All photos on this site are credited to Ed Janes and 2020 Year 12 students Renee Bragge, Tilyia Peoples, Elizabeth Grayden and Yasmin Bridge
Students in Year 7 Extra Literacy are placed in the Year 7 Focus English class to maximise the support they available. Extra Literacy classes provide additional and targeted literacy development support in the important year students begin their high school journey. The Year 7 Extra Literacy Program selection process begins when the students are in Year 6 and involves the collection and evaluation of information from Year 6 teachers. Selected students are invited to participate through a letter sent home to parents/guardians. Participation in this program is voluntary, conditional on parental consent. Students recommended for Extra Literacy are also placed in the Focus English classes to maximise the support they receive in their first year of high school. The low teacher to student ratios allow for intensive literacy support and skill-building. Students are explicitly taught literacy strategies using evidence based programs to engage each student. Staff focus heavily on areas of difficulty which include Reading and Writing. The Extra Literacy classes are timetabled at the same times as French classes, so students who do Extra Literacy will not study French.
Students in Year 8 Extra Literacy are also placed in one of either the Year 8 Focus English class or the Year 8 Core English class, depending on the level of learning support required, to maximise the support they continue to receive. The low teacher to student ratios allow for intensive literacy support and skill building. The Year 8 Extra Literacy classes provide fresh units designed to engage and empower students to consolidate their literacy skills are presented each term. Students will be supported and challenged to recognise and adopt the skills of independent readers and self-editing writers across text types. Activities and tasks designed to develop particular areas of literacy are woven through topics relevant to students’ lives and the world they inhabit. The Extra Literacy classes are timetabled at the same times as French classes, so students who do Extra Literacy will not study French.
Advancing skills in reading and writing is challenging, but it does not have to be dull. With a combination of student selected texts and topics designed to appeal to teens, this course allows students to explore the mechanics of reading and writing well as they transfer these skills to their own work. Cooperative learning opportunities, detailed feedback and in-class support to improve assessment pieces will demonstrate to students that each of them can become a better reader and writer. This elective is recommended for any student who is not confident of achieving Band 8 in Reading and Writing in their Year 9 NAPLAN.
The requirement to pass the Online Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (OLNA) in order to be eligible to achieve a Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) has highlighted the need to read and write well. This course is designed to improve those skills while focusing on ideas and issues students care about. Students’ individual learning needs are central to the design of this course and the multiple opportunities to master literacy skills are designed to demonstrate to students that their efforts to improve will pay dividends. With a strong focus on compelling ideas and events of interest to students, this class will help students hone their literacy skills in preparation for Senior School courses. This elective is highly recommended for any student who does not achieve Band 8 in NAPLAN Reading and/or Writing and will be therefore required to undertake the Online Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (OLNA) in Year 10, or students who are intending on studying ATAR English but have a C grade for English in Year 9.
Core English and Maths Students are placed in groups of no more than 16 attend Core Mathematics in Years 7 to 9 and/or English in Years 8 to 10. Extensive testing is undertaken before and during the program to determine accurate placement, with Documented Plans outlining specific focus skills for students when required. Some students have specific learning disabilities or difficulties, while others need a shorter term placement to “catch up” and re-enter mainstream classes during the year.
Detailed Year 7 transition information from primary schools, NAPLAN and Program Placement Testing is used to identify students requiring additional literacy assistance. Focus English students follow the same curriculum content as other English classes, but with proportionately more differentiation of the learning program. Students in the Focus English classes will be placed in one of four Extra Literacy classes instead of a French class. As part of the support offered, Extra Literacy students will receive explicit instruction to build their reading and writing skills.
Student placement in this program is based on a review of Year 7 English results and teacher recommendations. Focus English students follow the same curriculum content as other English classes, but with proportionately more differentiation of the learning program. Placement in one of the four Year 8 Extra Literacy classes is automatic for students who were in an Extra Literacy class in Year 7. Extra Literacy classes are timetabled at the same times as French; therefore, students must continue in Extra Literacy unless they are suitable to move into a French class.