The Readers' Workshop

All classrooms at Nathalia Primary School have a dedicated two hour Literacy block every morning. 

Effective Literacy lessons accross all classes follow the common Workshop Model lesson structure. This includes a whole class focused mini-lesson following by the opportunity for students to practise skills and strategies independently or in small groups with teacher conferring and feedback, then whole class reflection on the learning. 

Assessment and monitoring, along with student goal setting, support point-of-need teaching for children. Differentiated tasks and careful selection of 'just-right' books, a common language with which to describe and name strategies, along with a clear learning intention provide students with confidence, fluency, comprehension and independence. 




Structure of the Reading Hour Teaching Approaches Evidence
10 Minutes
Teacher's explicitly teach the students what good readers do and how they do it. 

Decoding, comprehension, fluency, self monitoring and other reading strategies. Within the text, beyond the text and about the text. 
Mentor texts are used.
Good reading is modelled.
Teacher talk is explicit.
Whole class is together.
15-20 Minutes
Students work to apply the teaching focus. They read and practise using a range of books. Teachers confer with the students during this time. 

Just-right books (books at the student's reading ability)
Classroom libraries - texts that provide students the chance too practise the teaching focus.
Teacher monitoring and assessment.
Students work independently or in small groups.
Teacher confers with individual students, goal setting, running records, interviews etc. 
5 Minutes
Short Reflection about their reading and what they have learnt about themselves as readers in relation to the lesson focus.
  Whole group, turn and talk, explicit questioning, restating the focus. 
15-20 Minutes
Reading, writing, talking, confering. Teacher has a small teaching group or needs-based group for further targeted teaching. Children learn to read by reading. 

Independent reading. 
Language experience. 
Guided reading. 
Shared reading.
Reciprocal reading.
Literature circles. 

Students are reading, talking or writing about reading. This might be a continuation of the earlier independent reading or another authentic reading activity. 
10 minutes
Short Reflection about their reading and what they have learnt about themselves as readers in relation to the lesson focus.
  Students articulate what they have learnt about their reading. Talk about the daily focus. 



The Writers' Workshop

All classes at Nathalia Primary School follow the Writers' Workshop Instructional Model. During a writing lesson you will see students observing high quality modelled writing, sharing writing stratgies and being given plenty of time to develop their own writing skills.

We integrate the VCOP and Big Write prigram accross the school which focuses on Punctuation, Connectives, Openers and Vocabulary.

We publish and celebrate children writing in the school newsletter, local papers and at school assembly.

We do not restrict students writing by time. There are always opportunities for students to complete writing tasks over a longer period than a single lesson.

SMART Spelling

SMART Spelling is an approach that supports primary teachers to teach spelling well. There is a clear Foundation-6 scope and sequence that is well established at Nathalia Primary School. In a SMART Spelling classroom, students are explicitly taught spelling patterns, one at a time. Teachers start by teaching the meaning of words to expand vocabulary and then break words into syllables, sounds and letter patterns following a simple routine that is in the SMART Spelling course. Teachers use their professional knowledge to give meaningul feedback to students about their spelling in writing, teaching at the point of need. 


Our staff are committed to regularly attending Professional Development and the continued improvement of teaching methods. We reguarly attend conferences, training sessions, and visit other schools to observe best-practice, and make time to visit each others classrooms to provide constructive comments on their practice.