Reading and Viewing
Glen Waverley South Primary School follows a whole school approach to Reading and Viewing. We explicitly teach Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency and Expanding Vocabulary strategies using the CAFE reading system as a resource. The lessons include; explicit modelling of the reading strategies using mentor texts, time for independent reading and teacher conferencing with students. Students participate in reading workshops which can include teacher focus groups, word work activities, reading responses, comprehension activities, literature circles, ICT activities and literacy games. At the conclusion of each session, students participate in self and peer reflections based on the success criteria linked to the explicit learning focus.
During regular planned individual and group student- teacher conferences, each student and their teacher will collaboratively set individual learning goals for students to work towards. These goals are regularly reviewed.
Students are exposed to various modes of media including fiction and non fiction texts, video clips and films. Through Critical Literacy, students are taught the skills to analyse and evaluate the multimodal texts and often reflect on their own learning and share their knowledge and understandings.
Students’ Reading and Viewing is assessed according to the Victorian Curriculum through informal and formal methods. These can include student-teacher conferences, running records, observations, PM Benchmarks and Fountas and Pinnell assessments.
GWSPS implements a whole school approach to the teaching of Writing. This approach is based on Lisa Keskinen’s model of the Writer’s Workshop.
Across the levels from Foundation-6, explicit teaching focuses on a range of writing genres, including the structures and features of the English language. These genres incorporate imaginative, informative and persuasive writing styles.
Students follow the 7 conditions for effective writing:
- Room structure
Writing sessions include explicit teaching and modelling, independent writing, group and individual differentiated tasks, student conferences and reflection time. Sessions include a mini lesson of approximately 15 minutes where the explicit teaching occurs. Students then engage in independent choice writing followed by editing time. To conclude each session, students are given the opportunity to share their writing by participating in Author’s Chair. Throughout the year students publish a variety of writing pieces at the completion of the writing process. Students are encouraged to utilise a Writer’s Notebook as a tool that assists and prompts the writing process. Their Writer’s Notebook includes a variety of images, prompts and words that can help to inspire writing pieces.
Student conferences are used to support and extend students’ individual learning needs. They can occur individually or with a small group of students. Students receive constructive feedback on independent and moderated writing pieces, which aim to continue developing their writing skills. Moderation writing takes place twice a term, after multiple teacher modelled sessions that are genre specific. During student conferences, teachers collect evidence to support and extend students’ learning. This may take the form of checklists, observation notes, photos or work samples. Students also receive positive and constructive peer feedback during Author’s Chair time. Students use these writing conferences and feedback to develop personal learning goals, which become their learning focus during writing sessions with the aim to improve individual writing skills.
At Glen Waverley South Primary School spelling and grammar are taught explicitly in modelled, shared, interactive and guided reading and writing sessions. Spelling and grammar are taught according to the Victorian Curriculum guidelines for each level. Mentor texts are used as resources to demonstrate spelling and grammar in context.
Across the different stages of primary school, F-2, 3-4 and 5-6, teaching emphasis will change according to the students’ stages of spelling development and spelling needs. Assessment of students’ spelling ability can take many forms. The analysis of students’ writing contributes to a rich profile of their understanding of spelling and grammar.
Spelling requires students to draw on a range of knowledge about the English language. This knowledge includes: phonological knowledge, orthographical knowledge, morphemic knowledge and etymological knowledge.
One of the key goals of teaching spelling is to support students to develop flexible and efficient strategies they can use when learning to spell unfamiliar words.
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 particular 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.
How we teach Speaking and Listening at GWSPS
Speaking and Listening is embedded within all curriculum areas. We provide students with opportunities to develop and practise their skills in Speaking and Listening through both incidental experiences and through more formal planned activities.
Whole-School Teaching Approaches
Some whole-school tools used to encourage students at GWSPS to develop their Speaking and Listening skills include:
- Author’s Chair: Students share their written work to class and receive constructive feedback from their peers and teachers.
- Regular group discussions: Turn and talk, think-pair-share
- Team activities: Participate in activities that promote students to share their ideas through turn-taking and clear communication.
- Reading Responses: Students listen to and respond to various texts.
- Reflection time: Students engage in regular reflection of their learning at the conclusion of each lesson across all curriculum areas.
Foundation-Level 2 Speaking and Listening
- Chatterbox Corners: Students bring in an object of their choice to present and discuss with a small group. Students have the opportunity to ask each other questions.
- Reading Workshops: Students listen to and respond to texts using technology
- Oral Presentations: Students are explicitly taught how to present their work to the whole class, focusing on body language, voice projection and clearly articulating their information.
Level 3 and 4 Speaking and Listening
- Speaking and Listening Activities: In Literacy Rotations, students target their speaking and listening skills through a range of activities by working independently, in small groups or as a whole class.
- Reading Workshops: Students listen to and respond to texts using technology
- Oral Presentations: Students are explicitly taught how to present speeches to the whole class, focusing on body language, voice projection and clearly articulating their information.
- Speakers Club: Students will engage in oral presentations and be provided with constructive feedback from their peers. The purpose of this program is to refine their oral communication skills.
Level 5 and 6 Speaking and Listening
- Formal and informal speeches: Students present speeches about a chosen topic that they have independently researched and gained knowledge about. Students are taught to deliver their information in an engaging manner, focusing on body language, voice projection, clearly articulating their information and connecting with the audience.
- Literacy circles: Discuss literature that students have read and share within a small group. Students take on a specific role in the group including the Summariser, Connector, Passage Master, Investigator, Manager or Discussion Director.
Speaking and Listening is assessed according to the Victorian Curriculum. Some ways that teachers assess Speaking and Listening are:
- video/audio recording using technology
Literacy and Numeracy Tips for Parents
The Department of Education released a helpful resource, 'Literacy and Numeracy Tips to Help Your Child Every Day' which provides handy tips and ways you can help your child develop literacy and numeracy skills. It provides fun, inexpensive, accessible and practical activities you can do with your child at home.