The Australian Curriculum: English Foundation to Year 10 is organised into three interrelated strands that support students' growing understanding and use of Standard Australian English (English). Together the three strands focus on developing students’ knowledge, understanding and skills in listening, reading, viewing, speaking and writing. The three strands are:
- Language: knowing about the English language
- Literature: understanding, appreciating, responding to, analysing and creating literature
- Literacy: expanding the repertoire of English usage.
At Springfield Central State High, we value the importance of actively improving students’ reading. We have introduced an exciting Reading Program that encourages the enjoyment of reading, develops comprehension strategies and deepens understanding. Every Year 7, 8 and 9 English class has a dedicated reading lesson once a week. Students rotate between three activities in small groups and will complete two sessions of each activity over a three week period.
Sustained Silent Reading
In today’s busy and technology driven world, it can be difficult for children to develop a love of reading. This is an opportunity for children to read purely for pleasure in a peaceful environment. The reading material is of their own choice and may include texts such as magazines, graphic novels, or non-fiction books. Support is provided for those children that find it difficult to choose something to read.
SRA Reading Labs
This is an online program that is accessed via iPads with a teacher aide to provide support. Students have an individualised library of texts available that are tailored to both their reading level and the one above to challenge them. After reading each book, there are three activities to complete, which enhance comprehension, build vocabulary and increase skills in grammar. Children also do a short piece of writing ranging from a review to a newspaper article. Teachers are able to track each student’s progress and determine which skills children need support with.
This is an in depth discussion of a piece of writing and is led by the class teacher. Texts come from a wide range of sources and may include newspaper articles, song lyrics or even political cartoons. Children read the text, highlight any unfamiliar words or phrases which are then discussed as a group. On re-reading the text children gain a deeper understanding, form opinions on the subject and determine the author’s message. At Springfield Central State High School close reading activities are supported by the question–answer relationship (QAR) strategy which is designed to help students understand the different types of questions they may come across through reading comprehension.
By learning that the answers to some questions are "Right There" in the text, that some answers require a reader to "Think and Search," and that some answers can only be answered "On My Own," students recognize that they must first consider the question before developing an answer.
Why use question–answer relationship?
It can improve students' reading comprehension.
It teaches students how to ask questions about their reading and where to find the answers to them.
It helps students to think about the text they are reading and beyond it, too.
It inspires them to think creatively and work cooperatively while challenging them to use higher-level thinking skills.
Feedback from Students
- “I love the iPads, the activities are fun and I learned some new words.”
- “Did you know that the Grand Canyon is over a mile deep? That’s amazing!”
- “I enjoy the peace and quiet so that I can just sit and read. My little brother is always annoying me so it’s too hard to read at home.”
- “It’s cool to be able to read what I want to at school. Right now I’m into motorbike magazines.”
- “The teacher helped me understand the words of a song that I already knew, it’s funny I didn’t really think about the words much before that, just sang along.”