Planning for the Literacy Program is based on the Victorian Curriculum. We use our whole school assessment overview which directs the planning to meet individual student’s needs.
Our approach to teaching reading is evidence-based on research that tells us that students learn to read by reading. A key element of a successful reading program is choice. Every student at Marlborough has their own reading box of ‘just right’ books that they have chosen to read during Independent Reading.
Modelled and shared reading is also used by teachers to explicitly target whole class needs focusing on the CAFE menu. CAFE stands for Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency and Expanding Vocabulary. These are the four key areas of reading instruction and learning. Individual and whole class strategies are selected from the CAFE menu each week. Independent Reading time allows for students to put into practice skills which have been explicitly taught during whole class or small group sessions. During Independent Reading teachers work one on one with students at their point of need.
At Marlborough, we acknowledge that writing is a complex process. As a result, we explicitly teach the different components of quality writing using the 6 traits plus 1 of writing with the acronym VOICES: Voice, Organisation, Ideas, Conventions, Expanding Vocabulary, Sentence Fluency and Presentation.
This provides a common language throughout the school when teaching and learning about writing, and helps students break down the task and understand it better.
All teachers use a workshop approach to Writing where students are also exposed to writing for specific purposes by developing a clear understanding of the structures of various text types during writing sessions. Whole class needs are explicitly taught through Modelled and Shared Writing.
Students use a Writer’s Notebook to record and expand their ideas for writing. They spend time practicing writing for their own purposes and audiences as well as using the strategies modelled by the teacher.
Students select from five authentic reading and writing choices, working independently toward personalized goals, while the teacher meets individual needs through whole-group and small-group instruction, as well as one-on-one conferring.
These choices include:
• Read to Self
• Work on Writing
• Read to Someone
• Listen to Reading
• Word Work