Literacy consists of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and spelling, and is critical to enable students to engage successfully with all aspects of the curriculum. It would be wonderful if all children learned to do all of this at the same time, but just as all children don't learn to walk at the same rate, the same is true with literacy. Typically children ‘learn to read’ in Years 0-3 and ‘read to learn’ in years 4-6. Every day at Concord School, we integrate all the components of literacy into our classroom programmes.
We believe that children are likely to learn more effectively when they are motivated and happy, and their parents/caregivers are positively involved in their learning. There is a lot you can do to help your children improve their literacy skills. The secret is to connect learning to everyday experiences, to your children's interests and to make it fun.
We closely monitor children’s progress and report this to parents in writing twice a year and also during two parent and student interviews. We encourage parents/caregivers to ask questions about their child's learning at any time.
We incorporate strategies and programmes to help children who need an extra boost. Some of these are Reading Recovery, Rainbow Reading and The Lexia Programme. We are also fortunate to be involved in the Duffy Books in Homes Programme and to have local grandparents volunteer their time for Grandparents Reading.
At Concord School we have embraced the Numeracy Project for a number of years. This project is a New Zealand-wide professional development initiative, which introduced teachers to a new approach to the teaching of mathematics.
The Numeracy Project is focused on developing children's understanding of numbers, and their ability to use numbers to solve problems. Of course the children still solve number problems by counting, adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing, or by using combinations of these.
The children are encouraged to discuss how they work out answers to problems posed, many calculations having been worked out in their head. They show that they understand maths by using equipment, diagrams, pictures, and by recording the methods used. They work by themselves and with others. The children can state what they are learning to do (WALT…) in guided lessons, discussing the various ways they arrived at their solution to a problem.
At Concord School the children are encouraged to learn a variety of ways to solve problems and then be able to choose the most appropriate way for each problem. We have a wealth of resources to support teaching and learning and use activity stations as a fun way to reinforce the strategies the children have been learning as they progress through the Numeracy Stages.
The children at Concord spend between 60% (Year 5 and 6 children) and 80% (Year 1 and 2 children) of their maths time on Numeracy with the rest of the time being used for the other strands i.e. Algebra, Measurement, Geometry, and Statistics.
Grandparents ReadingA Concord School student reading in the school library.
We are very fortunate to have a group of keen and motivated grandparents that give up their time to share the joys of reading with our children. Groups of children of all ages meet the grandparents in the library every week with their reading books. The children read to the grandparents and they in turn read a book to the children. They talk about their books and experiences in a very supportive environment.
We are pleased to be able to offer Reading Recovery at our school. This is a programme, run by a specially trained teacher, offering daily one on one tuition for targeted children. The child would be between 6 to 7 and not progressing as well as we would like in reading and writing. The programme aims to accelerate their learning to bring them up to a level equal with their peers.
This an extra programme using taped stories that we provide for some students to boost their progress through one on one teaching with a teacher aide. The books are bright and colourful and the stories are engaging for the older pupils.
Lexia Reading ProgrammeChildren using the Lexia Programme.
We are fortunate to have the Lexia Reading Programme running at Concord school. The programme focuses on the skills of reading and language. It is computer based, with the students spending time completing literacy activities everyday. All the activities completed by the children are recorded; teachers can easily assess the student's progress.
Evidence has shown that the programme is successful in improving reading levels of a wide range of children.
We are grateful to have received funding from the Bendigo Trust for the purchase of this valuable programme.
Curious Minds is a time to think, create, make, and do. The programme is based around a topic where we discuss issues that surround it.Curious mind activities.
We sit in a circle and have our turn to give our opinions. It's ok to change our minds as the discussion goes on, as we understand that other people have different views and ideas to us.
After the discussion, we often do an activity based on the topic or discussion. We use graphic organisers to help us organise our thinking eg we use a Venn Diagram to compare two things like clothes from 100 years ago and clothes of today. Another favourite is the 'What if…' chart. 'What if we all dressed the same?'
We have a variety of choice activities based on our learning styles eg art, maths, thinking, writing plays, etc. Sometimes we have to do activities set by the teacher, otherwise we can choose.
Talk To Learn
Talk to learn is a practical oral language programme for use in Junior Classrooms. It is an innovative tool to meet the needs of students with delayed oral language skills. The programme is linked closely with the New Zealand curriculum.