Lara Primary School places a strong emphasis on developing literacy skills through meaningful contexts. We believe the study of English is central to the learning and development of confident communicators, imaginative thinkers and informed students. Through our Literacy program, students develop skills to become thoughtful, active members of society. Teachers work collaboratively to plan using the Victorian Curriculum and deliver a consistent approach to teaching literacy. Daily instruction in reading, writing, spelling, speaking and listening is taught using a gradual release of responsibility. This sees learning go from teacher guided, to small group work and then finally, independent practice.

Our Reading Model involves explicit teaching of specific reading strategies and skills. We provide a scaffold for students as they make the transition from emergent through to independent readers. The writing model provides a clear whole school approach to enhance teaching and learning and improve student outcomes. Modelled or shared writing begins the writing session. Teachers demonstrate and explicitly teach the text type being studied and unpack associated text features, structures and vocabulary. Students are given the opportunity to practise what has been modelled. Students are taken through the Writing Process, where they select texts to publish and share with different audiences.

A well-stocked school library and classroom libraries, as well as a variety of take home books, compliment the implementation of our literacy program. Lara Primary School is bursting with a variety reading materials to engage students in a love of both reading and writing and support independent reading and writing at home. All students have weekly access to the school library and participate in daily take home reading and writing activities.

This year we have seen the implementation of the ‘Smart Spelling Program’. This program is a clear Foundation – 6 scope and sequence where teachers start by teaching the meaning of words to expand vocabulary and then break words into syllables, sounds and letter patterns. In a SMART Spelling classroom, students are explicitly taught spelling patterns, one at a time.

Programs such as ‘Learning through Play’, ‘Bluearth’ and ‘Peer Support Groups’ allow the students of Lara a number of opportunities to develop both their speaking and listening skills.

When you enter a Literacy classroom at Lara PS, you will see students working with printed and digital text, individually, in small groups or with the whole class. Students are eager to share their reading and writing with you, and proudly tell you what they are working on at the moment. All children have individual learning goals, making their learning focussed, clear and explicit.

At home, we ask you to support your child by sharing their reading and writing with them. Children will bring home texts to celebrate their reading and writing skills – talk about these stories, listen to them read, ask them to write for you and tell them how very proud you are of them each and every day!