Whole school literacy planning

A whole school approach to the planning, teaching and assessment of literacy supports teachers to effectively do their work and meet the literacy needs of their diverse students (Alonzo et al. 2021). The guidance below supports schools to plan a whole of school approach to the teaching of literacy. This includes consideration of the 3 modes of Reading and Viewing, Writing, Speaking and Listening to enable a comprehensive and rich approach to the teaching and learning of literacy across the primary school.

The Framework for Improving Student Outcomes (FISO) 2.0 is the Department of Education’s evidence-based continuous improvement model, which can be used by schools to target whole school literacy improvement. Student learning and wellbeing outcomes are at the centre of the model, to which literacy is inextricably linked. Literacy is fundamental to learning (Vygotsky 1978), providing access to all areas of the curriculum. More recent research has demonstrated the relationship that exists between literacy and wellbeing, including the positive impact literacy has on socio-emotional development (Herbele et al. 2020), and on self-concept (Walgermo et al. 2018). Strong literacy skills are associated with higher levels of self-regulating behaviour (Skibbe et al. 2019), and having these skills supports students to express their feelings and develop empathy towards others (Kucirkova 2019).

The FISO 2.0 outcomes of learning and wellbeing are underpinned by 5 core elements: Leadership, Teaching and Learning, Assessment, Engagement, and Support and Resources. By leveraging these core elements, schools can develop plans for literacy improvement which focus on:

  • catering for the literacy needs of diverse learners, including planning for high-ability students and students who experience learning and/or language difficulties
  • sequencing learning relevant to the needs of the cohort
  • establishing and maintaining effective literacy learning environments
  • supporting evidence-based pedagogical decision-making
  • goal setting for literacy improved outcomes
  • using literacy assessment data
  • teacher collegiality, collaboration and professional development in literacy.

The role of leadership

Effective school leadership plays a pivotal role in shaping organisational structures, influencing the quality of literacy teaching and learning, as emphasised by Leithwood et al. (2020). Highly effective leaders not only drive systematic literacy improvement but also foster an environment that empowers educators to enhance students' literacy skills. Responding to each school's unique context, leadership are accountable for facilitating the creation of a whole school shared literacy vision, aligning with frameworks such as the Victorian Teaching and Learning Model, and involving all staff members, from the principal to individual teachers.

Utilising an improvement cycle for the planning and teaching of literacy provides leaders with a consistent process to inquire into practice, identify evidence, and devise plans with an emphasis on leading teaching and the professional development of teachers. Effective literacy leaders establish collaborative relationships with colleagues, build and maintain knowledge about content and pedagogy, are proficient in a range of assessment practices, and contribute to a culture of continuous improvement in literacy teaching and learning.

The FISO 2.0 Improvement Cycle

Schools are supported to implement FISO 2.0 through the improvement cycle. This cycle depicts an implementation process designed to support schools to make specific decisions and take strategic actions to maximise the learning and wellbeing of all students, which can be used to support literacy learning. With a focus on literacy, the improvement cycle identifies the following 4 stages:

  • evaluate and diagnose the strengths and areas of literacy improvement based on the identified needs of all students
  • prioritise and set goals for improvement strategies and initiatives that have greatest impact on student literacy learning
  • develop and plan for literacy improvement strategies to ensure successful implementation
  • implement and monitor the selected strategies for impact on literacy learning and to adapt accordingly’ (Department of Education, 2022).

Each of these stages is used as schools go through continuous improvement cycles as part of their 4 year School Strategic Plan. These are further refined and embedded in the resulting Annual Implementation Plan. Finally, Professional Learning Communities follow these stages to evaluate student learning and wellbeing data and plan and implement evidence-based strategies to improve student outcomes. Used in this way, the FISO 2.0 improvement cycle ensures alignment, cohesion and precision.

In addition, consideration can be given to how the 5 core elements underpinning the FISO 2.0 improvement cycle can be used specifically to drive whole school improvement in literacy with examples in relation to each provided below:

  • Leadership e.g. build capability of all school leaders to lead whole school literacy and drive change when needed
  • Teaching and Learning e.g. ensure teachers have deep knowledge of high impact strategies for teaching literacy
  • Assessment e.g. consider the most appropriate tools and approaches to build comprehensive profiles of students as literacy learners
  • Engagement e.g. develop practices to maximise teacher and student engagement in literacy teaching and learning
  • Support and Resources e.g. provide necessary physical and human resources to support school literacy goals and priorities.

