At Leopold Primary School, our focus on the teaching and learning of English includes:
Reading and Viewing involves students understanding, interpreting, critically analysing, reflecting upon, and enjoying written and visual, print and non-print texts. Reading involves active engagement with texts and the development of knowledge about the relationship between them and the contexts in which they are created. It also involves the development of knowledge about a range of strategies for reading.
We use the Reader’s Workshop model for teaching reading. This allows staff to use authentic mentor texts to teach explicit skills, highlighting how readers think while reading. Each lesson has a clear learning intention so students understand the skill they will be learning for that day and help develop success criteria, so they know what they need to do to be successful within each lesson.
Students are given a range of activities to practice their reading skills, including decoding (breaking words apart), fluency (reading smoothly) and comprehension skills (understanding the meaning of what they are reading). The Reader’s Workshop Model allows students to work in small focus groups with their classroom teacher in either Guided Reading or Close Reading sessions to work on reading and comprehension skills. Students also have time to meet with their teacher to discuss and help develop their reading learning goals and conference to receive feedback.
Students receive Take-Home Reader’s which they bring home every night to practice their reading skills. These are books that the children select that are at an appropriate level for them. Teachers assist with this process in the classroom.
Leveled LIteracy Intervention (LLI)
We offer Reading intervention in grade 1 to help support students transition from learning their letters and sounds to reading and understanding what they read. The LLI program is undertaken out of the classroom with one of our expert teachers, Ms. Rita Nolen, and is delivered on a daily basis for up to 18 weeks. During this time, students work on developing their understanding of phonics, sight words, reading for meaning and writing about their reading.
Oral Language Program
The oral language program works in conjunction with teachers, who specify learning needs of children and these areas are then addressed within the oral language sessions. Oral language is an important foundation for children’s literacy development. Listening, understanding the meaning of words, speaking, reading and writing are all areas of communication and development in any one area, can increase growth in other areas. Each session is conducted within the classroom with small groups and uses games, activities, cards and lots of talking to empower each child, making the sessions interactive and learning fun.
Writer’s Workshop is a student-centered framework for teaching writing that is based on the idea that students learn to write best when they write frequently, for extended periods of time, on topics of their own choosing.The Writer’s Workshop is designed to offer a simple and predictable learning environment that explores creating well thought out ideas through various mediums, such as pictures, video clips or sentence starters to name a few, and to develop these ideas by expanding their thinking, questioning and fine tuning the students’ original thoughts.
The philosophy and principles of Writer's Workshop create a learning environment that does the following…
Students undertake explicit writing lessons where they learn specific skills within writing, from developing characters in a story to writing persuasive arguments in a debate. Students are also taught skills to help them develop their voice as a writer, how to make sophisticated word choices and how to develop engaging pieces of writing that are targeted to a specific audience. Using the Writer’s Workshop Model, students are able to work independently or within groups to conference their writing and to receive feedback. Children are taught how to give constructive feedback to each other from a young age. Teachers work with students in writing mini lessons which are targeted to the individual students learning needs within writing.
Word Work is an area at Leopold Primary School that encompases spelling, vocabulary and meaning. It is important that children get a good understanding of phonics in the early years, where they learn their initial sounds and then how to blend letters together to make new sounds. As students develop throughout their schooling they start to learn the meaning of words and the origins of these words to help them understand the meaning. Vocabulary work at leopold is extremely important. Students will find new worlds they are unfamiliar with and look to clarify the meaning of these words, creating vocabulary walls where they can define the word, use it in a sentence and show their understanding. It is important for the schools to teach spelling knowledge that is flexible and using efficient strategies that they can draw upon when writing unfamiliar words.
Book Week is a yearly event that is held in August that highlights and celebrates Australian Authors and Illustrators. During this week the schools has a variety of events such as:
and an array of other activities.
This is a highlight of the school year as you can see from some of these photos.