Foundation- Bellbrae Primary School

In Foundation, at Bellbrae Primary School, we endeavour to give our students a happy, positive, and successful beginning to school life. We draw on the natural enthusiasm and curiosity students bring to the classroom every day.

In Literacy, we follow the principals of The Science of Reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Our two-hour Literacy block consists of the following: MSL (explained further below), reading decodable books, exploring rich vocabulary and themes through Picture books and different text types, and library sessions to encourage a love of, and competence in, reading. We also incorporate many aspects of writing including fundamental skills of handwriting and letter formation, basic grammar and punctuation, and extending vocabulary.

Some writing goals include:

-communicating ideas verbally (pre-writing)

-letter formation

-finger spacing between words

-use of capital letters and full stops (and other punctuation)

-sounding out words

-using high frequency words

-extending vocabulary

-topic based sentence work

In Spelling (MSL-Multisensory Structured Literacy) students engage in activities that promote both reading and writing skills, using visual, auditory, and kinaesthetic elements. We learn the basic alphabet sounds to begin with and then focus on these within CVC (consonant/vowel/consonant) words, gradually adding digraphs (eg: sh, ch) and other regular letter sounds and spelling rules. Our Home Reading program consists of decodable take home books that match the sounds in the order we learn them.

In Numeracy, we include many hands on activities, songs, and games to build strong number sense. We concentrate on ensuring students can count using one-to-one correspondence, and to subitise numbers (the ability to see how many in a collection without having to count all). We then use our number sense to explore addition, subtraction, and division (equal sharing). We include open-ended tasks that allow student to work at their point of need as they grow in confidence. Measurement and Geometry are explored through activities that compare- longer/shorter, heavier/lighter etc. We learn the days of the week and months of the year and discuss events with words that describe the duration of time. We explore 2D and 3D shapes. We look at and make simple graphs that depict familiar data.

A typical Numeracy session consists of:

10 minutes- Daily Reviews/Number Talks

10-15 minutes- explicit instruction

20-30 minutes- games and activities to practise skills

10 minutes- reflection/sharing

Inquiry. We incorporate our unit topics into all areas of the curriculum.

Term 1- All About Me

Term 2- Minibeasts

Term 3- Materials

Term 4- Fairy Tales and Dreamtime stories

Many of these topics are focused on during both Literacy and Numeracy, as well as weekly STEAM lessons (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics).