At Menzies Creek Primary School we aim to foster a love of literacy through structured knowledge-rich learning experiences. We firmly believe that competency in literacy enhances our understanding and enjoyment of the world along with our ability to effectively participate in society.
We are a Science of Reading (SOR) school and use a structured literacy approach. The Science of Reading (SOR) refers to an enormous body of research into how the brain learns to read and the best ways to teach reading to ensure the best outcomes for all students. We are working towards having a knowledge-rich curriculum and explicit literacy instruction across all year levels.
At Menzies Creek we explicitly teach children how to decode (read) and encode (spell) using an evidence-based scope and sequence, ensuring children develop literacy skills for future academic success.
There are several key components of reading, which we incorporate into our reading and word study opportunities:
All students in Foundation to Year 2 participate in daily Heggerty Phonological & Phonemic Awareness activities. We use the Little Learners Love Literacy Systematic Synthetic Phonics (SSP) program. Our literacy instruction teaches children the 44 letter sounds and how we blend sounds to read and spell. Children use decodable readers to practise the sound-spelling relationships and use the decoding skills taught in phonics lessons. Teachers share rich, authentic texts daily to promote reading for pleasure and develop the comprehension aspects of reading.
We have explicit fluency instruction in our classrooms across the school and we emphasise vocabulary development and background knowledge in order to increase our students comprehension skills. Students at Menzies Creek learn how words work. They apply their phonological knowledge to blend and segment words when spelling. They explicitly learn about morphology (the study of words and their parts), etymology (the history and study of the origin of words), and the rules that govern spelling.
At Menzies Creek we use a Response to Intervention model. This model consists of three tiers.
The first tier ensures that all students receive rigorous and evidence-informed teaching in the day to day classroom practice. Tier 2 involves an intervention beyond those that can be provided in a regular teaching setting. Typically, Tier 2 interventions involve small groups of students, working on the same thing as the class but with more support. Finally, Tier 3 is an even more intensive intervention. This could be a small group or one-to-one support.
Students are referred to intervention after regular rigourous classroom screening checks that show that the previous Tier has not helped the student make sufficient progress. Thus, our intervention is fluid and students move back and forth through the tiers as required by the regular assessments.