As we master the English language we focus on developing students’ knowledge, understanding and skills in the areas of learning…listening, reading, viewing, speaking, writing and creating. Student achievement in all learning areas is often measured by what can be observed in students' writing. Communication of what an individual understands is often reliant on her ability to communicate and articulate in words on paper. For this reason it is essential that the girls are capable and confident writers.
However, so much of what we learn, even as adults, is not written down. We need to ensure meaningful discussion and dialogue is highly valued in our program. This is where the deeper understandings are often gained as children inquire, question and challenge ideas. Through listening and absorbing the opinions, ideas and justifications of others it helps us to justify and find a place for our own minds to wander and ultimately draw conclusions.
Reading and viewing the written and visual images that surround us embraces the modern day tension between valuing the traditional and preparing for the future. Visual images dominate our world now…more so than ever. Single images were all that was once needed…we now must learn to interpret multiple strategies developed to attract our attention with saturation of the visual image.
It is critical for schools to find the balance between preserving the traditional skills of language acquisition and embedding the understandings of how to transfer the knowledge and skills into the real world contexts.
The English Programme in the Primary school has been under review and a range of different practices have been implemented in the College, aimed at enhancing students' literacy skills and their love of language. New syllabus materials across the country have influenced the changes to the school-based programme, which prioritises a balanced approach to teaching and learning in English. Class programmes explore langauge in and across three strands:
Each class programme provides modelled, shared, guided and independent activities on a daily basis. A designated Literacy Block time provides a focused time for the teaching and learning of English and students have the opportunity to work at their level and develop required skills in all process areas. Enrichment and remediation occurs in all classes and intervention programs are provided as required.
A love of literature, learning and literacy is the goal of all programmes and the aim is to provide students with opportunity to become literate for their future.