The study of 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 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 and plays an important part in developing the understanding, attitudes and capabilities of those who will take responsibility for Australia’s future.Victorian Curriculum, Rationale and Aim, English
In the Victorian Curriculum, English is organised into three language modes; Reading and Viewing, Writing and Speaking and Listening and three strands; Language, Literature and Literacy. At Mount Duneed, Literacy is included in the timetable for approximately 11 hours each week. This usually consists of two one-hour lessons per day for Reading and Writing, and one hour a week for Word Study.
In Reading, students explore the processes of Reader’s Workshop learning comprehension, accuracy, fluency and expanding vocabulary skills, to help them develop their reading strategies. Beginning from Prep, students build their comprehension skills by making connections to the texts that they read and develop thorough decoding skills to enable them to become competent and voracious readers. Teachers use the Fountas & Pinnell system for the assessment of student reading levels and students use the Oxford wordlists to learn their high frequency words.
Mount Duneed students learn to write authentic texts intended to be read by others, and are guided through the writing process through explicit teaching and worked examples. Through Writer’s Workshop, students learn to identify and use the different features from various genres such as narrative, informative, transactional and persuasive texts. Our students are nurtured to become confident and capable writers.
We believe that oral language is the key building block in Literacy development and students are taught to be respectful and active participants in conversations. Speaking and Listening activities are integrated across the curriculum through collaborative learning, oral presentations, reflections and informal discussions. During Word Study, teachers use the THRASS program, which is a tool for the explicit teaching of spelling. Within this program, students are taught about phonics; the connection between word sounds and written letters, and phonemic awareness; the series of sounds that make up a word.
All students are fostered to pursue their literacy skills with a growth mindset; developing persistence, resilience and grit in their approach to learning.