English is central to the learning and development of all young Australians. It helps create confident communicators, imaginative thinkers and informed citizens. It is through the study of English that individuals learn to analyse, understand, communicate with and build relationships with others and with the world around them. The study of English helps young people develop the knowledge and skills needed for education, training and the workplace. It helps them become ethical, thoughtful, informed and active members of society. In this light it is clear that the Australian Curriculum: English plays an important part in developing the understanding, attitudes and capabilities of those who will take responsibility for Australia’s future.
Foundation to Level 2
Students bring with them to school a wide range of experiences with language and texts. These experiences are included in the curriculum as valid ways of communicating and as rich resources for further learning about language, literature and literacy. From Foundation to Level 2, students engage with purposeful listening, reading, viewing, speaking and writing activities for different purposes and contexts.
The curriculum in these levels aims to extend the abilities of students prior to school learning and to provide the foundation needed for continued learning. The study of English from Foundation to Level 2 develops students’ skills and disposition to expand their knowledge of language as well as strategies to assist that growth. It aims to do this through pleasurable and varied experiences of literature and through the beginnings of a repertoire of activities involving listening, viewing, reading, speaking and writing.
Levels 3 to 6
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. This deeper understanding includes more explicit metalanguage, as students learn to classify words, sentence structures and texts. To consolidate both ‘learning to read and write’ and ‘reading and writing to learn’, students explore the language of different types of texts, including visual texts, advertising, digital/online and media texts.
The teaching of literacy is a high priority at St Margaret’s Catholic School. We ensure all students have their literacy needs met through personalised and targeted learning and teaching experiences. The provision of small group explicit instruction allows individual needs and regular assessment to be met. Literacy is taught through a whole/small/whole group model for learning. This enables the teacher to differentiate the teaching focus and learning experiences to cater for individual needs. The role of the teacher is to provide contexts for learning that will enable children to develop control of language and enjoy using it, so that they can interact effectively in a literate society.
The Literacy program provides interventions to support those children who are not progressing at the anticipated rate. Included in these interventions are programs such as Reading Recovery, Leveled Literacy Instruction (LLI), Classroom Support and Individualised Learning Plans where needs are highlighted through teachers, parents or other relevant specialists.