Literacy & Numeracy


At St Mary’s Primary School we use explicit and systematic instruction to ensure that all students develop the ability to read, write and spell. We believe in ongoing data collection and continually checking for understanding to know where our students are at and where they need to go next. We strive to develop an engaging literacy program that promotes skill development in reading and viewing, writing, speaking, and listening in a supportive and stimulating environment.

Using the Victorian Curriculum as a foundation, our practice also draws upon the enormous body of research regarded as the Science of Reading, according to which Oral Language, Phonological Awareness, Phonics, Vocabulary, Fluency, and Comprehension (The Big 6) should be integrated into daily reading, writing and spelling opportunities.

Reading Instruction at St Mary's consists of six key areas:

  1. Oral language- The foundation of all literacy skills. If young children experience rich oral language by talking with and listening to adults and other children, they will have a large ‘bank’ of spoken vocabulary, words they understand when used in spoken communication.
  2. Phonological Awareness – Phonemes are the smallest units making up spoken language, combined to form syllables and words. Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate these individual units of sound.
  3. Phonics – is the relationship between the letters (or letter combinations) in written language and the individual sounds in spoken language.
  4. Fluency – is the ability to read as well as we speak and to make sense of the text without having to stop and decode each word.
  5. Vocabulary – development is closely connected to comprehension and refers to words we need to know to communicate with others.
  6. Comprehension – involves constructing meaning that is reasonable and accurate by connecting what has been read to what the reader already knows and thinking about all of this information until it is understood.

From Prep- Year 6, our structured reading, writing and spelling approach includes:

  • Explicit teaching of The Big 6 through a Multi-Sensory Approach to Literacy
  • Guided practice to improve fluency
  • Vocabulary development
  • Explicit teaching of comprehension strategies
  • Explicit and systematic teaching of spelling skills,rules and strategies through daily review


Little Learners Love Literacy

At St Mary’s, we use Little Learners Love Literacy which is a Systematic Synthetic Phonics program. Systematic Synthetic Phonics is an evidence-based, structured approach to teaching children to read and spell. This method helps students to learn the relationships between the sounds (phonemes) of spoken language and the letter symbols (graphemes) of the written language. There are 44 speech sounds in the English language that can be combined to form words. With just 26 letters in the English alphabet, some sounds are visually represented by an individual letter while others are represented by a combination of two or more letters. The relationship between these sounds and letters is referred to as sound/letter or phoneme/grapheme correspondence. Being able to match the speech sounds with their corresponding letter symbol or symbols helps children to simultaneously learn to read and spell words.



Within every Maths lesson, we strive to develop meaningful, authentic learning in accordance with the areas of Mathematics outlined in the Victorian Curriculum: 

  • Number & Algebra 
  • Measurement & Geometry
  • Statistics & Probability 

We teach these areas explicitly and rehearse previously taught skills every day.

At St Mary’s we recognise that the key ideas in Mathematics and moving students from conceptual to procedural understanding enables students to make deeper connections between the mathematical concepts and ideas. We plan for and implement; Understanding, Fluency, Problem Solving and Reasoning into teaching and learning programs, giving the students richer mathematical experiences to ensure our students become mathematically proficient, to know and use mathematics successfully enabling them to solve the new kinds of problems they will face in their future. The students in our classrooms are encouraged to share their ideas, observations and problem-solving processes. They listen carefully to one another and they challenge and question each other about processes and strategies. Our students are actively involved in their learning. We emphasise students developing a growth mindset in Mathematics. No matter their ability, all children can learn from their mistakes.

In the early years of schooling the primary focus is on developing children’s skills in Number. Our P-2 classes follow the principles found within the Learning Framework In Number (LFIN) strategies developed by Professor Bob Wright (Southern Cross University). This provides students with a sound foundation of early numeracy skills from which other areas of mathematics are developed. 

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03 9521 9335

Visit 59 Holyrood Street
Hampton VIC 3188

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