Mernda Primary School seeks to inspire students and develop an ongoing love of learning whilst developing quality skills in English. Our whole school approach ensures continuity of teaching, learning and assessment practices. A range of teaching strategies are taught and reinforced at all year levels. Staff use the Victorian Curriculum to plan and implement comprehensive programs that support each student’s academic development.
The Literacy Block incorporates Reading and Writing with Speaking and Listening. There is a strong focus on reading texts, comprehending texts, using and understanding vocabulary, formulating ideas, and using correct grammar, punctuation and spelling.
Throughout Literacy sessions, students develop their skills and knowledge through a variety of whole class, small group and individual instruction, designed to cater for differentiated learning needs whilst encouraging all students to become independent readers, writers and communicators.
Mernda Primary School is extremely well resourced with student and teacher materials.
Guided Reading forms the basis of our reading program and groups are formed with students who have similar needs. Multiple copies of the same text are used so that each student can access and read their own copy. Texts range from Level 1 through to Level 30 (and beyond). Students are exposed to a wide variety of genres in order to ensure that they can use and understand a wide variety of texts.
CARS & STARS is a structured reading program that diagnoses student comprehension and then guides teachers to instruct, to the level of each student’s ability in order to improve literacy results. CARS & STARS is a comprehensive reading program consisting of ten levels that allows teachers to identify and teach twelve reading and comprehension strategies and improve literacy results.
The school uses the Spelling Mastery program to differentiate spelling for each child (in Grades 2-6), based on their individual needs and abilities. Spelling Mastery can help teach students the strategies they need to become successful, life-long spellers. Using a combined approach of phonemic, morphemic and whole-word strategies, Spelling Mastery helps students to understand the relationship between sounds, word parts and spelling patterns. Students are taught in small steps, using sufficient practice, so that they comprehend how spelling works and can become proficient writers.
Reading and Spelling the Magic Words is a strong focus in Grades P-2. Students are supported as they work their way through 200 sight words. Automatic recognition of the Magic Words helps to accelerate learning and rapidly improves reading, increases fluency and develops comprehension in reading.
ICT Literacy Resources
Mernda Primary School uses a range of ICT Literacy Resources to support classroom teaching and learning programs.
Some of the programs that are accessed on our wireless network include:
- Reading Eggs
- Springboard Connect
- Springboard into Comprehension
In addition to these a range of books and activities can be accessed on netbooks, laptops and Interactive Whiteboards.
Teachers at Mernda Primary School closely monitor each child’s progress in Reading, Writing and Speaking & Listening using a range of assessment tasks. Assessment includes teacher observation and anecdotal notes, formal assessment, students completing assessment tasks using ICT and teachers moderating samples of work. Mernda Primary School follows a whole school Assessment Schedule. This schedule outlines assessment tasks that students are expected to complete each term. These tasks are linked to benchmarks which help to ensure that students are given appropriate Victorian Curriculum levels on their report. All year levels use the PM Benchmark Reading Assessment Tool to establish reading comprehension levels and each child’s progress is tracked as they move through the school. In order to be placed at a particular level a student needs to be able to accurately decode a text, retell the text, and answer a range of comprehension questions.
To assist with informing planning across the school, Leaders collect and discuss data to ensure student learning is on track.
Home and School Partnership
A partnership between home and school is strongly encouraged and Home Reading is an essential part of our school’s reading program. Making Home Reading fun will help to develop a love of reading for your child.
Students are provided with books to read at home through our Take Home Reading system, as well as through Library borrowing. Home reading should be an enjoyable experience for you and your child. You can read to and with your child, as well as listening to them read.
At Mernda Primary School we take great pride in the development and implementation of our Literacy program and its associated achievements. We are committed to supporting our staff with establishing best practice and ongoing professional learning.