Literacy is an extremely important component of every day at Epping Views Primary School. It involves students learning and practising Reading, Writing and Speaking & Listening skills. From Prep to Year 3, students take part in 5 Reading and 5 Writing sessions each week. In Years 5 and 6, students participate in 4 Reading and 4 Writing sessions each week. Students are involved in opportunities to develop their Speaking and Listening skills during Reading and Writing sessions, as well as in all areas of the curriculum. Teachers plan comprehensive programs to support each student’s development using the AusVELS English Curriculum.
Each Reading session at Epping Views Primary School begins with a whole class focus. Students are engaged in reading enlarged texts, or listening to texts and are explicitly taught skills and strategies to increase students’ ability to decode text and understand it. Following the whole class focus, students take part in teaching groups, where they read texts that are matched to their ability level and are taught skills and strategies to improve their reading ability. Students not participating in teaching groups play games and complete activities that provide opportunities for students to practise skills and strategies, learn new words and read texts for enjoyment and information. Students are also engaged in reading electronic texts and playing games using ICT. The Reading session ends with students reflecting on their learning and practising their speaking and listening skills, by presenting to an audience or being an audience member.
Each Writing session at Epping Views Primary School also begins with a whole class focus. Teachers model to students how to plan, compose, record, revise, edit and publish texts. Students are also provided with opportunities during the whole class focus to contribute to jointly constructed texts. Students learn a range of writing skills through writing a range of different text types. Following the whole class focus, students take part in teaching groups, where they contribute to jointly constructed texts or develop written texts of their own, focusing on learning and improving writing skills and learning new strategies. Students not participating in teaching groups independently write their own texts. Teachers monitor their writing and have conversations with students individually after the completion of their teaching group. Students are provided with opportunities to plan, compose, record, revise, edit and publish their writing in their writing books and using ICT. At the conclusion of each Writing session, students reflect on their learning and are provided with opportunities to share their writing by presenting to an audience, being an audience member and providing feedback to others.
Each teacher at Epping Views Primary School closely monitors each child’s progress in Reading, Writing and Speaking & Listening using a range of assessment tasks. Leaders at the school collect and discuss data to ensure learning is on track and to assist with informing planning across the school. Assessment includes teacher observation and anecdotal notes, formal assessment in a one to one situation, students completing assessment tasks using ICT and teachers moderating samples of work.
Home reading plays an important role in each student’s reading development. Students are provided with books to read at home through our Take Home Reading system, as well as through Library borrowing. The books students read for take home reading are easy texts so that each child can practise their reading, rather than struggle to read words in books at higher levels. Home reading should be an enjoyable experience for you and your child. You can read to and with your child, as well as listening to them read. Reading to your child can be in English or in your own language. Making home reading fun will help to develop a love of reading for your child.
We also provide students with Magic and Gemstone Words to practise at home. The words are based on high frequency words. Being able to automatically read the high frequency words assists students with their reading development. Being able to automatically spell the high frequency words support students’ spelling and writing ability. The words are ordered according to how frequently they are used in texts read and written by children. Students are tested weekly on their ability to read and / or spell the words they are working on, depending on their level of development.
At Epping Views Primary School, we highly value the Support Programs we are able to offer. In Prep, students can participate in an Oral Language and Fine Motor Program. The program involves small groups of up to eight students participating in play based activities that are designed to assist them in developing their fine motor skills, as well as their speaking and listening skills. Students learn new vocabulary, practise letters and sounds, speak in full sentences to each other and listen carefully to others. Students also apply their oral language skills to their beginning writing and reading skills. They develop their coordination through manipulating objects and practise essential writing, drawing and cutting skills.
Students in Year 1 may participate in a Literacy Support Program. The program utilises the Fountas and Pinnell Levelled Literacy Intervention System. Small groups of students participate in thirty minute sessions, three times a week. Students are provided with instruction in reading, writing and word study. Students also have the opportunity to take home word study materials, writing and take home books that are connected to the focus of each lesson. Each student’s progress is monitored using assessment strategies regularly.
We also provide an English as an Additional Language Program for our students requiring additional support in learning to speak, write and read English. Students from across the school work in small groups with students from their year level. They participate in one hour sessions a number of times each week. Students are supported in their learning of English through games, as well as activities that support the learning in their classrooms.
A Language Support Program is provided for students requiring additional support in their language development. Identified students are tested by a speech pathologist that uses tools to decide what sort of intervention may be required. The speech pathologist develops goals for each student and activities are designed to assist students to achieve their goals. Students participate in half hour to one hour sessions a number of times each week.