A Structured Literacy Approach

As part of our strategic curriculum review, Windy Ridge School has been evaluating its Literacy practice. This year, we have introduced a Structured Literacy approach to support reading, writing and spelling.

Structured literacy is based on 50 years of scientific research aimed at better understanding why some children are able to read and write easily while others find it more challenging. The basis of the Structured Literacy Programme is to develop children’s phonological awareness. They learn how to decode individual letter sounds and then put them together to read/write whole words. This is called segmenting and blending. This leads to an understanding of how each letter is correctly sounded and then recorded, which in turn supports ongoing spelling acquisition, writing fluency and confidence.

As a school, we have put considerable resources into purchasing books to support the structured literacy approach. Teachers are delivering workshops using this approach in Pīwakawaka and Kōtare Iti. Further up the school, we have re-introduced the Switched onto Spelling programme, which follows a structured literacy approach perfectly.

For some of our students this means traditional readers are not sent home as they might have been in the past. Instead, new Ministry of Education structured literacy reading books and other support material to help with the ongoing learning process are given to children to share at home.

During 2021, Mrs Tabuteau, our Literacy Leader will be running parent information sessions which will allow parents and whānau to understand more about Structured Literacy.

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