Harrisdale Primary School has adopted a whole school approach to teaching English through the Gradual Release of Responsibility Model. Our ‘Whole School Lesson Design’ is based on the research of John Hattie’s Visible Learning and our ‘Reading and Writing Blocks’ ensure teaching is explicit, learning is inclusive and that concepts, skills and processes are continuously developed upon.
Our teaching and learning programs are balanced and integrate the three strands of the WA English curriculum, Language, Literature and Literacy. All students have the opportunity to consolidate learning through guided, collaborative and independent activities. Learning is differentiated and personalised to ensure all students progress in listening, reading, viewing, writing and creating.
Speaking and Listening is explicitly taught through English Blocks and Talk 4 Writing has been adopted as a whole school approach to teaching these skills. It also provides all students the opportunity to succeed in writing through direct scaffolding and visible feedback. Reading strategies are explicitly taught through Reading Blocks and guided reading allows opportunities for targeted teacher support in small groups.
K-Y2 follow the synthetic phonics program ‘Letters and Sounds’ and Y2-6 follow ‘Words their Way,’ a teacher-directed, student-centred approach to vocabulary growth and spelling development. Students are also encouraged to learn ‘Magic Words’ to support their early reading development and spelling.
Home Reading is highly valued and encouraged through the use of the digital reading platforms, Bug club (PP-Y2) and Oxford Literacy (PP-Y6). Both of these programs provide students with appropriately levelled texts. Developing fluency is promoted through the changing of weekly home readers, which should be read repeatedly. As with all home reading, these texts are not meant to be challenging. They have been set by the teacher to help children consolidate what they have learned in class and to promote the enjoyment of reading. Library books are also available to all students. Students are encouraged to keep track of their home reading through their home reading logs.