English at Burwood East is taught using a variety of whole school approaches.
Reading and Viewing
We use the CAFE reading strategies to focus on elements of Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency and Extending Vocabulary. Through the use of mentor texts, students are taught a range of strategies to help them think within, about and beyond the text. The students read, discuss and do activities that build and reinforce these strategies.
Every session begins with explicit teaching which involves the introduction or revision of a reading strategy, followed by activities that support students to apply their new learning. Teachers confer with small groups or individuals during this time to engage in rich discussions around texts and the progress being made towards their learning goals. Students also undertake Independent Reading, where they focus on their independent learning goals or a ‘Reading Challenge’ aligned with the week’s learning focus.
At the end of the session, students have the opportunity to share and reflect on their learning in reading and how they have met the lessons success criteria.
Our Writing Program provides a clear whole school approach to enhance teaching and learning practices and improve student outcomes, in which the 6+1 Traits of Writing and Sound Waves Spelling are embedded throughout our literacy block.
In all classrooms, teachers begin the writing session with modelled or shared writing experiences. Teachers demonstrate and explicitly teach the Text Type being studied with associated grammatical features, and work with students to construct vocabulary lists. Students develop phonemic awareness through explicit teaching of grapheme-phoneme relationships, and have opportunities to explore language through morphological and etymological word inquiries.
Following the modelled writing, students are given the opportunity to practise what has been demonstrated. To develop the students' craft of writing, teachers run small focus groups using guided and interactive writing. Students are encouraged to use editing checklists, co-constructed rubrics and ‘Bump it Up’ walls to evaluate their progress and continue to make revisions and improvements.
At the end of each session, time is set aside for 'Author's Chair', which is an opportunity for the students to share their writing, discuss their learning experiences during their writing, and to receive positive feedback from their classmates.
After following the Writing Process, the students are able to publish their text to share with and audience.
Speaking & Listening
Throughout each school day, students communicate for a variety of purposes and intended audiences. They use language to socialise with peers and teachers, collaborate in groups, express their feelings and opinions, make judgements and justify their thinking, and make formal presentations. They are asked to focus on their tone, volume, prosody, facial expressions and body language as communication tools.
Students are taught to listen actively to others, and to clarify and follow instructions when appropriate. When listening, students are asked to identify key information, build on ideas they’ve heard, and respond respectfully to different points of view.
At Burwood East Primary School, we pride ourselves on the cultural diversity of our community and the richness of experiences and languages that brings to our student body.
Our EAL learners are supported within classrooms with various tools, such as anchor charts, visual supports, sentence stems and picture dictionaries. When new topics are introduced, teachers work with students to make sense of the new subject’s vocabulary. Students are encouraged to discuss ideas in their first language prior to representing their thinking in English to deepen their conceptual understanding. Collaborative learning is regularly used in all curriculum areas to support peer-peer mentoring.
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