The English learning area includes the teaching and learning of Language, Literature and Literacy. Students learn about language and how to use it effectively. They develop an understanding of the ways in which language operates as a social process and how to use language in a variety of forms and situations. They learn to speak, listen, view, read, write and create effectively.
The teaching of English involves recognising, accepting, valuing and building on children’s existing language competence, including the use of non-standard forms of English. Uninterrupted, sustained literacy teaching occurs daily with teaching and learning programs combining both explicit teaching and time for children to practise and consolidate their learning.
At Burrendah Primary School, there is a strong emphasis on Phonemic Awareness. Students use the Sound Waves spelling program to focus spelling. “The Sound Waves phonemic approach uses a sound-to-letter strategy which acknowledges that sounds can be represented in more than one way in written form. This synthetic phonics approach focuses first on the basic units of sound in our language – phonemes. It then explores the letters that represent these sounds and how they can be put together to form written words.” (from Sound Waves website)
English is presented in literacy blocks where the strategy of guided reading is a priority. Burrendah students are involved in small group reading activities which target the needs of the individual students and explicitly teach comprehension strategies for successful reading.
A stimulating print rich environment is provided by all teachers to further support students’ literacy development. The children are encouraged to read, write and speak from Kindergarten. High expectations and structured learning and teaching programs ensure success in this priority learning area.