Using FISO 2.0 – A whole school approach to literacy

The following questions are designed to guide leaders to engage in the process of inquiry as they progress through the 4 stages of the improvement cycle across the School Strategic Plan, Annual Improvement Plans and within Professional Learning Communities. These questions encourage leaders and teachers to reflect on their school’s current literacy achievements, identify areas for focused literacy growth and plan for action that will maximise literacy learning for all students.

Evaluate and diagnose

What does our literacy data tell us?

Collate, present and analyse available literacy data.

  • NAPLAN trend data – ask, for example: based on EAL status, is there a significant difference for this cohort?
  • English Online Interview (EOI) – ask, for example: is there a correlation between levels of oral language proficiency and reading?
  • Diagnostic Assessment Tools in English (DATE)- ask, for example: what progress are our students making as readers from Foundation to Grade 2?
  • Abilities Based Learning and Education Support (ABLES) – ask, for example: which adjustments have had a positive impact on individual student progress in writing?
  • School conducted standardised tests or common assessment tasks - ask, for example: what are the common needs of this cohort in reading, writing or speaking and listening?
  • Wellbeing data – ask, for example: what is the correlation between levels of wellbeing and literacy achievement?
  • Teacher assessments such as writing analyses, anecdotal notes, assessment rubrics, Professional Learning Communities discussion outcomes – ask, for example: does this data provide us with the relevant data to build a rich profile of each of our students as a literacy learner?
  • Student perception surveys, self-reflections, interests – ask, for example: what are our student thoughts on motivation and engagement with reading? To what extent are students engaged in reading? Is there a gender difference?

The school leadership should engage the school improvement or whole school team to critically examine the assessment data, noting trends, strengths and challenges in literacy learning. This should then involve investigations by Professional Learning Communities or working groups at the teaching team and/or student cohort level.

Consult with staff to generate statements about the areas of literacy in which students or groups of students are making strong progress and areas where progress needs to improve. The Making sense of data and evidence template from the implementation toolkit for actions at this stage of the improvement cycle may be useful to help guide discussions.

As part of this process it is important that there is a clear and shared understanding of how the school is delivering the literacy curriculum in a genuine and viable way to meet the needs of all students. This may need to be established within a school if it is not fully developed or understood by staff.

Consider if current assessment practices provide sufficient literacy data to inform decision making.

Audit current processes and practices that are in place and the degree of support they offer to the teaching and learning of literacy. Assessment data should inform planning at the cohort, class and individual student level for literacy teaching and learning.

Identify staff professional learning needs based on students’ literacy needs.

Identify staff who have expertise in literacy to work alongside teachers that require literacy mentoring and modelling of best practice.

What does strong literacy practice look like?

Engage leaders and teachers to discuss and articulate shared beliefs and understandings about what strong practice looks like for literacy teaching across the core elements of FISO 2.0. This will guide further discussion about current data and practices. Some possible questions in relation to the 5 core elements might include:

  • Leadership – what are the high expectations we hold for leaders, teachers and students around leading, teaching and learning literacy?
  • Teaching and Learning – which high impact practices make a difference for literacy outcomes for different groups of students?
  • Assessment – which practices and structures best support us to gather and use relevant literacy data?
  • Engagement – what does it look like if teachers and students are engaged in teaching and learning literacy?
  • Support and Resources – what type of support and which resources best reinforce our work in driving improvement in literacy?

Prioritise and set goals

  1. How will we set our priorities for literacy improvement?

As a result of data analysis, set specific goals and targets for whole school literacy improvement, which align to the School Strategic Plan and the Annual Implementation Plan.

This should involve school leadership identifying which shared beliefs and understanding around strong practice are improvement priorities.

Ensure high expectations for all student groups, including students with diverse learning or language needs, high-ability students, students newly arrived in Australia, and students for whom English is an additional language.

