English is one of the most important aspects of Our Lady of the Way’s curriculum as reading, writing, speaking and listening form the basis of learning in all aspects of schooling.
Teachers plan, implement and evaluate class programs in conjunction with their stage partners. This is usually organised through a range of activities such as themes, particular stories, forms of text or authors. We believe English is best taught and learnt through meaningful experiences integrated into the curriculum.
Literacy at Our Lady of the Way is an exciting and stimulating time. It is incorporated into the school timetable for a block session. The daily literacy sessions include opportunities for the children to engage in talking, listening, reading and writing activities in a series of whole class, small group, pair and individual experiences.
All students experience a balanced and coherent program of literacy instruction for a minimum of 100 minutes daily, incorporating:
- Purposeful Talk
- Daily Reading Aloud to Students (5-10 mins)
- Daily shared Reading (10-20 mins)
- Small Group Reading - Instructional Pracitices (15-30 mins at least once a week)
- Guided Reading for Developing Readers (generally K-2)
- Small Group Reading for Experienced Readers (generally Years 2-6)
- Daily Independent Reading of familiar texts (5-15 mins)
- Daily Modelled Writing or Shared Writing (10-20 mins)
- Guided writing (10-20 mins at least once a week)
- Daily Independent Writing (15-30 mins)
- Multiple opportunities to demonstrate learning which meets the achievement standards as defined by the NSW English K-10 syllabus, and diocesan reader profiles.
This approach, which enables a teacher and a group of children to talk, read and think their way purposefully through a text. This approach allows students to become fluent, independent readers. The teacher observes and supports each child, and their progress is monitored according to their own individual progress.
This is the next stage after Guided Reading. The children who participate in Reader’s Circle are fluent, independent readers. In these sessions, texts range from harder picture books to novels. The children critically read their way through the text and share their responses about the text and the author’s message. The essence of Reader’s Circle is that all children contribute to the discussion through their written responses and the discussion of these responses.
This reading approach is where dialogue between the teacher and children is used to develop the comprehension strategies of predicting, clarifying, questioning and summarising. Information texts, newspapers and magazines are used in this type of reading session.
Modelled, guided and independent writing are the steps, which teach explicitly the skills of drafting, revising, conferencing, editing, proofreading and publishing a text. Producing texts also includes the development of computer skills used in the production of text, graphics and multi-media presentations. Literacy is a dynamic component of the school day at Our Lady of the Way. The classroom is an active environment, which enables each individual to succeed!