Our school is a wonderful place to be! We enjoy being together, building a positive and inclusive community. We love playing and learning together. We love being active and getting outdoors. We connect through the arts, rich conversations, and technology. We prioritize hands-on and play-based learning. We embrace and celebrate our diversity.
Our learners bring a wide range of language, culture, experiences, and background knowledge to share with their school community. Our learners love language, particularly sharing their ideas with one another, listening to and creating stories and music, engaging in play, and showing off what they know and celebrating their accomplishments. Our learners work hard to develop new language skills; expanding their vocabulary, making connections between oral and written language, building confidence in literacy, and understanding the importance of reading and the joys that come along with it. Students enjoy being surrounded by language and by being given opportunities to develop literacy skills in so many different ways each day.
We strive for all students to develop their literacy skills and become confident readers. We have been focusing on the science of reading, learning more about how students learn to read, scaffolding activities to support early literacy skills, and providing a wide range of literacy activities to try to meet the needs of all our learners in their pursuit to become the best readers they can be.
Curricular Competency #1 - students can read fluently at grade level
-daily practice with phonics, phonemes, rhyming, and what our mouth looks like and feels like when it makes different sounds
-using knowledge of language patterns and phonics to decode words, developing an awareness of roots, affixes and suffixes, identifying familiar and sight words, self-correcting errors consistently using meaning, structure, and visual cues
-videos below show students practicing some of these skills all together in the classroom or in a small group as part of their daily routines
Curricular Competency #2 - students can use developmentally appropriate reading, listening, and viewing strategies to make meaning
-students have opportunities for individual, small group, and class-wide literacy skills on a daily basis, including hands-on and play-based activities
-photos below show students participating in a literacy station game to practice frequently used sight words as well as students taking part in individual choice reading for pleasure
Curricular Competency #3 - students can develop and apply expanding word knowledge
-students practice letters and sounds and how they come together to make words both orally and in written form
-students are constantly introduced to new words, particularly words that are richer, more descriptive, and more sophisticated, and have consistent opportunities to use them in contextual discussions as well as recognize them in print
-photos below show students practicing forming words in hands-on ways and developing new vocabulary using a picture book
Each and every day, among the variety of learning experiences presented to our learners, our team of educators focus on thinking, reading, writing, and communicating in all curricular areas. Our aim is to build strong literacy foundations that are fundamental for students’ participation in today’s world.
Our students’ learning goals include:
All teachers, across all grades, provide students with learning opportunities aimed at increasing the literacy success rates of our learners. To highlight and determine overall successes and gaps, we monitored the progress of one cohort across different subject areas involving literacy. In all areas of learning, students read. They read about art, music, sports, culture, history, geography, and life science and so much more. We have been focusing on taking a more strategic, step by step approach to learning to read using "new science" to guide us and using consistent programming and strategies across classrooms.
After assessing students in our cohort (in February 2023) across various alphabet skills, and reading and decoding skills, we identified areas of strength as well as areas of need. Boxes in green indicate a level of minimum proficiency and boxes in red indicate areas needing further focus, scaffolding, and practice.
Overall, 10% of students in the cohort are showing an overall level of proficiency with alphabetic, reading and decoding skills, while 90% are not yet reaching a minimum level of proficiency. We can also see areas that all students in the cohort need targeted teaching and practice; particularly r-controlled vowels, complex vowel and diphthongs, low frequency spellings, and multisyllabic words.
Since this survey was conducted, students have been practicing literacy activities targeting these skills. We will be conducting the survey again in June 2023 and then again in January of 2024 to see the progress students have made with increased, targeted interventions and opportunities for daily practice. We are hoping to get to 60% or more of our cohort to be within the minimum proficiency level for these reading skills.
When it comes to overall literacy skills at grade level, including both decoding and comprehension skills across all areas of the curriculum (based on classroom assessments and levelled literacy assessments), 65% of the cohort fall within the minimum level of proficiency. We would like to increase this to 85% by January 2024.