St Francis Xavier’s School offers a program that promotes skill development in reading and viewing, writing, speaking, and listening in a supportive and stimulating environment. Planning is based on the Australian Curriculum and is supported by best practices around literacy acquisition. We have a knowledge-rich curriculum to build our students’ depth and breadth of content knowledge by embedding history, geography, and civics in our lessons.
All the components of the Big 6 (oral language, phonological awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension) need to be integrated and embedded into a comprehensive literacy program.
Our early year’s educators engage all students in Prep to Year 1 with daily Heggerty Phonological & Phonemic Awareness activities and we use a Systematic Synthetic Phonics (SSP) program. Our literacy instruction teaches children the 44 letter sounds and how we blend sounds to read and spell. We have invested in new sets of decodable readers for our beginning readers. Children use decodable readers to practise the sound-spelling relationships and use the decoding skills taught in phonics lessons. Reading for enjoyment is essential for children. Teachers share rich, authentic texts daily to promote reading for pleasure.
Our students learn about the grammatical structure of words, explore morphology (the study of words and their parts), syntax (sentence structure), and the fascinating world of etymology (the history and examination of the origin of words and meanings). Children learn a range of words with prefixes and suffixes throughout their time at primary school, usually starting in Year 2. Learning about root words, prefixes/suffixes help children understand words better and unlock the structure and meaning within words. Students also begin to see links between different words and identify word families.
We follow the Response to Intervention (RTI) model, a multi-tiered approach to learning instruction. In Tier 2 or 3 intervention, we can differentiate instruction and target specific skills for struggling learners. Our team provides:
- Tier 1 whole-class instruction using evidence-based instruction.
- Tier 2 support in small group sessions for students identified as at risk to supplement skill-building.
- Tier 3 individual intensive 1:1 targeted support for our struggling learners.
We offer the same RTI model for English and Mathematics.