The study of English is central to the development of all young Australians. It contributes to their development as confident communicators, imaginative thinkers and informed citizens.
Through the study of English students learn to analyse, understand, communicate and interact with others and the world around them. It provides the opportunity for students to develop the knowledge and skills needed for education, training and the workplace. It helps them become ethical, thoughtful, informed and active members of society.
Although Australia is linguistically and culturally diverse, participation in many aspects of Australian life depends on effective communication in Standard Australian English.
English in The Victorian Curriculum covers three key domains/areas:
What does this look like at CPS?
The English curriculum at Cranbourne Primary School is aligned with Vic. Curric. Students undertake lessons in a one hour Reading block and a one hour Writing block each day. They learn to be confident and successful readers, writers, speakers and listeners; they are exposed to a range of strategies that they can draw upon to progress their own learning.
The Reading lesson addresses the learning and development of students’ decoding and comprehension skills. Students explore a variety of texts, making connections to other texts, themselves and the world around them. Our reading program focuses on ‘the enjoyment of reading’.
We assist students to read by teaching decoding skills. Decoding is essential to reading, allowing students to ‘figure out’ words they have heard but have never seen in print, as well as sounding out words they are not familiar with. The ability to decode is the foundation upon which other reading instruction is based, including fluency, vocabulary and comprehension skills.
The Writing lesson addresses the students’ development and understanding of language convention and structures, across a range of text types. This knowledge supports students to create their own written texts, or to respond to others’ pieces.
From Foundation we teach an explicit Phonics approach. Students learn letters and the sounds they make, as well as sound patterns. These skills assist the development of reading, spelling, writing, and speaking and listening.
Students are taught the different genres (styles) of writing and are given opportunities to write in a variety of genres to help foster a love of writing. Students are also taught the traits of organisation, word choice, sentence fluency, conventions and presentation as foundations of writing.
Speaking and Listening:
Speaking and Listening is not taught as a stand-alone subject, and does not have an allocated block of time in which to be addressed. Rather, it is integrated throughout all areas of the curriculum, with a particular focus on developing student confidence and competence in questioning, public speaking situations, and communicating clearly and coherently. Students are explicitly taught speaking and listening skills through a variety of experiences within all curriculum areas. Speaking and listening refers to informal and formal ways oral language is used to convey and receive meaning. Students are taught about the appropriate language for particular audiences and occasions, including body language and voice.
English as an Additional Language (EAL)
English as an Additional Language (EAL) students come from a background where English is not the first language. It includes newly or recently arrived students from overseas, languages other than English background and students born in Australia. A student is defined as being from a language background other than English, if either the student, mother or father speaks another language beside English.
An EAL Curriculum has been developed to support the learning of English. Teachers follow the Victorian Curriculum English scope and sequence, but will also refer to the EAL curriculum to ensure those students are being supported, and work is properly differentiated based on students’ language proficiency levels.
EAL students also have the opportunity to be included in specific EAL classes, where they will work in small groups, with a trained EAL teacher, to assist in their English acquisition. This is achieved through oral activities, role plays, games, and conversations, as well as addressing targeted literacy needs specific to the students in the group.