The Early Years Literacy Program is a daily focused two-hour session. This program is designed to improve children’s early literacy achievement. Activities include: reading, alphabet and word games, word recognition, letter names and sounds, comprehension, and writing. The classroom reading activities include whole class, small groups, guided reading, shared reading, listening tasks and independent reading experiences.
A large variety of resources are used including non-fiction and fiction materials, presented in many formats, including books, song, poetry and nursery rhymes.
Each child is regularly assessed in their reading to ensure text levels are appropriate for him/her and the focus is always on reading for enjoyment and meaning.
Phonological awareness is a key focus in our literacy program. Phonological awareness is an essential part of the students’ ability to learn the English language. Students are enthusiastically learning sounds through Phonics in Context and A Sound Way programs. Children will have regular phonological awareness instruction in letter sound knowledge, word awareness/syllables, rhyme, and eventually first and last, middle sounds, vowels and consonants. The word study is designed to cater for children’s needs. The students will continue to develop their knowledge and skills of language structure. As they learn more about the structure of the written language, they will learn more about letter patterns in the English language.
Writing sessions will initially focus on recount writing. Students will be encouraged to draw pictures that represent an element of a past event that they have experienced. Each student will be encouraged to use their oral language skills to describe their illustrations in sentences. Teachers will model writing and expectations of independent writing will vary depending on each child’s points of need. Students will also be given instruction in handwriting, learning the beginning strokes and shapes needed to use Victorian Modern Cursive handwriting. This includes developing the correct posture and fine motor skills needed to create well-formed letters and a steady pencil grip.
In Religion, the Foundation students this term are learning about Jesus, The Good Shepherd. We have learnt about our prayer table and prayer space in each classroom, and have been enjoying beginning and ending each school day with prayer songs. We are learning to make the Sign of the Cross, and about talking with and listening to God.
Throughout this term, the students will learn to retell and explain stories about The Good Shepherd, and will begin to interpret this story as an example of how Jesus Christ loves and cares for us. Towards the end of Term 1 we will learn about the Easter Story and present the story of Palm Sunday to the school community.
The Mathematics focus for Foundation students initially is on number. Concepts and skills are taught through the use of concrete materials and experiences relevant to the children’s lives. The Numeracy Program involves a lot of ‘hands on’ activities, open ended investigations and real life mathematics. Counting and number sense will lay the foundations of your child’s maths learning in future years.
Throughout the term we will also cover the following concepts: Capacity, 2D shapes, Data and Representation (Collecting Data) and Place Value.
Each Mathematics lesson begins with activities and games designed to teach and practise Mental Strategies such as first counting to 10 then building on to 20, and breaking up numbers to 5.
Below is a list of activities that you can do at home in order to support your child’s Mathematics development:
Make counting part of your everyday life. For example, count toys, shells at the beach, fruit at the grocery store or trees on the street.
When you’re out and about, encourage your child to compare sizes of stones, bushes and trees, and describe shapes of leaves, colours of flowers or sizes of birds.
Go for a walk down your street and point out how each house or block has a number in a series. Count the steps between one house and the next.
Use a growth chart or marks on a wall to measure your child’s growing height, and describe to your child what you’re doing.
Involve your child in cooking. Your child can help stir, pour, fill and mix. This will help your child learn to count, measure, add and estimate.
This term, our Inquiry topic is Ready To Learn! Throughout the term, the Foundation students will be learning about our classroom and school rules and how the behaviour choices that we make impact on our safety. The students are learning to explain how our routines in the classroom help us to do our B.E.S.T. learning and how we can create a safe and fun learning environment.
Through books, roleplay and games we have begun to explore the different emotions we might experience at school throughout the day, and how we can recognise these in our friends and classmates too.