Weber School is committed to implementing a structured approach to literacy.
Structured literacy (SL) approaches emphasize highly explicit and systematic teaching of all important components of literacy. These components include both foundational skills (e.g., decoding, spelling) and higher-level literacy skills (e.g., reading comprehension, written expression). SL also emphasises oral language abilities essential to literacy development, including phonemic awareness, sensitivity to speech sounds in oral language, and the ability to manipulate those sounds (International Dyslexia Association).
As we begin 2021 we want to acknowledge the phenomenal investment by the BOT and the Motea Education Trust for reading resources, professional development for staff (which began for some over 18 months ago), the funding of an additional teacher for at least six months and the commitment of our teachers.
We are following Liz Kane's 'Code' in the sequential teaching of phonemes (sounds). As children master each set of phonemes they are able to access the decodable readers. We have a mix of Little Learners Love Literacy, Sunshine decodable texts and look forward to adding the MOE ready to read decodables. Alongside this systematic teaching, we are using Heggerty resources for both assessing and daily teaching plans.
The children use the decodable books in class, however these do not go home each day. Instead the staff have developed home reading cards. These cards give prompts for parents about the sounds to focus on, the heart words to practise and enable the children to practise reading each day. Please return these cards to school with your child.
Whole School Focus
While the reading programme in the junior room is focused on teaching in this way, the middle and senior rooms are all on board. This approach adds another tool to their literacy toolbox and all students are being introduced to explicit phoneme teaching. Our aim is for all our readers to use phonemic awareness alongside their use of meaning and syntax to decode books and enable sound comprehension.