Literacy is the cornerstone of all learning. Being literate enhances wellbeing, engagement in learning, and our ability to navigate our way through the wider world.

At Warrnambool Primary School we prioritise explicit and systematic instruction of core literacy skills providing a solid base for learning in all subject areas. Teacher-led instruction is delivered in an explicit way where concepts and skills are fully modeled and explained in clear logical steps. Checking for student understanding occurs frequently throughout each lesson, enabling prompt targeted feedback.

Focused attention is given to word-level reading, spelling, oral reading fluency, handwriting, sentence construction, and building a learning environment rich in knowledge. As students progress through each year level, content and skills are reviewed, refined, and expanded upon. Students will learn to apply both knowledge and skills in increasingly sophisticated ways.

Learning to read and write are not natural processes. We reference a large body of research about how the brain learns to read and write, and integrate evidence-based instructional practices at all levels.

Literacy instruction spans across all curriculum areas each day incorporating the following key components:

  • Oral language – Speaking and listening.
  • Phonological and phonemic awareness – Ability to hear, identify, and play with sounds in spoken language including rhymes, syllables, and the smallest units of sound (phonemes).
  • Phonics – Learning about letters and letter combinations (graphemes), and the sounds (phonemes) they represent.
  • Vocabulary – Learning about words, word parts, word meanings and the origins (morphology/etymology).
  • Fluency – Automatic word recognition for smooth, expressive oral reading, and an understanding of what is read.
  • Comprehension – Thinking about, understanding, and responding to spoken and written language.
  • Writing – Handwriting is explicitly taught from the formation of individual letters to words, then to sentences, and short passages. Writing is a complex process where students communicate their ideas in print. They learn about sentence and text structure, syntax, grammar, and punctuation.