At Frankston Heights Primary School, literacy underpins all aspects of learning. To deliver the best outcomes, our dedicated teachers implement an evidence based, high-quality literacy program to develop students’ reading, writing and speaking and listening skills.

At Frankston Heights, we adopt an integrated approach to reading that explicitly teaches the essential components of the ‘The Big Six’ of Reading – oral language, phonological awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension. These six components have been identified by the National Inquiry into the Teaching of Literacy as essential to reading instruction.

Evidence-based literacy research, referred to as ‘the science of reading’, emphasises the importance of explicit and sequential literacy teaching. In the junior school (Foundation – Year 2), we provide explicit, systematic and sequential teaching of phonological awareness and phonics through the Little Learners Love Literacy® program. This engaging program includes focussed lessons, teaching routines, small group reading and a range of resources that ensure a strong foundation in literacy. For students requiring extra instructional support, our Intervention program, offers regular, small group sessions tailored to each student’s needs, based on continuous literacy assessment. This comprehensive approach equips students with the essential skills to become proficient readers, writers and spellers.

In the middle and senior school (Years 3 – 6), our students receive daily explicit instruction, participate in strategy-based small group reading sessions and reading conferences, engage in sustained reading practices, book clubs, and independent literacy tasks, including the use of digital technologies. These practices help students develop accuracy and fluency in reading, expand their vocabulary, and enhance their comprehension skills. Through dialogic talk, students learn to articulate and discuss their thoughts and understandings of texts they read, fostering critical thinking and deeper engagement with literature.

Across all year levels, students are introduced to rich, authentic literary texts through shared and modelled reading experiences. These practices captivate student interests, develop their comprehension skills and promote a love of reading. Our home reading program features a diverse range of texts, including decodable readers, literature, chapter books, and digital programs such as Reading Eggs, ensuring a well-rounded reading experience.

At Frankston Heights, we use a range of ongoing literacy assessments to support and challenge each child at their individual point of need. These assessments inform reading instruction, student goal setting through 1:1 reading conferences, and home reading activities. Our goal is to help every student develop a love of reading and become an independent reader, progressing at their own pace throughout their schooling years.

At Frankston Heights, we employ explicit instruction to teach writing, focussing on the processes of writing, structural and grammatical features of various genres, conventions, vocabulary choice and spelling including phonemic awareness, phonics and morphology (understanding the parts of words and their meaning).

Students across all year levels, participate in whole group, small group and individualised instruction to foster engagement and develop confidence in their writing ability. Rich, authentic texts are used as mentor or model texts to demonstrate effective writing, illustrate how authors share their message with others and facilitate the connection between reading and writing.

Student interest and agency is encouraged through goal setting, in which individual goals are set during 1:1 writing conferences with the teacher and through the use of a Writer’s Notebook. Instruction is also guided by the use of the 6+1 Writing Traits framework (Ruth Culham, 2005) where writing is viewed through the lens of Voice, Ideas, Conventions, Organisation, Word Choice, Sentence Fluency and Presentation.

Handwriting skills are emphasised in the junior and middle school, with the goal of achieving an individual, legible script by senior school. The use of explicit teaching, practise and fine motor tasks assist in developing students’ letter formation, pencil grip and writing stamina.

At Frankston Heights, teachers use a range of continuous writing assessments to inform writing instruction and goal setting to support and challenge students at their point of need. Throughout their schooling years, students will develop their skills in a variety of genres, progressing at their own pace. Our aim is to foster a love of writing in every student.