In the Primary School we believe that children should actively use reading and writing as tools for learning. We strive to ensure that students are not only people who can read, but people who choose to read. Beginning with our youngest students in Kindergarten, literacy skills are developed as we nurture and support students' learning. The Primary School Literacy program is extensive and includes the following components:
A positive environment among a community of readers that encourages students to value reading. Optimal learning time is allocated to literacy. HB teachers use a broad repertoire of instructional models and strategies and include exposure to a wide variety of texts to ensure that each student's reading development is supported.
Instruction that provides opportunities for reading to, with, and by students. Classes support their growth toward independence in reading. Cozy spots can be found in every room for curling up with a good book, and time is set aside for reading.
HB teachers who model reading. They read along with their students, explaining their process for making meaning from text, selecting books and delighting in reading. This modeling not only encourages students to read but also demonstrates the complex mental processes and competencies involved in skillful reading.
The art of writing that is nurtured and guided throughout the curriculum. The writing process begins with journals in Kindergarten and moves through more formal writing experiences each year. Students write regularly with competence, clarity and thoughtfulness. The objectives of writing remain the same, but skills become more sophisticated as students develop their own voices.
Teachers who help students find real purpose for writing. Focused writing projects develop meaningful writing and writers who are invested in their work. Students work hard to express themselves well and are willing to devote time and effort in crafting and revising their work.
A reading specialist who works with small groups of students to support their ongoing growth in reading, literacy and writing skills. For some students the foundation of reading skills is best acquired in deliberate, small steps that promote individual motivation for a life of strong literacy skills.