At Williamstown North Primary School, we value literacy as a human right and as a responsibility; we value literacy as a shared heritage of social connection and as a source of joy, wonder and wisdom.

We teach children to read. We systematically and explicitly teach phonics and phonological awareness. We teach children to spell. We take our students from the earliest sound-spellings to a deep understanding of the phonological, orthographic and morphological components of the English language. On these foundations, we build students’ fluency to bring their reading to life with smoothness, expression and pace.

Learn more about how we teach children to take the first steps in reading and spelling by taking the free online Sounds-Write parent course.

We share the best of classic and contemporary children’s literature from Australia and around the world. Together, we read to learn, to be entertained, transported, challenged and inspired. We build our students’ shared knowledge of the world - in turn building their ability to comprehend increasingly complex texts. Through our reading, we listen to the diverse views and voices of authors and their characters. We share our responses through discussion, debate, performance and writing of our own.

We welcome students into our school library - where students are immersed in literature and borrow their choice of picture books, narratives, non-fiction, graphic novels, ebooks and audiobooks.

We teach children to write. We teach writing so that students can harness the mighty power of the pen - to communicate, to explore ideas, to express themselves and to find their voices.

We teach genre and sentence structures to scaffold student writing from first words to expository essays. We teach students to plan and draft - and to revise (and revise again) and to edit (and edit again) until their writing rings with clarity. We teach Victorian modern cursive handwriting - and, later, typing skills - and we give students time to practice so that their ideas can flow to the page. We provide publishing opportunities so that students can find audiences for their writing among their peers and the school community.

We teach children to listen and we teach them to speak. From their earliest show and share opportunities through to formal presentations, competitive debates and student-led school assemblies, we develop confident and expressive students. We teach respectful listening to build openness to new views and new voices. Through conversation, presentation and deliberation, we teach the fundamental skills of participation in our democratic society.

We play with the rhythms and sounds of speech through songs, rhymes, chants and poetry. When they recite, perform and sing, we tune students’ ears to the music and beauty of our language.

We foster community connections: with local authors, illustrators and bookshops; through teaching communities of practice with neighbouring primary and high schools; with Hobsons Bay City Libraries; and through our students’ involvement in the Williamstown Literary Festival.

We carefully monitor all students’ progress in basic early literacy skills; we share our insights regularly with families using valid and reliable measures that can be referred, when necessary, to other professionals including psychologists, speech-language pathologists and paediatricians.

Williamstown North Primary School nurtures the next generation of regular readers, literate leaders and thoughtful, articulate citizens.