Whole School Literacy Project
The whole school literacy program began in 2012. The idea behind the program is to bring the whole school together to work on improving literacy across the primary and secondary school. Many new resources were purchased and students were given the opportunity to read and write in a wide variety of genres. The underpinning focus of this program is to use literature as a stimulus for student writing, speaking and performing. Parents and community members have been delighted by the examples of student work displayed on www.propadeadly.com Propa deadly is a platform in which students can see their work published and share in their successes and we have had a lot of very positive feedback about the content on the website.
By the end of each year all students will have read, performed or viewed at least four complete works of literature. The literacy program aims to foster a love of literature and build daily reading into routines. Reading is essential for school success and has so many more benefits for our students. Research has suggested that reading decreases stress levels. A well-written story can transport you to other worlds, while an engaging article will distract you and keep you in the present moment, letting tensions drain away and allowing you to relax. Other benefits of reading include memory improvement. When you read a story you need to remember characters, personal character traits, plots and subplots. Every new memory that is created strengthens brain pathways and this in turn strengthens memory recall. Reading has been shown to improve focus and concentration. Reading or listening to a story for a sustained amount of time focuses the brain. Concentration and focus are needed across all areas of learning and reading is one way of improving student focus. Another equally important gain from reading is vocabulary expansion. The more we read the more wonderful words we are exposed to. These words then become part of our everyday vocabulary. Being articulate is so important and a self esteem booster too. Being able to clearly express ourselves is hugely empowering and it is a goal of the Murri School literacy program to build our students confidence in oral language skills. Exposure to literature is one of the best ways to improve writing skills. When students have the opportunity to read or listen to well written texts they are exposed to the many different writing styles and ways in which writing can express ideas, thoughts and feelings. The focus of our literacy project is to engage the students in meaningful ways and foster a lifelong love of reading.
As part of the literacy project journal writing will become part of daily lessons across primary and secondary school. Journal writing is essentially free writing. The students will be encouraged to write about whatever they choose and are not expected to conform to rigid genre criteria and spelling and punctuation are secondary to the task. The idea of journal writing is simply to encourage expression and creativity in a risk free way. Journal writing can be encouraged at home too. The more we write the better we become at it.
Another component of the literacy project is to continue improving spelling. We have fortnightly spelling bee competitions that have been a big success. Students are encouraged to learn set words fortnightly. Many of the words are new and interesting or commonly misspelt words. The competitive nature of the spelling bee really motivates the students. We encourage parents to assist their children to participate by helping them learn their set words at home.
The Murri School Literacy program is going full steam ahead and our students are benefiting from a literature rich program that has so many positive outcomes.
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