The study of English is central to the learning and development of all young Australians. It helps create confident communicators, imaginative thinkers and informed citizens. It is through the study of English that individuals learn to analyse, understand, communicate and build relationships with others and with the world around them. The study of English helps young people develop the knowledge and skills needed for education, training and the workplace. It helps them become ethical, thoughtful, informed and active members of society and plays an important part in developing the understanding, attitudes and capabilities of those who will take responsibility for Australia’s future.
Although Australia is a linguistically and culturally diverse country, participation in many aspects of Australian life depends on effective communication in Standard Australian English. In addition, proficiency in English is invaluable globally. The English curriculum contributes both to nation-building and to internationalisation, including Australia’s links to Asia.
English also helps students to engage imaginatively and critically with literature to expand the scope of their experience. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have contributed to Australian society and to its contemporary literature and literary heritage through their distinctive ways of representing and communicating knowledge, traditions and experience.
The English curriculum aims to ensure that students:
- learn to listen to, read, view, speak, write, create and reflect on increasingly complex and sophisticated spoken, written and multimodal texts across a growing range of contexts with accuracy, fluency and purpose
- appreciate, enjoy and use the English language in all its variations and develop a sense of its richness and power to evoke feelings, convey information, form ideas, facilitate interaction with others, entertain, persuade and argue
- understand how Standard Australian English works in its spoken and written forms and in combination with non-linguistic forms of communication to create meaning
- develop interest and skills in inquiring into the aesthetic aspects of texts, and develop an informed appreciation of literature.
The English curriculum at Ascot Vale Primary School is a comprehensive and dynamic part of the curriculum, based on the premise that all children need to be competent readers and writers. Teachers at Ascot Vale P.S. are committed to the success of their students, taking into account different learning styles and differing needs of each student.
The English curriculum is organised by language modes and strands. The language modes are interrelated and the learning in one often supports and extends learning of the others. Each content description has been placed in the mode which is the major focus of its learning.
Classroom contexts that address particular content descriptions will necessarily draw on more than one of these modes in order to support students’ effective learning. For example, students will learn new vocabulary through listening and reading and apply their knowledge and understanding in their speaking and writing as well as in their comprehension of both spoken and written texts. Visit the English Victorian Curriculum website at http://victoriancurriculum.vcaa.vic.edu.au/english/introduction/structure for more information about the language modes.
There are a variety of strategies used to ensure vital and challenging literacy learning occurs. Some of these strategies include: Buddy Reading, Cross-Age tutors, Guided Reading, Shared Reading, Reader Of the Day and S.Q.U.I.R.T. (Silent Quiet Uninterrupted Reading Time). Student writing is published in a variety of ways, including the School Newsletters. Sharing work at Assemblies and Intervention Programs in Early and Middle Years of School are also a feature of our program. Older students gather ‘seeds’ (writing ideas) for their Writer’s Notebook lessons and participate in Literature Circles regularly to extend their reading, oral language and thinking skills.
A daily literacy block complies with DET Early Years recommendations. Staff also utilise current trends in literacy education to develop multi-literacies skills for students. For example using digital literacies.