At St Simon’s the teaching of English is central to the development of all students as we aim to foster a lifelong love of learning. Through the study of English, we help our students to become informed, confident communicators as they learn to analyse, formulate and convey ideas and to build meaning from the world around them. Our program respects and explores the contribution of diverse cultures and their distinctive ways of representing and communicating knowledge, traditions and experiences.
The Victorian Curriculum
At St Simon’s, we are guided by the Victorian Curriculum framework. The teaching of English is organised into three strands; Language, Literature and Literacy. The Language strand develops student knowledge of the English language and how it works (e.g. sentence structure, spelling, creating coherent text). The strand of Literature engages students in the study of literary texts, where they learn how ideas and points of view are shaped by social and cultural contexts. In the strand of Literacy, students create a variety of spoken, written and digital texts in order to persuade, inform and entertain for a specified audience.
We measure the learning in these strands through the modes of Reading and Viewing, Writing and Listening and Speaking.
At Simon’s we strive to achieve the following in the teaching and learning of English at our school:
Students are given opportunities to engage meaningfully with the English curriculum at a level which best suits their learning.
Students engage enthusiastically in a variety of different learning experiences in English.
Student voice is present in the learning and easily heard in a safe inclusive learning environment.
Student learning takes place individually, with a partner, in small groups or as a whole class.
Students evaluate their own learning and are encouraged to develop a growth mindset when they encounter difficulties.
From Foundation through to Year 6 students are exposed to a wide range of media/experience to develop their understanding and engage with literacy.
The teaching of English is delivered by staff who use contemporary evidence based teaching practices which is updated regularly.
Each learning experience will have a specified learning intention with senior students being able to articulate when they have been successful in their learning.
Students are encouraged to think critically and to ask questions which will enable them to inquire meaningfully into their learning.
Assessment is timely, purposeful, effective and clearly defined.
Self-assessment, peer and group assessment is used in order to develop an individual’s ability to self-reflect.
Student growth is measured regularly as the students demonstrate growth along the continuum of learning in English, from Foundation to Grade 6.
Parents are seen as positive partners in learning.
Parent Helper Programs enable parents to assist in classes.
Parents are encouraged to regularly read to and with their children in order to help further develop a love of reading.
Student Support Programs have been extended to include a number of small groups working with the Literacy Leader, on a regular basis, to improve their skills. In addition the Levelled Literacy Intervention (LLI) Program introduced by Betty Carroll, one of our Reading Recovery Teachers, has had a very positive effect on improving literacy skills.
Our Story Dogs program is another way of allowing students to access the curriculum. Selected students spend time reading with our visiting dogs to develop confidence and fluency as a reader.