At the beginning of Term 4, we welcomed back Jocelyn Seamer to St Andrew’s, continuing our learning journey on evidence-informed teaching of Literacy. Jocelyn joined us for two days, the first leading professional learning with all staff and the second in class modelling lessons and working with students.

On Monday Jocelyn led a knowledge-building session for all teaching staff, covering phonics, orthography, morphology, and etymology. Our teaching staff engaged in hands-on activities, immersing themselves in the intricacies of the English language.

Did you know…?

  • In the English language we have 26 letters and 44 sounds.
  • The English language is influenced by the different countries, and their languages, which have invaded England over the years.
  • For example, with the sound ‘ch’, in chauffer the ch is French, in chemist the ch is Greek and in church the ch is Anglo Saxon.
  • No ‘English’ words end in i, v, j, q or u? The word ‘ski’ for example is a Scandinavian word.
  • 96% of words are spelt the way they are, for a reason! Only 4% are completely ‘random’.
  • Reading is an acquired skill. Our brains are not wired to read, like they are to walk or talk. It is a skill which must be explicitly taught, in a sequenced and structured manner to ensure all students can progress and achieve success.

In the afternoon, Jocelyn met with our Reception to Year 2 teams to discuss our Literacy teaching and use of data. The teams were able to ask questions and discuss phonics, readers, and teaching strategies to support all learners. Our Junior Primary teachers have successfully implemented the Science Of Reading research into their teaching this year. We are incredibly proud and grateful for their team work and commitment to ensuring our students are receiving quality, evidence-informed teaching.

On Tuesday, Jocelyn collaborated with our Upper Primary staff to review learning data, develop plans, and model low variance lessons on morphology. Morphology is understanding the meaningful parts of words. Teaching morphology aims to enrich students' understanding of spelling, vocabulary, and comprehension. This includes knowing prefixes, suffixes, and the base word.

For example, in the word uninspiringly there are five parts;

It was an outstanding two days of professional learning, which will have a positive impact on the learning of all students at St Andrew’s School. We appreciate our partnership with Jocelyn, and we are grateful for her expertise and valuable research she shared regarding the importance of a structured and consistent approach to teaching Literacy.

David Hodges
Deputy Principal