At Bellbrae Primary School we follow evidence-based approaches to Literacy that are aligned with the Science of Reading. These approaches include: Multisensory Structured Literacy (MSL), Sounds-Write, the exploration of the morphology and etymology of words, the building of core knowledge and development of a rich and robust vocabulary through text study.
In Years F-2 we have 30 minutes daily explicit MSL spelling lessons, which is a systematic-synthetic phonics approach to the teaching and learning of decoding (reading) and encoding (spelling/writing). This evidence-based approach involves the simultaneous use of visual, auditory and kinaesthetic-tactile (hand/body movement) pathways to enhance memory and the learning of the written language. We provide direct and explicit instruction to ensure links are consistently being made between the visual (language we see), auditory (language we hear/perceive), and kinaesthetic-tactile (language symbols we feel). We teach ‘Red Flag’ words in conjunction with this, which are irregular or high-frequency words that students must learn before the specific sound concept has been taught (Eg. my, was) Sounds-Write activities are used in conjunction with the MSL program to provide students with an opportunity to manipulate sounds and apply their sound knowledge to words.
The Year 3 -6 classes have begun the implementation of the Science of Reading approach to literacy, specifically developing robust vocabulary through the exploration of texts and investigating the etymology and morphology of words. Our Literacy Coaches will be working with Year 3 – 6 classes in Semester Two in order to continue the development of our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of literacy. Our focus will be aligned to spelling, and the continuation of our systematic-synthetic phonics approach in the junior school. We will be learning how to become a linguistic inquirer and unpack words using phonological (sound patterns), orthographical (spelling systems) and morphological (structural) lenses. This not only builds strong understanding and application of spelling patterns, rules and origins but also expands and enrichens vocabulary.
Vocabulary and reading comprehension instruction are embedded within a knowledge-rich, text-based curriculum across all year levels at Bellbrae. We focus on the five keys to reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and reading comprehension.
Writing instruction is further embedded within a knowledge-rich curriculum. Students write about what they learn and read across subjects. Within these sessions we focus on the keys to writing: transcriptual (spelling and handwriting), text generation (knowledge of vocabulary, sentence structure, text structure, audience and purpose, idea generation), executive functioning (attention, organisation, planning, revising) and working memory (holding on to and manipulating information while planning and executing a writing task).