At Manorvale Primary School, a high priority is given to developing students’ literacy skills. The Victorian Curriculum guides teaching and learning and the school has a comprehensive curriculum for speaking and listening, reading and viewing and writing. A minimum of 10 hours is allocated to the explicit teaching of literacy skills each week and these skills are also reinforced through other areas of the curriculum. All students have learning goals for reading and writing and teachers teach and assess students according to these goals.

Speaking and Listening provides the basis for all learning and social interaction so developing these skills is vital. At Manorvale Primary School, a strong emphasis is placed on developing the following aspects of speaking and listening:

  • Phonological awareness:  This means the ability the hear sounds in words. Students need to be able to hear syllables, rhymes, consonant and vowel sounds to be proficient spellers and good readers and writers
  • Vocabulary:  A rich vocabulary is correlated with success in all aspects of learning, enabling students to understand all kinds of texts and express themselves both academically and socially
  • Sentence Structure:  Students are taught how to extend their spoken language by gradually using more complex sentences, in their speech. This enables them to understand a range of complex texts as they mature and to write various text types competently by the time they leave us at the end of grade 6.

Reading is one of the most important skills students will learn at primary school and reading with fluency and comprehension is essential for living in the modern world. Our reading curriculum focuses on the following:

Decoding: Students learn skills and strategies to read words. Three key approaches are used and combined:
  • Phonics teaches students the sounds made by letters and combination of letters, and how to blend them to read new words
  • Visual strategies include memorising high frequency words and letter clusters which form parts of words
  • Meaning. When students read for meaning by viewing illustrations, rereading and reading-on, they are able to predict new words
Fluency: When students read fluently their reading becomes more meaningful and their comprehension improves

The students are taught to use 6 comprehension strategies, which promote deep understanding and enjoyment of texts: prediction and prior knowledge, questions and questioning, visualising, summarising, text structure  and features and ‘think aloud’

Students learn the meanings of new words through reading.

Writing enables students to communicate in a variety of ways for different purposes. Students are encouraged to write independently, through praising their attempts from an early age. Students have to learn to combine a number of skills to write and teachers demonstrate and guide students in acquiring these skills:

  • Spelling:  Students need to memorise common words and build the skills to work out how to spell new words
  • Handwriting: Learning to form the letters correctly and developing a fluent joined handwriting style helps students’ writing keep up with their thoughts and enables other to read their work
  • Purpose and audience: Students learn to write different text types for different purposes. They learn how to use language and vocabulary to make an impact on the reader
  • Punctuation and grammar: Students learn how to write and punctuate sentences correctly
  • Process: Students learn how to do their very best writing by planning, drafting, revising and editing. Some work will be published.

Literacy Intervention

Teachers plan to meet the individual needs of all students. However, sometimes some students may not make as much progress as we would like. The progress of every student, who is achieving below expected grade level in reading, is closely monitored and where deemed beneficial, is placed on the Levelled Literacy Intervention program which provides intensive small group instruction.