The study of English is central to the learning and development of all young Australians. It helps create confident communicators, imaginative thinkers and informed citizens. It is through the study of English that individuals learn to analyse, understand, communicate and build relationships with others and with the world around them. The study of English plays a key role in the development of reading and literacy skills which help young people develop the knowledge and skills needed for education, training and the workplace. It helps them become ethical, thoughtful, informed and active members of society. In this light, it is clear in the Australian Curriculum: English plays an important part in developing the understanding, attitudes and capabilities of those who will take responsibility for Australia’s future.
The Australian Curriculum: English aims to ensure that students:
In Northern Territory schools the teaching of English is organised by three interrelated strands:
All teaching teams plan and program together to ensure that all children receive high quality learning experiences. Reading instruction is targeted to the needs of the students based on data provided by ongoing in-class assessments and a selection of Australian standardised assessments. Student data is regularly analysed to inform teaching and learning programs.
Teachers use assessments to break down how both comprehension and decoding (the ability to decipher words) skills. Using this information, teachers apply this data, along with their knowledge of the students, to program lessons designed to support and progress students’ reading ability.
Students have access to Reading Eggs and Reading Express which are online reading support programs that the children really love.
Writing consists of grammar, punctuation, spelling, ideas and text structure. Teachers at Wanguri employ a range of assessments to determine the needs of individual students. These include:
Teachers at Wanguri employ a range of instructional procedures strategically to create a strong foundation for a comprehensive approach to teaching writing. Each procedure involves varying degrees of responsibility for both teacher and student (Gradual Release of Responsibility Model – see diagram below):
A consistent progression of activities can be observed in lessons where the responsibility for knowing and doing is gradually transferred from teacher to student. “I do, we do, you do” can also be termed as direct instruction, guided practice, independent practice.
MiniLit is a teaching program designed for young children who would further benefit from extra support in their reading. Based on assessments, the program is offered in small groups to help them develop their reading strategies. The support offered varies depending on the student’s level of reading ability, as a result students enter the program at different stages so the length of time spent in the program varies.
At Wanguri Primary School, we follow the Effective Spelling approach. This approach is an inquiry-based model which is designed to establish a word conscious, curious learner. It moves away from the spelling list approach, to an inquiry model which supports students to become ‘word curious’ and learn, practice and communicate their understanding of spelling structure, rules and meanings in the very complex language which is English.
At Wanguri Primary School, spelling lessons aim to: