At Heidelberg Primary School, we are committed to providing our students with a dynamic, evidence-based approach to literacy learning that is consistent across our school and driven by the Victorian Curriculum. Students learn to be successful readers, writers, speakers and listeners and are exposed to a range of strategies that they can draw on to progress their own learning throughout their journey with us.
At HPS all students are engaged in our Literacy Program for two hours each day. Our Literacy Program incorporates whole class teaching, small group and individual work based on student needs. Whole class reflection of student learning is included at the end of each session.
All students are expected to read daily, both at home and at school. Home Reading provides children with the opportunity to choose text to read at home with the family. This is a wonderful and rewarding time for all! It develops a love of literature, stimulates an interest in print and helps children see reading as a leisure time activity. Read with and to your child and follow up with a discussion. When your child is ready to read to you – it is an exciting time for everyone!
Reading and Viewing:
Students are constantly challenged to further develop their reading skills, to both foster their love of reading and develop strong comprehension skills to become critical, deeper thinkers. Students are supported to develop skills in comprehension (I understand what I read); accuracy (I can read the words); fluency (I can read accurately, with expression, and understand what I read) and developing broad vocabulary (I know, find, and use interesting words).
Our early years program is derived from The Science of Language and Reading and delivers a rigorous and structured approach to phonological awareness, phonics, word decoding and language comprehension. As a student's decoding ability increases there is an enhanced emphasis on six key comprehension strategies: using prediction and prior knowledge; thinking aloud and asking questions; visualising during reading; looking at text structure; visual representation (we don’t just read books, we read charts, graphs, tables); summarising during and after our reading. Our reading lesson structure follows the Reading Workshop Model.
Writing involves students in the active process of conceiving, planning, composing, editing, and publishing a range of texts. Writing involves using appropriate language for purposes or occasions, both formal and informal, to express and represent ideas and experiences, and to reflect on these aspects. It involves the development of knowledge about strategies for writing. Students develop understandings and skills to use language conventions (grammar, punctuation, spelling) at an appropriate standard for their year levels.
Our whole-school approach to writing has classroom teachers modelling various genres, students choosing their own writing topics, Writers’ Notebooks, student/teacher conferencing and students regularly sharing their writing with peers, for both enjoyment and to gain feedback from classmates. Students are encouraged to publish their works, which includes, but is not limited to, digital forms. Handwriting is also an important element of the writing program and is explicitly taught from Foundation to Year 4. Our writing lesson structure follows the Writing Workshop Model.
Speaking and Listening:
Speaking and listening refers to the various formal and informal ways oral language is used to convey and receive meaning. It involves the development and demonstration of knowledge about the appropriate oral language for audiences and occasions, including body language and voice. It also involves the development of active-listening strategies and an understanding of the conventions of different spoken texts.