English

The study of English is central to the learning and development of all students at Wellard Primary School. It helps create confident communicators, imaginative thinkers and informed citizens. It is through the study of English that children learn to analyse, understand, communicate with and build relationships with others and with the world around them. 

Reading 

Learning to read is one of the most important skills students can learn. When children take their first steps in their learning to read journey, it’s important to keep in mind the five essential components of reading that every child needs in order to grow into a confident and fluent reader.   

1. Phonics – Phonics is the process of mapping the sounds in words to written letters. This is one of the earliest reading skills children should develop, because it introduces them to the link between letters and sounds, known as the alphabetic principle.
2. Phonemic Awareness – Every word in the English language is made up of a combination of individual units of sound, known as phonemes. For example, the word ‘crab’ is made up of four individual units of sound; c/r/a/b. Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear, identify and manipulate these individual units of sound. It is one of the most fundamental skills children need to acquire in order to learn how to read. 
3. Vocabulary – Having an ever-increasing vocabulary is a fundamental part of academic and reading success. The more words we know, the better we become at reading and understanding the texts that we read.
4. Fluency – There is a range of different skills that build reading fluency in young children. These include strong phonic decoding skills, an expanding bank of high frequency words recognised at sight, and the amount of time that children spend reading books at an appropriate level. The more children read, the better they are at understanding and reading with speed and accuracy.
5. Reading Comprehension – Great readers are deeply immersed in the stories they read. They visualise the characters, they hear the dialogue in their heads, and they imagine details beyond the borders of the page. Great readers think about what is happening in a story and share the emotional journey of the characters. In nonfiction books, great readers gain new information, increase their vocabulary, and link what they read with other sources of information in order to deepen their level of understanding of new concepts and topics.

 

Before School Reading

Wellard Primary School is committed to improving all students’ reading abilities. All students from Pre Primary to Year 6 are involved in the Before School Reading Program between 8.30 – 8.50am. Repeated reading of texts remains the most frequently employed strategy to develop fluency. This involves multiple readings of the same text with feedback. Texts can vary, from narratives, expository, poetry, song lyrics, jokes and so on. Repeated reading can be individualised through the use of parents, education assistants, peers and computers.

Home Reading

Reading is a fundamental skill your child will use for the rest of their life – so why stop when they’re just getting started?

Sharing stories and reading aloud with your child strengthens their skills in reading, writing and comprehension. It builds their confidence and sense of security. It creates those special moments with your child that you cherish.

That’s why you should Never Stop Reading!

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Reading aloud with your child throughout their primary school years has significant, positive effects on their learning and reading skills. Listening to your child as you read together also builds their social skills and confidence as they engage with you, and the quality time that you spend with them raises their mood and sense of wellbeing.

Not only that, your child will simply enjoy reading to you, and having you read to them. They won’t ever forget the special moments they had reading and sharing stories with you – and you won’t either.

Let’s Decode

Let’s Decode is an approach to the teaching of phonological awareness and decoding instruction. It is designed for all students in the first four years of school and takes approximately 15 – 20 minutes per day to implement. Students learn phonological concepts, letter sounds and words and sentences increase in difficulty.

CARS & STARS

CARS (Comprehensive Assessment of Reading Strategies) and STARS (Strategies to Achieve Reading Success) forms an important part of our literacy program for students from Pre Primary to Year 6. CARS and STARS is a structured and sequenced resource to improve reading comprehension and strategies in all children. The heart of the CARS and STARS system are the twelve reading strategies grouped under the areas of:

  1. Finding the Main Idea
  2. Recalling Facts and Details
  3. Understand Sequence
  4. Recognising Cause and Effect
  5. Comparing and Contrasting
  6. Making Predictions
  7. Finding Word Meaning in Context
  8. Drawing Conclusions and Making Inferences
  9. Distinguishing between Fact and Detail
  10. Identifying Author’s Purpose
  11. Interpreting Figurative Language
  12. Summarising

Teachers follow three steps to implement CARS and STARS. It diagnoses each child for reading strengths and areas for improvement in reading.  It teaches to the identified areas for improvement in relation to the twelve reading strategies, assesses students’ progress and assists students to set new personal learning goals. 

Spelling Mastery

Wellard Primary School  has implemented the Spelling Mastery Program for all students in Years 1 – 6. Spelling Mastery is a research-based program that employs the direct instruction method to enable teachers to deliver highly interactive, structured lessons that help their students learn dependable spelling skills. Spelling Mastery helps students to understand the relationship between sounds, word parts and spelling patterns. All students are given a placement test and placed in the appropriate spelling/ability group. Students are taught in small steps, using sufficient practice, so they comprehend how spelling works and can become proficient writers.