In the Infant grades, literacy skills are explicitly taught using THRASS (Teaching Handwriting Reading and Spelling Skills). THRASS is a system for teaching learners of any age about the building blocks of reading and spelling, that is, the 44 phonemes (speech sounds) of spoken English and the graphemes (spelling choices) of written English.
At Holy Family we use “cued articulation” to further provide Kindergarten students with opportunity to consolidate knowledge of sounds via visual cues that assist them with identifying when a sound is “voiced” or “voiceless”.
This integrated approach has produced excellent results in the achievement of literacy outcomes at Holy Family.
Programming for Literacy across the school is focused on providing a differentiated approach to teaching so that all students can learn and achieve goals. Learning activities include reading and writing activities, novel studies, technological aspects such as interactive Smart Board activities, OneNote skill development, talking and listening opportunities with peers and teachers with added learning occurring throughout all other subject areas as well. Children are tracked through the Infants and Primary years on a literacy learning continuum so that skills are developed sequentially and at individual student’s rate of development.
All students are involved in the Acadience Reading Program from Kindergarten to Year 6.
Acadience Reading is a universal screening and progress monitoring assessment that measures the acquisition of early literacy skills from Kindergarten through to Year 6. The assessment comprises six brief measures that function as indicators of the essential skills every child must master to become a proficient reader. These measures are used to regularly monitor the development of early literacy skills in order to provide timely instructional support and prevent the occurrence of later reading difficulties (Acadience, 2019).
In the Primary grades, literacy skills are explicitly taught and related to fiction or nonfiction texts. Grammar, writing structure and vocabulary are aligned to the text type in focus. Literacy skills are integrated and applied to Science, Human Society, Religion, PDH&PE and Creative Arts tasks. In the Primary grades, the Focus on Reading program and the Spelling Sound Waves program support the further development of talking and listening, reading fluency, comprehension and writing skills.