Literacy in Tasneem (Yr 0-3):
We know the importance of literacy at a young age and all the positive outcomes that it can have for students later on in their lives. Therefore, our teaching day has a strong focus on reading, writing, handwriting and spelling.
In the younger classes we focus on planning for our writing by drawing, talking and using words, linking our writing to our everyday experiences, using words they have learnt in reading and spelling. As students’ progress, they explore letter writing and producing work with factual information and explaining how things work, students learn about simple punctuation and applying this to their writing (full stops, question marks and capital letters).
Through writing every day students will produce longer sentences and use connecting words (like, and) to join sentences. Learning is made fun and hands on, students may watch videos for warm ups (letter sounds, blending and chunking) gathering information or practicing sight words.
Teachers use their knowledge from up to date research and teaching approaches to make learning more realistic and inclusive for all learners.
Oral language is the key to success in early literacy. Students develop skills in listening, talking, viewing, drawing and critiquing/giving their opinions to develop in reading and writing. Oral language development is very important to help in social situations and making meaning of the world around us. Learning through play is one of the many ways we are helping students develop this.
Students learn to understand and talk about the stories they have read. We practice phonics daily to help students learn their letter sounds to help decode new words. In our reading sessions students practice high frequency words, this helps them better recognise commonly used words. Reading happens daily, classes have a big book that they have read to them, they also read to buddies and read books independently to help build a love for learning and practice reading books. All students are encouraged to problem solve, predict, and self-correct as they read. This year we are implementing the Better Start Literacy Approach, this is an integrated classroom programme to support children’s early reading, writing and oral language success. It looks at vocabulary development using quality books, structured teaching of critical phonological awareness skills and letter sound knowledge through fun, games-based activities which make clear links between reading and spelling. We are very excited to see all the success our little ones will experience.
Literacy in Kawthar (Yr 4-8)
Literacy in the senior school is a well balanced and rich programme of listening, speaking, reading and writing skills.
Emphasis is laid on oral language development as it is the foundation to acquire and practise literacy skills. Students build their vocabulary in a variety of ways. They play language building games and participate in role plays among many others.
Students engage in a reading programme which involves silent sustained reading (SSR), shared reading, independent and guided reading. The programme is structured with a focus on developing and strengthening different reading comprehension skills such as inferencing, reorganisation, evaluating, summarising among others. This is achieved through different reading strategies such as reciprocal reading and literacy circles. These strategies are student led and promote student engagement and independence. The teacher plays an active role as a facilitator and scaffolds the learning.
Students work individually and in small groups to build their reading and comprehension skills. They use various learning apps or websites such as Epic, Literacy Shed and Sunshine online to supplement their reading.
The writing programme in the senior school focusses on students developing a love for writing and personal expression of ideas, thoughts and feelings. The weekly programme of writing includes handwriting, spelling, grammar and creative writing.
Students are provided with opportunities to experience writing in a variety of genres such as descriptive, narrative, recounts, procedural, report and poetry writing.
Teachers model writing for students to create high quality work. Students work independently or in pairs to create a writing piece. They often peer edit each other’s work. This enables them to experience, evaluate and improve their own writing style and that of others, thus promoting self and peer assessment.
We use a level based spelling list and there is a weekly spelling test. Every student has an individualised spelling list based on their current level.