At St Patrick's Catholic Primary School, we not only value the teaching of English but believe that it is paramount in providing students with the skills and understandings to fully access the curriculum and develop as divergent, critical thinkers.
Through the integration of the three strands: Reading & Viewing, Writing & Spelling and Speaking & Listening, the students are provided with learning experiences that enable them to develop skills and strategies to be competent and confident users of the English language. Literacy skills are best taught through modelled, guided and independent learning experiences, based on explicit teaching. Therefore we provide a differentiated curriculum that caters for the diverse needs of the learner through effective, relevant and challenging learning and teaching opportunities.
The English curriculum aims to ensure that students:
learn to listen to, read, view, speak, write, create and reflect on increasingly complex and sophisticated spoken, written and multimodal texts across a growing range of contexts with accuracy, fluency and purpose
appreciate, enjoy and use the English language in all its variations and develop a sense of its richness and power to evoke feelings, convey information, form ideas, facilitate interaction with others, entertain, persuade and argue
understand how Standard Australian English works in its spoken and written forms and in combination with non-linguistic forms of communication to create meaning
develop interest and skills in inquiring into the aesthetic aspects of texts, and develop an informed appreciation of literature.
Reading and Viewing - CAFE and Daily Five
At St. Patrick’s, we are committed to 10 hours of Literacy per week. We follow the CAFÉ Model which includes the “Daily Five”. The Daily Five is a literacy structure that teaches independence and gives children the skills needed to create a lifetime love of reading and writing. It consists of five tasks that are introduced individually. The children work on building their stamina until they are successful at being independent while doing that task.
The five tasks include:
Read to Self
Read to Someone
Listen to Reading
Work on Writing
When all five tasks have been introduced and the children are fully engaged in reading and writing activities, teachers are able to work with small groups and confer with children one on one. This structure is effective, the results are amazing, and the children really look forward to Daily Five time.
In addition to the CAFÉ model for Reading, Guided Reading groups either also take place. Students have explicit small class instruction to meet individual learning needs.
For more information on CAFE and Daily 5, please go to the program website here.
Leveled Literacy Intervention - LLI
At St. Patrick’s we have implemented a literacy intervention program called Levelled Literacy Intervention (LLI). LLI is a powerful early intervention that can change the path of a child’s journey to literacy. LLI is designed to supplement, not substitute for, the small-group instruction that children receive in the classroom. LLI provides a well-defined framework for lessons and provides a strong home connection.
Writing and Spelling - SMART Spelling
At St. Patrick’s writing genres are generated through the links with Inquiry units. Students create a range of imaginative, informative and persuasive types of texts including narratives, procedures, performances, reports, reviews, explanations and discussions. Students practise, consolidate and extend what they have learned. They develop an increasingly sophisticated understanding of grammar and language, and are increasingly able to articulate this knowledge. Gradually, more complex punctuation, clause and sentence structures, and textual purposes and patterns are introduced.
In 2017, St. Patrick’s introduced SMART Spelling. SMART Spelling is designed to support teachers in the explicit and systematic teaching of spelling. The program is based on whole words with an emphasis on meaning and vocabulary development. Students must be able to read their spelling words, understand what they mean and how to use them. SMART Spelling is an acronym for the sequence teachers follow to teach words to students. It stands for:
The spelling program runs through a weekly routine. Part of this routine is to have a weekly list of words which has a common sound. The students choose 6-8 words they want to focus on and highlight them. This list is then sent home and becomes the spelling homework for the week.
For more information on the developer of the SMART Spelling program, please go to her website here.
Speaking and Listening
At St. Patrick’s we seek to develop the oral language competence of students across the school. Teachers plan and implement strategies which specifically target the development of oral language skills.
Language and the ability to communicate effectively is a key foundation to students’ capacity to learn in most general ways. A better developed knowledge of language and how it is used means a greater capacity to learn and to manage and to direct one’s activity as a learner (Munro, 2005)
Students participate in Show and Tell, 1 minute talks, debates and oral presentations of their work. Oral language permeates throughout