At Bentleigh West Primary School we understand how vital literacy skills are to support all learning and use evidence-based methods to ensure all students succeed and thrive in this area.
Explicit and systematic teaching of fundamental knowledge and skills is the pillar of our approach at BWPS to provide the best possible environment for all students develop the ability to read, write and understand the rules that govern the English language.
We have followed what the science states around literacy instruction and have developed an approach that is delivering outstanding results for all students. We are regularly exceeding expected growth across the vital years of Foundation – Grade 2 where the fundamental skills of reading must be embedded, which is leading to sustained improvement and growth through to the later years.
Reading is made of 6 key areas:
1. Phonological Awareness
3. Sight Words
Our structured reading and writing approach includes:
Phonological awareness and phonics skill screening on arrival
Explicit teaching of phonological awareness and phonics
Automaticity training in the recognition of irregular words/ high frequency words
Guided practice to improve fluency
Vocabulary development. Including structured morphology from Prep to 6
Explicit teaching of comprehension strategies
Explicit teaching of comprehension questioning techniques.
Fluency is defined as the ability to read with speed, accuracy, and proper expression. In order to understand what they read, children must be able to read fluently whether they are reading aloud or silently. When reading aloud, fluent readers read in phrases and add intonation appropriately. Their reading is smooth and has expression.
Spelling activities involve students spelling, blending and segmenting words. Student are also explicitly taught the 6 syllable types and morphology (pre-fixes, suffixes) and the spelling rules that govern them.
Spelling activities are not: Alphabetical order, finding words in word sleuths, writing out sentences. These types of activities are grammar or writing activities. Word meanings and orally putting words in context is a vocabulary lesson. A spelling lesson should not be any longer than 30 minutes.
High frequency words and a variety of phonetically based spelling words from previous lists should be included in your literacy warm up each morning. High Frequency (Sight words) should be spelled using the letter names. Phonetic words should be sounded out during warm up and review activities. For more information we run information sessions on our approaches.
Our aim is to create an environment that allows students to use grammatical knowledge and understandings in order to make appropriate choices in getting their message across in both written texts and in speaking and listening. An explicit, whole school approach to grammar has been adopted, so that our students gain essential knowledge and understandings of the functional use of grammar in standard Australian English.
Vocabulary is one of the five major components of reading and is linked to academic success. Vocabulary instruction provides essential background knowledge for reading and writing. If students are taught words before they read them in a text, they have a better chance of comprehending what has been read. Vocabulary must be taught explicitly with the intention of improving comprehension and writing.
At Bentleigh West Primary School Students are in engaged in 10 hours of literacy per week.
Numeracy is involved in all aspects of our lives, in our homes and in the workplace. A fundamental purpose of primary education is to ensure students acquire competence in mathematics. Students learn mathematics to interpret and communicate their findings and ideas accurately and to recognise the importance of mathematics in our changing society.
Through explicitly teaching mathematics skills and processes our students will:
· Develop competence, enjoyment and appreciation of mathematics
· Acquire mathematical skills and knowledge, which can be confidently applied in everyday life.
At Bentleigh West Primary School, students are engaged in a minimum of 5 hours of mathematics per week where automaticity in the basics such as mental maths and tables is fostered to enable more complex problem solving as the students become more proficient.