It is understood that being literate is essential to a child’s future success and so Literacy teaching and learning is a daily occurrence within all our classroom programmes. At Te Huruhi School we develop learner’s skills, knowledge and strategies vital to literacy. Their immersion in rich literacy programmes instils a love of language and books, and children develop understanding, and gain information and pleasure from their reading and writing. This approach to literacy learning is in a shared partnership between child, teachers, school and parent.
Class programmes will provide a wide variety of interesting and enjoyable differentiated experiences that engage children in their learning. These experiences will promote the exploration, use, and enjoyment of language and literature and enable learners to become confident and effective communicators – orally, visually and in writing.
The ‘Teaching and Learning’ of English at Te Huruhi School, will be tailored to the personal learning needs of individual children using a variety of approaches. The Te Huruhi School Reading and Writing Learning Progressions will be used to inform teachers, students and parents about learning progress and to plan next steps for student learning and programme development. Teachers will use the “Teaching as Inquiry’ approach to reflect upon their impact and refine their practice.
Resources will be appropriate and accessible for the learner, in a print rich environment. Teacher and students will be responsive to individual learning needs and will give opportunities for students to communicate their learning in a variety of ways relevant for the individual. The teaching of English will be modelled in different ways and at different levels, by teachers, teacher aides, ESOL support and the students themselves.
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Te Huruhi School literacy programmes will utilise the strategies outlined in ‘Effective Literacy Practice in Years 1-4’ (and 5-8). Literacy teaching and learning will include:
Modelling is a powerful form of instruction. It is implicit and focuses on the specific learning needs of the group and individuals. Goal-directed modelling is an essential teaching tool.
By articulating how they arrived at a solution – thinking aloud as they go through the process – the teacher provides a model of how a good reader or writer works.
Strategic and purposeful questioning is crucial to students’ literacy learning. Questions may be directed towards building a particular aspect of students’ knowledge, such as a strategy for encoding or decoding. Questioning can be an ideal way to generate thoughtful discussion and help students to develop the habit of being critically reflective.
Prompting encourages the learner to use what they already know and can do. It focuses students’ attention and builds their awareness and confidence. At Te Huruhi School we have a detailed knowledge of the learner through our Learning Progressions and our use of prompting may take the form of a strong hint, a clue, or a gentle “nudge” to help students use their existing knowledge and literacy strategies to make connections and reach a solution.
Feedback is the most powerful single factor that enhances achievement. Most interactions between teachers and students involve some element of feedback. The purposes of feedback are: to affirm; to inform; to guide future learning; and to celebrate success. Feedback will be based on learning successes and next steps related to the School Learning Progressions.
Telling means supplying what the student needs, such as an unknown word or a topic for a literacy-learning task. The idea is to fill a gap at that moment to enable the student to move on. Telling provides the language needed to participate in an activity. This is an effective way to work with some students who do not have the background knowledge on which to base productive prediction and enable them to continue with the task.
Explaining is an extension of telling. Teachers may explain the task itself, or the content of a text or learning activity.
- what the students do while reading a particular text;
- how a certain task will help the students to achieve a particular goal;
- how procedural text is set out;
- the background to a topic, e.g. as an introduction to a writing activity.
We use explanations in the context of classroom management (for example, when they explain what is involved in an activity such as paired reading) so that all the students can participate confidently.
Directing is simply giving a specific instruction. Like all these instructional strategies, it is used deliberately, for a purpose.