Ko te reo te tuakiri
Ko te reo tōku ahurei
Ko te reo te ora.
Language is my identity.
Language is my uniqueness.
Language is life.
English is one of the eight learning areas specified in the New Zealand Curriculum document. It is described as "The study, use and enjoyment of the English language and its literature, communicated orally, visually and in writing, for a range of purposes and audiences and in a variety of text forms." (NZC p18) Literacy in English gives students access to the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to be effective communicators.
Whangaparaoa School gives high priority to the teaching of Reading and Writing. We set high achievement expectations in our annual targets. Teachers assess regularly and use up to date information to inform their planning and teaching. We cater to individual needs, giving support and extension through differentiated grouping and personalised programmes. In our classrooms you will see English in a variety of forms; reading, writing, oral language and visual language.
In Years 1 and 2 the focus is on developing the children’s language abilities and their knowledge of how language is used in a broad range of contexts. With teacher support and through the sharing of text, children develop an appreciation of the characteristics of language in use. They are assisted to develop a range of strategies needed for effective speaking and listening, reading and writing. A stimulating and supportive programme providing a wide range of learning contexts gives them the opportunity to develop a range of skills for interpreting and constructing meaning from spoken, printed and non-print texts.
In Years 3 and 4 the focus is on developing the students’ independence and skills in speaking and listening, reading and writing, and how to collect, respond to and organise ideas and information. They are encouraged to develop and use a broad range of strategies for confidently conveying meaning in speech and writing. They construct meaning from, and respond to, spoken, printed and non-print texts, and are encouraged to speak, read and write with some critical awareness, using a variety of texts with relatively simple and obvious structures. Students are assisted to develop, recognise and respond to basic literacy forms and characteristics of some mass media and everyday texts. Students are developing expertise in locating and evaluating information and ideas with texts.
In Years 5 and 6 the focus is on expanding the range and complexity of the texts children speak, listen to, read, view and write. There is a particular emphasis on responding to fiction and factual texts with more critical awareness and on developing more advanced research and reporting skills. During classroom activities the children are shown how to recognise the differences between written and spoken texts of different types – formal, informal, personal and public – and how these relate to purpose and context. They are taught how to read, write and respond to a variety of text types. There is particular emphasis on developing more conscious reflection on how language is used to construct meaning, including the ways grammar works in this process, and the correct terms to use when talking about these features of language. As their expertise develops, students use their reading and writing to become more reflective about their learning.