Literacy Curriculum

At Queenscliff Primary School, our Literacy program aligns seamlessly with the Victorian Curriculum F-10 and provides fundamental skills, strategies and attitudes towards learning. We aim to foster a lifelong love of reading in our students, as well as confidence in their writing and effective interpersonal and communication skills. We believe all students can achieve success in Literacy and transfer these skills into their daily life to be active and informed citizens in our community.

Instructional Model

Queenscliff Primary School practises a consistent approach to all literacy programs using our agreed approach using a Literacy Instructional Model. At QPS, our weekly literacy program incorporates the seven fundamental components of literacy, including:

  • Phonemic Awareness - the ability to hear and manipulate individual sounds in words
  • Phonics - the understanding that letters represent the speech sounds of our language
  • Vocabulary – the knowledge of words and their meanings in context that we must know to communicate effectively
  • Fluency - the ability to read text accurately, quickly and with appropriate expression
  • Comprehension – the ability to make meaning from texts through literal, inferential and critical understanding
  • Grammar – the ability to understand the constructs of the English language, including morphology, syntax and punctuation
  • Oral Language – the ability to use words and sounds to communicate meaning


In the early years, we teach our students to read, spell and write using fun, engaging and evidence-based practises. We teach with a structured, systematic and explicit literacy program with engaging multisensory activities to foster students’ understanding, skills and knowledge of literacy.

Our literacy programs are carefully sequenced in seven stages to teach children the 44 sounds of the English language and the principles of the alphabetic code (that each speech sound can be represented by different groups of letters, such as the sound /ī/ as in I, sky, pie, ice, cycle, and that a letter(or group of letters) can represent different sounds, such as the letter ‘y’ in yes, gym, funny, sky. We start with teaching the simple code in Stages 1–4. We focus on phonics and phonemic awareness to build the strongest foundations for reading and spelling success.

Across all year levels we follow a structured literacy approach. Children learn at a quicker rate if they are taught systematically and explicitly using synthetic phonics and a structured literacy approach. They know what they are learning and can verbalise it.

Our Literacy Instructional Model incorporates explicit teaching, shared construction and individual exploration, reflective of a gradual release framework. Our teachers follow an “I do, we do, you do” structure during Literacy instruction.

  • I do - teacher instructs and provides a model for literacy instruction
  • We do - guided practice supported by the teacher in understanding and mastering the literacy concept
  • You do - the learner practises/applies new content independently – moving towards mastery.

We focus on building knowledge, speaking, and listening and vocabulary skills to develop equally strong foundations in literacy. Students will develop these skills by being exposed to language rich units, non-fiction texts and authentic texts.

SMART spelling

Students in Year 2 to 6 engage in the SMART approach to consolidating their understanding of sounds and expanding their knowledge of suffixes, affixes, morphology and etymology of words to enhance their ability to spell with greater accuracy and to expand their vocabulary. Students are explicitly taught to identify individual sounds and syllables within words to foster phonemic awareness, explore the meaning of words and apply it to varying contexts to enrich their vocabulary and participate in daily literacy activities to consolidate their understanding. Formative assessments are conducted weekly to monitor students understanding of sounds and spelling patterns, including dictation and peer assessments. These assessments assist our students and teachers to develop writing goals and reinforces key skills related to grammar and punctuation.

Students from Prep to Year 6 are explicitly taught High Frequency Words (Heart Words) in a systematic and explicit manner. Students learn to identify the patterns of these words, their meaning and apply them in their daily writing. Teachers continually monitor and assess students’ knowledge of High Frequency Words through formative assessment practices.


At QPS, our teachers deliver high quality reading programs aimed at enhancing students’ vocabulary, comprehension, fluency and oral language. Throughout the week, students will engage in a diverse range of evidence-based pedagogical practices to foster literacy development, including:

  • Modelled Reading - Explicit teaching of decoding, comprehension, fluency
  • Guided Reading - Small groups with levelled instructional texts focused on reading strategies, comprehension, decoding, vocabulary and fluency
  • Shared Reading / Cooperative Reading - Whole class or small group reading focused on strategies, comprehension, decoding and fluency
  • Independent Reading - Student reads a text independently and is at a level suitable for the student to gain meaning and comprehension without support from the teacher
  • Echo Reading – Whole class, small group or paired reading focused on fluency and expression
  • Choral Reading – Whole class or small group reading focused on fluency and expression
  • Paired & Partner Reading – Students are paired with a levelled text suited to their reading ability to focus on comprehension, fluency and development of oral language skills
  • Readers’ Theatre – Small group reading through story-telling and roleplay focused on fluency, expression and comprehension.

Formative Assessment

Our teachers engage in ongoing formative assessment using PM Benchmark, DIBELS and Fountas and Pinnell to continually monitor students’ reading progress and to inform the planning and delivery of reading programs across the school.

Reading Strategies

Our reading program from Year 1 to Year 6 explicitly teaches reading strategies to enhance students’ ability to make meaning from the texts they read. We teach 12 strategies from Prep to Year 6 including:

  • Finding the Main Idea
  • Recalling Facts and Details
  • Understanding Sequence
  • Recognising Cause and Effect
  • Comparing and Contrasting
  • Making Predictions
  • Finding Word Meaning in Context
  • Drawing Conclusions and Making Inferences
  • Distinguishing Between Fact and Opinion
  • Identifying Author’s Purpose
  • Interpreting Figurative Language
  • Distinguishing Between Fact and Opinion


Our students learn to write authentic, rich texts intended to be read by others, and are guided through the writing process through explicit teaching and worked examples. Students learn to identify and use the different features from various genres, such as narrative, informative and persuasive texts. Through our comprehensive writing programs, our students learn to understand the organisation and structure of texts, language features, the author’s purpose and voice, sentence structure and the conventions of writing, including grammar and punctuation. Our teachers apply our Literacy Instruction Model with the Writing Cycle, of Modelled Writing, Joint Construction, and Independent Writing, to deliver comprehensive and differentiated writing programs. Our students are nurtured to become confident and capable writers.

Writing programs are unit based and genre-focused relating to the Integrated Studies topic or relevant school-based experiences that follow the guidelines of the writing process of plan, draft, revise, edit and publish.


Handwriting is explicitly taught within our literacy programs between 30 to 45 minutes per week. Our teachers model correct letter formation using the Victorian Handwriting Style and students begin to learn cursive writing in Year 3.

Literary Festival

Our students are provided with the unique opportunity to participate in the Literary Festival in the Borough annually. Students celebrate literacy by attending workshops with published authors and are provided with learning experiences to further develop their skills and confidence as capable writers.

All students are fostered to pursue their literacy skills with a growth mindset, developing resilience and responsibility in their approach to learning.