Teachers use the Australian curriculum as a guiding document for the teaching of English. The English curriculum includes three strands: Language, Literature and Literacy. These strands are often interwoven and allow students to develop knowledge, understanding and skills in listening, reading, viewing, speaking, writing and creating.
At Isabella Plains we use a ‘Balanced Literacy’ approach. This approach allows teachers to use a variety of skills and ways of teaching to ensure all students actively engage in the program. Teachers provide scaffolding and modelling initially and use the gradual release of responsibility model as students become more confident and proficient.
At Isabella Plains Early Childhood School our staff use a variety of strategies to teach reading and writing including;
- modelled reading and writing - the teacher explicitly models and demonstrates the selected reading or writing strategies to the students. During this process the teachers talks about their thinking so students can understand the strategies they are using.
- shared reading and writing - the teacher will model to the student reading or writing. Students are than asked to have a go with support provided by the teacher. This is done in either a whole or small group or independently. and student work side by side to share a book or co-create a piece of writing. The teacher supports the student to understand which reading or writing strategies to use in order to achieve success with the task.
- Independent reading and writing- children work on their own to develop their skills in reading and writing. Support is provided as required in order for children to achieve success.
- Guided reading and writing - students work in a small group with others of similar abilities to develop reading and writing behaviours. The teacher's role during this time is to guide and support students through the process of reading or writing, providing explicit instruction and feedback.
Teachers undertake regular assessment to determine where students are at with their literacy development and make program adjustments and differentiation to ensure all children succeed. Some children may participate in a targeted intervention group working on particular areas of need.
Families are encouraged to support their child’s reading and writing at home by sharing books, providing tools and equipment for writing and encouraging children's efforts. For young children families can also support children's fine and gross motor development which in turn assists children's ability to hold a pencil, sit at a table and maintain stamina during English Workshops.
Every class has a weekly visit to the school library sometimes staff will assist students to find a book they think they might like but at other times students are given free choice as to which books they would like to borrow. Students are encouraged to share their book at home either reading it to someone in the family or having it read to them.
More information about English outcomes can be found of the Australian Curriculum website http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/english/Rationale