English is a continuing priority in the school's Annual Implementation Plan and a challenging, exciting and rewarding program is in action across all areas of the school.
We recognise that the ability to read, write, listen, speak and think independently will assist our students in other areas of the curriculum and prepare them to participate effectively in Australia and abroad in the future.
Albert Park Primary has embraced a critical and creative thinking curriculum in English which both engages and challenges the students while incorporating various contemporary resources.
In Prep to Grade 2 students undertake a structured and sequential evidence-based 'Letters and Sounds' program which develops fundamental phonics blending and decoding skills used in both Reading and Writing. Our students in grades 3-6 follow the Soundwaves program to extend their phoneme and grapheme knowledge and understanding. To develop a broader understanding of comprehension strategies, Prep to Grade 2 apply reciprocal reading skills that are utilised in Grade's 3 to 6. These include predicting, clarifying, questioning, inferring and summarising in small group literacy sessions.
The “Daily C.A.F.E” is a targeted reading system used from Prep to Grade 6 which includes goal-setting with students in individual conferences, negotiating individual goals, developing small group instruction based on clusters of students with similar goals, and targeting whole-class instruction based on emerging student needs. C.A.F.E is an acronym for Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency, and Expanding Vocabulary. The students practise their reading goals in the classroom and at home. Parent Pipeline (information sheets) are sent home regularly to enable parents to understand their child’s reading needs and how best to support their learning. C.A.F.E is incorporated in “The Daily 5”- Read to Self, Read to Someone, Listen to Reading, Word Work and Work on Writing.
As student understanding of different texts is enhanced they are able to appreciate the role of the author and how they engage their readers, and use this information in Writer's Workshop and Big Write.
Writer's Workshop is a program that encourages students to write about their own passions and interests. In order to do this effectively students must see themselves as writers. The goal of every writer is get a message across. With students choosing their own topics they become the expert in their field, their writing has purpose and learning the mechanics of the English language and the writing process becomes authentic. Big Write is another approach to writing that we use at APPS. The criterion scale is particularly useful for setting student writing gaols. This scale encompasses outcomes that are found in the Victorian Curriculum. Our students are encouraged to use V.C.O.P (Vocabulary, Connectors, Openers and Punctuation) to self-regulate their writing. The “6+1 Traits of Writing” is another form of assessment used at APPS that aligns with the Victorian Curriculum.
With these programs in place Albert Park has seen outstanding progress from the students in both Reading and Writing.
The purpose of English in the Early Years - Prep to Grade Four: Students Learn to Read
•teach reading and writing skills and strategies
•introduce students to a wide range of literature
•use spoken language effectively
•engage in active listening
•ensuring learning technologies are a major focus in the whole literacy program
The purpose of English in the Middle Years - Grades Five and Six: Students Learn to Read
•students in the middle years consolidate and build on basic knowledge and skills
•they develop into independent readers and writers who are encouraged to take on tasks to enhance and enrich their learning
•develop an understanding that language varies depending on purpose, audience and context
•continued learning technologies with higher expectations in use and understanding
All students are monitored and assessed against the expectations of the Victorian Curriculum. It provides a single, coherent and comprehensive set of prescribed content and common achievement standards, which schools use to plan student learning programs, assess student progress and report to parents.
More information on the Victorian Curriculum is available via the following link: http://victoriancurriculum.vcaa.vic.edu.au/
Intervention and Acceleration:
•Differentiated Curriculum for students working well above expected Victorian Curriculum.
•Individual Education Plans for students working well below expected Victorian Curriculum.
•Intervention Programs – Literacy and Classroom Support
•School Speech Pathologist
•School Guidance Officer