At Undera Primary School all students participate in a 2-hour literacy block every day. This consists of one hour of reading and one hour of writing with speaking and listening incorporated into all lessons. Each lesson has one clear focus and students are explicitly taught the focus skill, which is modelled by the classroom teacher. Students have time to practise the skill whilst supported by the classroom teacher before have a go independently or in a small group.
In the early years (F-2) the focus is on building a strong literacy foundation for all students. Learning is phonics-based with students investigating the sounds for letters and letter combinations and to decode words and develop strategies to work out unknown words using this knowledge to help them to read and write. They learn how to improve their fluency when reading.
Students in Years 3 to 6 read to learn. Each day they are provided with the time to read independently, applying newly learned knowledge and skills. They learn to comprehend texts at a deeper level, discussing these with their peers and recording their thinking in a reader’s notebook. Students learn to read, interpret and write different genre texts such as narratives, poetry, information texts and persuasive texts.
They study the skills that different authors use and apply this knowledge to their own writing. Students have their own book box where they store their ‘just right’ books, texts related to the current genre focus and some books of their own choice.