grammar has been adopted, so that our students gain essential knowledge and understandings of the functional use of grammar in Standard Australian English.
It is important for students to practise sentence construction skills and to understand how grammar works within the context of a sentence. Sentence writing lessons are also an opportunity for students to apply text and theme-related vocabulary and explore synonyms, antonyms, word meaning and formation.
Text for Writing
The T4W approach guides students, through talk, to explore the thinking and creative processes involved in being a good writer. T4W is a systematic, comprehensive, evidence-based program that is firmly grounded in explicit instruction principles. It is a complete framework in which both fiction and non-fiction texts can be taught.
Reading is the process of thinking and constructing meaning as we decode. For reading to be purposeful, you must have both effective decoding and comprehension skills.
At Coogee Primary, we believe that effective reading instruction is based on six critical components:
1. Phonological Awareness
3. Sight Words
Literacy Pro / Independent Reading
Literacy Pro is a whole-school independent reading program with the aim of promoting and motivating students to read on a daily basis. Students are initially tested to determine their Lexile reading level, which enables them to search for appropriately levelled books to read. Students are encouraged to read books for personal interest and enjoyment then complete book quizzes to earn points. Points accrue towards levelled certificates, which are presented to students at assembly.
It is important to build a reading culture in your classroom by having an accessible classroom library, assisting students to find and borrow appropriate books, and requiring students to have a book on their desks at all times. Students should be encouraged to read in the morning before classes commence, whenever they finish early and for home reading. A love of reading can also be instilled by timetabling regular shared novel reading sessions/story time.
Monitoring Student Progress
Regular monitoring and assessment provides teachers with the opportunity to ensure that students are operating at an instructional level during the formal teaching of reading. The Literacy Assess placed on the whole school monitoring tool in readiness for the next year. The Informal Prose Inventory (IPI) is to be used for students in all Year levels.
All students in PP - Year 6 will be assessed PAT Reading in Terms 1 and 3. Students who achieve below Stanine 3 might be ‘at risk’ and will be considered for Intervention following further assessment. Students who have been identified as ‘at risk’ readers will be involved in small group, intensive reading sessions within each teaching block. Education Assistants will be used to deliver these programs. Programs such as Mini Lit, MacqLit and Reading Tutor will be used with a focus on decoding, fluency and comprehension.
Students who achieve above Stanine 8 will require extending. These students should be catered for within the classroom reading program through use of higher level texts, differentiated and small group instruction.
All new enrolments will be assessed with the following assessment tools:
- Phonological Awareness & Phonics screen (K-2)
- IPI Informal Prose Inventory - Reading
- Sight Word Recognition (K-6) (teacher)
- PAT (Reading, G&P, Maths) (1-6) (see admin)