Copperfield College’s whole school approach to literacy allows all students at Years 7 and 8 to develop their literacy skills.

Literacy skills are all the skills needed for reading and writing. They include such things as awareness of the sounds of language, awareness of print and the relationship between letters and sounds. Other literacy skills include vocabulary, spelling and comprehension.

Every student is tested to find out exactly what skills need to be developed. According to their test results, students are placed into literacy groups. Each group has a specially structured program of lessons to build students’ skills. The groups are called Decoding; Transition; Comprehension and Critical Literacy.

At the Decoding level, students are identified as needing support with letters, sounds and word recognition. Students at this level are reading below the expected standard and require intensive assistance to bring them up to the appropriate level.

Students practice letter sounds and words until they are fluent and do not become burdened by how to say them. This allows students the opportunity to understand what they are reading. Students also complete oral language activities, comprehension activities and reading.

At the Transition level, students are also reading below the expected level and need further practice with letter sounds but at an advanced level. There are several reading comprehension tasks and individual reading sessions.

At the Comprehension level, students may read reasonably well but experience difficulty in making meaning of what is read. Students at this level are explicitly taught the skills involved in the comprehension process.

Students engage a number of comprehension strategies such as, Reciprocal Teaching and Visualisation; the ability to build mental models of what has been read. The Oral language activities are designed to give students more opportunities to use language formally and participate in discussion.

At the Critical Literacy level, students are reading at the appropriate level for their age or above. The lessons are more sophisticated and complex. The aim is to challenge students to think about how best they learn and to adopt a variety of learning strategies to improve their ability to retain information or acquire knowledge.

All of which, ensures that students are receiving the right level of support to achieve success as learners.