At Diamond Creek Primary School our English program supports students as they learn to analyse, understand and communicate with the written and spoken world around them. Daily reading and writing sessions support students to engage with and create increasingly complex texts with accuracy, purpose and a focus on critical thinking skills.
From F-6 we utilise the Write to Read program, an evidence based approach that explicitly teaches students skills across all areas of literacy, including phonemic awareness, phonics, spelling, vocabulary, fluency, comprehension and handwriting.
In Reading, students develop their ability to understand, interpret, analyse and reflect upon texts. Through our extensive classroom libraries and daily independent reading sessions, we develop and nurture students’ interests while promoting a love and appreciation of literature. A range of teaching strategies are implemented within daily reading sessions, beginning with a focused mini lesson followed by the application of skills during independent or small group work. Mini lessons include modelled reading, shared reading, read alouds and the explicit teaching of comprehension strategies that deepen children’s understandings of texts.
Writing at DCPS uses the 6+1 Traits of Writing as a framework for instruction. Through this approach, students are explicitly taught the ‘building blocks’ of good writing – ideas, organisation, voice, sentence fluency, word choice, conventions and presentation. Students are engaged in all parts of the writing process, including planning, drafting, editing and publishing. Writing sessions begin with focused instruction before moving into work time, which can include independent work, teacher conferences, small group sessions and peer conferring.
Writer’s Notebooks are used from F-6 as a tool for students to gather and record ideas. Students are encouraged to record their feelings, thoughts and observations and use them to create pieces of writing. In all reading and writing sessions, teachers conference with individual students to give personalised feedback and set goals. These conferences allow teachers to address individual needs and inform small and whole group instruction.