Sacred Heart staff believe that literacy is the foundation for all learning. They believe that literacy is the capacity to converse in a wide range of situations. Literacy involves providing students with the ability to communicate effectively using a wide range of skills. These include the ability to use Information Communication Technology (ICT), communicate verbally, communicate non-verbally, effectively use the written word and read for meaning.
Students at Sacred Heart are exposed to opportunities to use MacBooks, ipod touches and SMARTboards in order to interact effectively with a range of audiences. Students are encouraged to achieve this in engaging and ascetically pleasing ways.At Sacred Heart, each teacher encourages their students to develop a life-long passion for literacy. This is achieved through providing the children with meaningful activities during a two hour literacy block each day. The activities are varied and may involve guided reading, guided writing, comprehension, talking and listening with some use of role plays. Additionally, all other subject areas are undertaken with a view to assisting in literacy development.Teachers at Sacred Heart endeavour to teach the students all the text types the students are required to use. Students progress is monitored through the use of Running Records and careful observation of the students learning.
Teachers also have a Reading Recovery Program for Year One students and a Special Needs Program to assist those who are challenged in their literacy development. As well, there is a Gifted and Talented Program to extend and promote those students who demonstrate advanced proficiency in literacy. The curriculum also promotes students ability to use language effectively through learning about language.
This pathway to literacy is developmental and teachers help students to develop strategies to create meaning through:
- different forms of written and visual communication,
- a wide vocabulary, accurate spelling, phonics and phonemic awareness,
- an understanding of grammar and the use of punctuation and,
- varied sentence and text structures.
Teachers seek to ensure that students’ develop the ability to critically analyse texts and use their literacy skills to make good observations about the world around them. Students are encouraged, supported and given a wide range of opportunities to achieve their potential in literacy. It is believed that through setting high expectations and through explicit teaching of literacy that students achieve. Literacy is the ability to read and use written and visual information and to communicate appropriately in a variety of social and academic contexts. It involves the integration of speaking, listening, viewing, creating, reading, writing and critical thinking in the use and production of both traditional texts and new communication technologies. Literacy includes the cultural knowledge which enables a speaker, reader, writer or viewer to recognise and use language appropriate to different social situations,(CEO, Sydney,K-12 Literacy Position Paper).