We have a whole school approach to teaching English and Literacy at Mount Barker South Primary School. Teachers work collaboratively in teams utilising data that informs the implementation of a viable English curriculum. Staff do this to ensure that student’s needs and the highest possible learning outcomes are achieved through monitoring the effectiveness of our teaching practice through regular feedback and reflection.

Children are given the time to become deeply invested in their reading and writing daily.

Classes engage with three workshops that connect with one another; reading, writing, word work.

Each workshop comprises of:

  • Mini-lesson (explicit teaching)
  • Work time (independent)
  • Student-teacher conferences (either 1:1, small group or roving)
  • Peer conferring
  • Share time and reflection

Mini-lessons are used in all three workshops. Mini-lessons are short and focussed of approximately 10-15 minutes. The teacher seeks to inspire and instruct the students as readers and writers. A mini-lesson might focus on something the students are struggling with, and introduce strategies that the students can employ in their own reading and writing.

During the mini-lesson the teacher connects the day’s teaching to the ongoing work that the students have been doing and they explain the Learning Intention and Success Criteria.

The teacher then explicitly teaches, after which the students have the opportunity to briefly engage/apply what they have just learnt.​

Substantive talk is an important part of this point in the mini lesson. The teacher ends the mini-lesson by asking the students to apply what they have learnt in the mini-lesson to their on-going work.

Children are supported to foster a love of reading. Teachers engage their students in a daily read aloud of books; modelling the skills of reading whilst exploring texts which are often new to children.  Each classroom hosts a small library with books chosen and organised by the children. We encourage students to take books of their choice home for reading. Our recently renovated school library is open for students before school, during play times and after school.