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1105 English - 10 May 2011

 May 2011

Curriculum Report – “English”

English is usually seen as literacy (reading and writing) and nothing else and it is true that, as teachers, we tend to focus on these aspects.

English, however, also covers visual language (presenting and viewing) and oral language (speaking and listening)

As writing and reading are well covered in the literacy report we will concentrate on the lesser covered strands of oral and visual language in this report.


·         We do not have a specific focus area in oral nor written language at the moment but our school focus on “Our School”, “Our Town”, “Our Country”, Our World” lends itself to talking, listening, questioning, telephone skills and presentation of our research. So too will the term 2 science focus..



Oral language:

·         Speeches: The school speech competition and its follow-up, the Rotary Speech Competition are held each year at the end of term 2 and most classes are already in the process of planning, preparing and practicing this important skill. The school competition is in week 6 of this term and the topic is “Our Town”.

·         We have three video recorders. These are available to all classes and provide children with a opportunity to record a narration or commentary to present to a group. It’s very good when children are too shy to stand up in front of an audience. We have several available programmes that can provide similar chances such as Photo Story 3.

·         Assemblies: Pupils virtually run assemblies with introductions, karakia and presentations. Some are very confident in standing in front of the whole school and talking. It is our goal that all pupils will be confident enough to present their pepeha and a short mihi to a group.


Visual language can sometimes be confused with art but the differences are clear. Visual language sends a message and includes selecting font types, designing posters, presenting projects, posters, packaging etc. It concentrates on the tie-up between text and illustrations.

·         The projectors we have available have improved our ability to enhance presentation and viewing skills by providing an opportunity for teachers to incorporate more visual elements into their teaching.

·         Out school focus for each term lend themselves to both visual and oral language. In visual language, children will be presenting presentations about “Our Town” this term. Some will no doubt concentrate on ICT tools such as Powerpoint while others might stick to wall presentations. Either way it is Visual Language.

Assessment Procedures

·         Rebecca is beginning to collect data on the oral language levels of new entrants. We used to do this years ago but with no programme available to rectify weaknesses, it was decided that just collecting data was a waste of time and effort.

·         The literacy team are in the process of creating a literacy handbook and will incorporate things such as

o       Progressions

o       Expectations

o       Assessment Resource Banks

o       Early oral and visual checklist

o       Links to on-line exemplars

o       expectations of teacher unit planning and samples

o       expectations of teacher weekly planning and samples

Trend Analysis

·         Once we have our assessment procedures in place we will be able to identify trends.

Students and Groups of Students at risk

·         Rebecca is collecting data on the language level of our new entrants. It seems from observation that our 2010 intake was particularly low in oral language development although the first term of this year has shown a better picture.

Teaching and learning strategies to address the above

·         We will continue to look for opportunities for staff to view, share and trial good teaching and learning practise in English.

·         We have had staff attend professional development by Literacy expert Sheena Cameron and Inquiry expert Lane Clarke.

·         Release time has been included in the Term 2 programme to give teachers time to improve their Literacy programmes by either testing children, visiting classrooms etc.

Looking Ahead

·         We will be looking at continuing to find and develop skills and strategies that will engage our children in learning particularly in English.

·         A particular focus on Year 1 programmes will continue because if we get the initial programme and children’s English levels at our beyond our expectations then their progress and achievement is more likely to continue through until they reach Year 6.