Flagstaff Hill R-7 School places a strong emphasis on its literacy program. All classes have a daily, dedicated literacy block. Class teachers of similar year levels are working together, to provide a consistent curriculum and to target the needs of students more appropriately.
2011 saw a whole school focus on the improvement of reading, from Reception to Year 7, and this continued in 2012. The Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar programs in the Junior Primary classes have continued to have a dramatic impact on the reading skills of our younger students. All students have their reading levels regularly assessed, as well as their reading comprehension. For those students reading above Level 26, the Torch test of Reading comprehension is used to provide diagnostic feedback. Junior Primary students are also assessed against the Oxford Word Lists.
We are also continuing to run a targeted Phonological Awareness program every morning, for those Reception students who need extra assistance with rhyming, syllable counting, phoneme segmenting etc. Developing a student’s phonological awareness helps improve their success in other aspects of the curriculum.
Each class also runs a spelling program, which not only focuses on spelling patterns, but also develops student understanding of meanings and how to use the words in their writing. In 2012 we introduced a program into the Y3 -7 classes, by Pearson called ‘Words Their Way’. This program gives us a consistent and meaningful diagnostic assessment, and enables teachers to focus on specific areas. The aim is that spelling is taught as an integrated program alongside other literacy areas, rather than as a stand-alone program. This program will continue to become embedded in the Y3-7 classes during 2013. The Junior Primary team will continue to address spelling through the Jolly Grammar and Jolly Phonics programs.
In 2011 and 2012, we consolidated our focus on developing writing skills, using the excellent Professional Development undertaken by staff in 2010, with the Stephen Graham workshops. This enabled staff to explicitly teach a range of genres and undertake common assessments to further progress student achievement. Staff also assess using the Naplan rubric, and will continue to focus on developing writing skills during 2013.
Every class has access to a wide range of technology: classroom Interactive Whiteboard; computer pods and/or laptops, to enrich student learning.
Professional Development for the teaching staff will focus on the Australian Curriculum. For more information on the Australian Curriculum, please visit the website below: