The study of English is central to the learning and development of our students at Our Lady of the Way. It helps create confident communicators, imaginative thinkers and informed citizens. It is through the study of English that individuals learn to analyse, understand, communicate with and build relationships with others and with the world around them.
The Victorian Curriculum is used to facilitate the planning and evaluation of a sequential Foundation to Level 6 English program. Explicit and systematic teaching of fundamental knowledge and skills is the pillar of our approach at Our Lady of the Way to provide the best possible environment for all students to develop the ability to read, write and understand the rules that govern the English language.
We have followed what the science states around literacy instruction and have developed an approach that is delivering outstanding results for all students. We are regularly exceeding expected growth across the vital years of Prep – Grade 2 where the fundamental skills of reading must be embedded, which is leading to sustained improvement and growth through to the later years.
OLW is a Science of Reading/Science of Learning School. We follow the BIG 6 of reading to teaching reading:
- Phonological Awareness
- Oral Language
We teach reading by following the model of Scarborough’s Reading Rope. The word recognition strands are taught explicitly in the junior grades along with the language comprehension strands. We believe that we teach decoding to automaticity so students can free their ‘Cognitive Load’ to focus on reading for meaning. Our Prep, One and Two Teachers are trained in the Systematic Synthetic Phonics Approach of Sounds Write. Preps use the reading program InitiaLit and the Year 1/2 classes use Sounds Write.
Writing is taught at OLW daily. We believe that writing small amounts everyday builds students’ writing. We begin teaching writing from the sentence level and moving to single paragraphs and then whole texts. At OLW we use The Writing Revolution as good teaching practice to teach the skills of writing.