English develops knowledge, understanding and skills across the three areas of Language, Literature and Literacy. Beechworth Primary School recognises that the processes of reading and writing are interconnected, we begin our teaching with the sounds in language and move from the sounds to the written word. Once students have developed their core understanding of decoding and working with text the focus changes to language comprehension. 

Students are explicitly taught secretarial and authorial skills. Working from word level, moving to sentence level, then paragraph and whole text level. We use a range of tools to support the teaching of writing including VCOP, Cold Writes and Big Writes. VCOP is the teaching of vocabulary, connectives, openers and punctuation at differing progressive levels of complexity.   



At Beechworth Primary School, we know the critical impact that the skills of reading and writing have in our everyday lives. More explicit, targeted teaching and learning in how our English language works helps to ‘crack the code’ and ensures that our students receive all the skills they need to be life-long readers and confident writers.


Foundation – 2 

At Beechworth Primary School we have up-levelled our Phonics work in the Junior classrooms with the introduction of Sounds-Write, a structured synthetic phonics program based on the science of reading. Research into how children learn to read and comprehensive government reviews from the UK, US and Australia have revealed a strong agreement around the importance of systematic phonics instruction during the initial stages of learning to read.

Starting in Foundation and working up through to Year 2, each day students are given 30 minutes of explicit instruction on the sounds from the English language and how letters can represent these sounds. The structure of the program means that sounds are taught in small groups beginning with initial sounds (e.g. s as in sat, g as in girl, d as in dog) and then applied to reading/writing and spelling tasks. They are also taught how to segment sounds in words, how to blend sounds together to read a word and how to manipulate sounds in words e.g. change cat to cap.


Parent/carer information regarding the Sounds-Write program 



In the Middle and Senior school, there is a heavier teaching focus on grammar, sentence structure, spelling (morphology and etymology) and comprehension. This is explicitly taught through the use of rich text-based units, incorporating picture books, short stories, novels and informational texts. The teaching of reading and writing through Grade 3-6 are interconnected and students engage in supported practice of concepts at the top of Scarborough’s Reading Rope as appropriate to the grade. 


Scarborough’s Reading Rope 



Library & Literacy Celebrations

Students at Beechworth Primary School have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of literacy by borrowing books and engaging in literacy activities and celebrations, such as National Simultaneous Story Time, Book Week celebrations and Scholastic Book Fair. Junior classes attend weekly sessions in our newly built library. Middle and Senior classes both attend fortnightly library sessions; Middle students at our BPS library and Senior students at the Indigo Library in Beechworth.