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Reading, writing, speaking and listening are skills that are vital for continued learning and growth in all subject areas and throughout life. At St John's we place a great deal of emphasis on developing skills in this area.

In Years Prep, One and Two students participate in two-hours of literacy five days per week, which focuses on whole class, small group and individual needs. This enables the teacher to differentiate the teaching focus and learning experiences to cater for individual children’s need. Students engage with purposeful listening, reading and writing activities for different purposes and contexts.

In Years Three, Four, Five and Six we build on literacy foundation established in the first three years of school, emphasis shifts from learning to read, to reading to learn. Students engage in an increasingly sophisticated understanding of grammar and language, and are challenged to articulate this knowledge. Needs are identified, planned for and monitored both in terms of the literacy requirements of a unit of Inquiry and the specific needs of the individual student.

The Literacy program provides a range of interventions to support those children who have not yet developed effective literacy skills. Included in these interventions are programs such as:

  • Leveled Literacy Intervention Program: Fountas and Pinnell (Year 1 & 2)
    The Fountas and Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention is a small group, supplementary literacy intervention program designed for students who find reading and writing challenging. It is a short term program aimed to help students meet their year-level achievement goals. The lessons include a combination of reading, writing phonics and word study. The program assists students to expand their vocabulary, notice the detail of written language and learn how words ‘work’.
  • GRREAD Program
    The Group Reading and Rereading Easy Texts Daily program is reading aloud in unison with a group of students. GRREAD assists students with developing fluency, self-confidence, motivation and comprehension skills. As students are reading aloud together, students who may ordinarily feel self-conscious or nervous about reading aloud have built-in support.
  • Years 3-6 Literacy Support Groups
    Later years literacy support programs are based on targeting individual literacy needs. The program supports both reading and writing through intensive scaffolding of texts for students.
  • English as an Additional Language (EAL) PROGRAM
    The EAL program provides support to students from non‐English speaking backgrounds across all grades in the school. It assists these students to develop their skills in the English language and learn about life in Australia. The priority for EAL support is in the areas of English and Literacy. A Support Teacher works with students individually, in small withdrawal groups or through team‐teaching classroom support. Much emphasis is placed on the development of oral language, including vocabulary, reading and writing.

Early Reading

At St. John’s we aim to promote a love of literature in children as well as the ability to read. Prep children will begin to take home a book to share with their family once they have settled in to their new school. Learning to read is a process that takes time and as all children are different, children progress at different rates. Always make reading time with your child enjoyable and praise their efforts. Some children will enjoy their book being read to them others will enjoy reading with their parent and others may be able to read independently. Over the course of their Prep year your child will learn new concepts about print such as sentences, punctuation, rhyming words etc. See your child’s class teacher if you have any concerns about your child’s progress.

Victorian Premier’s Reading Challenge

At St John’s students are invited to actively participate in the Victorian Premier’s Reading Challenge. Reading is an essential life skill for everyone and the Challenge encourages families to be actively involved in supporting children to read. The Challenge encourages children and young people to read a set number of books and record their efforts online. It’s a great way to get them talking about books, reading with friends and family, and pushing themselves to read as many books as they can. By joining the challenge students have the opportunity to discover new authors, get expert tips, book recommendations and more.

Students can visit the www.education.vic.gov.au/prc to find out more about the Challenge and access the booklists.