At Kingston Heath Primary School we have an uninterrupted Literacy block each day with activities appropriate for all abilities. The school also offers a wide number of programs to assist students to become confident, literate students.
We have a whole school approach to Teaching Handwriting, Reading and Spelling Strategies. It is a method for teaching learners of all ages about the building blocks of reading and spelling, that is, the 44 speech sounds of spoken English and the spelling choices for written English.
Seven Steps to Writing Success
Another whole school approach is undertaken through the Seven Steps to Writing Success program which provides strategies to improve students’ writing skills AND get them engaged in writing. The seven steps to writing success are: Step 1: Plan for Success Step 2: Sizzling Starts Step 3: Tightening Tension Step 4: Dynamic Dialogue Step 5: Show, Don’t Tell Step 6: Ban the Boring Bits Step 7: Exciting Endings
C.A.R.S. and S.T.A.R.S.
C.A.R.S. (Comprehensive Assessment of Reading Strategies) and S.T.A.R.S. (Strategies to Achieve Reading Success) forms an important part of our literacy program for students from Year 2 to Year 6. C.A.R.S. and S.T.A.R.S. is a structured and sequenced resource to improve reading comprehension and strategies in all children. The heart of the C.A.R.S. and S.T.A.R.S. system are the twelve reading strategies grouped under the areas of:
- Reading the text: E.g. finding the main idea
- Reading between the line: E.g. making predictions
- Reading Beyond the text: E.g. distinguishing between fact and opinion
Teachers follow three steps to implement C.A.R.S. and S.T.A.R.S. It diagnoses each childfor reading strengths and areas for improvement in reading. It teaches to the identified areas for improvement in relation to the twelve reading strategies. It assesses students’ progress and assists students to set new personal learning goals. It encourages higher order thinking skills.
We use the Letterland program in Level 1 to introduce children to the alphabet. Letterland teaches all 44 letter sounds in the English language – not just the sounds of the alphabet – through stories rather than rules. A fun way to learn!
Fountas and Pinnell
Fountas and Pinnell’s products and teachings are rooted in the work of Marie Clay whose meticulous study of the complexity of the reading process, through detailed coding of thousands of readings, showed that when a text is too difficult for the child the process breaks down and the child does not develop inner control of effective actions for processing texts. When the text poses enough challenge, but not too much, the child has opportunities with effective, explicit teaching to build his network of effective problem solving actions. Fountas and Pinnell’s goal is to support the child’s development of self-initiating actions he will be able to apply to a range of texts of similar difficulty. With daily teaching, the teacher helps the child climb the ladder of text difficulty with success. The goal of guided reading is to bring the child to the level of complex texts appropriate for the grade, in doing so, teaching must begin with where the child is able to engage with some success, so that there is a point of contact, thereby engaging the child’s development of a self-extending system for processing texts.
The Reading Eggs (P-2) and Reading Eggspress (3-6) Program is used school-wide. The website supports each child’s individual reading journey with online reading games, comprehension tasks and activities that are easy to follow and are self-paced.
Cued Articulation is implemented in the Junior school to reinforce letter names and letter sounds, using all cuing systems: