Unlocking Literacy - The Big Six Elements for Your Child’s Reading Success

Literacy skills are a core component of each day for our students, and parents often ask how they can support this from home. I am delighted to share with our parent community the essential components that underpin successful reading development. These elements, known as the Big Six, provide a solid foundation for your son’s literacy journey. These critical building blocks include:

Oral Language: Communication skills are the bedrock of reading. Encourage rich conversations with your child. Discuss daily experiences, ask open-ended questions, and listen attentively. A robust oral language base enhances vocabulary and comprehension skills.

Phonological Awareness: This refers to recognising and manipulating sounds in spoken language. Play rhyming games, clap out syllables, and engage in wordplay. These activities foster phonological awareness, which directly impacts reading fluency.

Phonics: Alphabetic knowledge is crucial. We teach letter-sound relationships explicitly through our PLD program. Students explore letter blends, digraphs, and high-frequency words. Regular practice with phonics builds decoding skills, enabling the boys to tackle unfamiliar words confidently.

Fluency: Reading fluently involves smooth, expressive reading. Encourage your son to read aloud, emphasising intonation and pacing. Regular reading practice enhances fluency, making the reading experience enjoyable and meaningful. You will see this as part of the homework routine across the Junior School.

Vocabulary: A rich vocabulary opens doors to comprehension. We encourage curiosity and exploration across all learning areas of the Australian Curriculum (V.9) and explicitly teach content-related vocabulary. Families can introduce new words through books, conversations, and real-world experiences.

Comprehension: Ultimately, reading is about understanding. At home, discuss texts together. Ask questions about characters, plot, and main ideas. Encourage predictions and connections. Comprehension strategies empower your child to delve deeper into texts.

By nurturing these Big Six elements, we empower our young readers to flourish. Together, let’s cultivate a love for reading and pave the way for lifelong learning.

- Chantelle Bauer, Deputy Head of Junior School, Teaching and Learning


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