Literacy generally means the ability to read and understand printed formats. Transliteracy is newly created terminology to highlight the need to be able to 'read and understand' concepts and ideas across a growing range of formats and platforms - oral, print, visual, digital - as technologies merge and integrate, demanding radically new approaches to presentation, verification and ability to understand potential distortion of content.
The focus is ever more on critical thinking, the ability to question, analyse, challenge; seeing arguments from different perspectives; articulating ideas. To that end we encourage our students to find meaning, to comprehend, to make sense of, to symbolically represent, to articulate, to represent, to speak, to converse and communicate through a variety of teaching strategies on a daily basis.
At St Patrick’s the staff acknowledge that all students will reach their full potential when the school and parents work in partnership and these relationships are continually being developed.
The rich diversity of language experiences students engage in at home and in the community extends their literacy skills. The role of the school is to build these literacy skills to an optimum level for each student.
Foundation to Year 2
In the first three years of schooling, the focus is on developing the foundations for reading, writing and speaking and listening. The specific teaching of Literacy skills is mostly taught in the mornings. The classes have a structure that includes whole class, small group and independent practice where the instruction is focussed on the individual and group needs of the students.
Assessment and reporting - Years F - 2
At the beginning and end of the year the teachers use Marie Clay’s ‘Observation Survey ‘ to assess letter knowledge, concepts about print, the written word, record of oral language reading progress and word knowledge. This data is sent to the Catholic Education Office. Students are continually observed and samples of work are collected to build up a picture of progress.
Years 3 and 4
The foundation literacy skills are broadened so that the knowledge of language is linked into integrated units of work that are being studied. A reciprocal structure to reading is used and making meaning and gaining depth of understanding in the key focus.
Years 5 and 6
As students enter the Middle Years of schooling the knowledge of language is further developed and linked deeper into units of work that are being studied.
Assessment and reporting - Years 3 - 6
At Years 3 – 6, teachers use formal reading comprehension assessments, spelling and word recognition tests and continually observe and collect samples of work to build up a picture of students’ achievements. The NAPLAN (National tests) at Year 3 and Year 5 provide further data.
Levelled Literacy Intervention (L.L.I) – Small Group Reading
Students are monitored for literacy development throughout their schooling. The Fountas & Pinnell Levelled Literacy Intervention has been implemented across Foundation to Year 6 at St Patrick’s. L.L.I. is a detailed reading program that provides daily, intensive, small-group instruction, which supplements classroom literacy teaching. L.L.I turns struggling readers into successful readers and successful readers into master readers with engaging levelled books and fast-paced, systematically designed lessons. Teachers use the Levelled Literacy Intervention small group reading strategy in Foundation to Year Six to:
deepen and expand comprehension with close reading;
elevate the expertise of teachers;
increase reading volume by engaging students in large amounts of successful daily reading;
increase student engagement with books that build knowledge;
intervene with small groups of struggling readers to maximize growth;
monitor student progress.
Students at St. Patrick’s School have opportunities to work individually and in groups, ensuring that the needs of each learner are met and that they are making continual progress as measured through ongoing assessment and tracking using student continuums.
Staff work diligently to differentiate the literacy curriculum to ensure that all students are developing their knowledge and understandings in Language, Literature and Literacy and we continually look to foster and develop the 21st Century Learning Skills that our students will require in an increasingly global society.