  1. Which current or new strategies will we employ to meet these goals?

Select literacy strategies that will be prioritised for the improvement cycle. Decide on a timeframe. What is the next most important strategy? How will these strategies be sequenced?

Based on your priorities for improvement, identify possible strategies to strengthen teacher practice, school systems and student learning. Where appropriate, these strategies feature as Key Improvement Strategies in the School Strategic Plan and flow into the Annual Implementation Plan. These strategies may include building teacher capacity to use data and a range of assessment strategies to teach to a student’s point of need in literacy, deepening teacher curriculum knowledge in the modes of English, continuing to develop teacher knowledge of high impact teaching strategies with a focus on student feedback in reading or writing, or further developing connections between school and home to maximise student attendance.

Then prioritise which strategies will be implemented based on student data, the school context and the shared beliefs and understanding identified for improvement.

It is important that goals are also framed around expected student development and literacy learning progress. This involves being specific about identifiable student improvement and the extent to which improvement is expected as an outcome of the strategies being put in place.

  1. Which teaching practices are needed to support these strategies?

Decide on teaching practices to support the implementation of prioritised strategies. These may include expanding teachers’ capacity to administer and analyse literacy assessment tools through professional learning, as well as providing time in Professional Learning Communities for teachers to discuss and plan to use data to inform further teaching in literacy. Support teachers to plan collaboratively with expert teachers to ensure learning intentions and success criteria are closely aligned to Victorian Curriculum documents. Utilise a literacy coach/literacy specialist to demonstrate a high impact teaching strategy in literacy, such as the use of worked examples of writing in the classroom, and to give feedback to teachers after classroom observations.

  1. Which other evidence-based practices will we select to support these whole school goals?

Investigate other evidence-based practices to target set goals. Useful resources include the Victorian Teaching and Learning Model, which incorporates a vision for learning and wellbeing, the practice principles for teaching and learning, the pedagogical model, high-impact teaching strategies and high-impact wellbeing strategies.

  1. What further professional development is needed to build teacher capacity to use identified strategies and achieve goals?

Map out a staff professional learning plan, including time for self-reflection (see the Practice Principles for Excellence in Teaching Practice: Reflection tools).

Empower emerging leaders who have expertise in the areas of literacy which target improvement outcomes and are linked to the strategies and actions of the Annual Implementation Plan.

Focus on opportunities for instructional leadership in literacy.

Organise mentor partnerships between teachers, which reflect teachers’ expertise and will support the prioritised strategy.

Develop and plan

  1. How and when will we meet our goals for literacy teaching and learning?

Establish the actions related to literacy goals and targets from the Annual Implementation Plan.

Organise a clear timeline for action in the improvement cycle.

Identify the external networks, such as principal networks and communities of practice that may support literacy leadership or literacy teaching and learning. At the same time, identify any existing internal expertise that may be drawn upon in relation to the learning of staff or students.

Organise the structure and content that will be covered in the Professional Learning Community meetings, planning for the inclusion of evidence-based strategies to maximise literacy teaching and learning.

Allocate resources – both physical and human – appropriately to support the literacy goals.

  1. How will teachers be supported to design, structure and sequence literacy learning experiences?

Using the mapping out of staff professional learning needs to use strategies and achieve goals, develop a professional learning schedule for teachers that includes necessary resourcing.

Develop the organisational structures that will support teachers to teach explicitly, differentiate to meet students’ diverse needs and engage students in reading, writing, speaking and listening. These structures might include timetabling to allow for collaborative planning and assessment of student work, and peer mentoring.

Plan for the use of key resources to guide the teaching of literacy. For example, the Victorian Teaching and Learning Model, the Literacy Teaching Toolkit, the Victorian English Curriculum, and the Victorian Literacy Learning progressions.

  1. How will we know if we are on track?

Identify and plan for the monitoring, tracking and assessment measures that will be undertaken to see if the goals for literacy are met. Specifically plan for the collection of evidence of impact (both student learning and teacher practice) throughout the cycle.

Set up a monitoring plan to track changes in teacher practice. Plan regular opportunities at Professional Learning Community or staff meetings to analyse any new data and evaluate learner progress against set goals and measure impact of teaching. Consider the teaching strategies and approaches that have had the most positive impact on student literacy learning.

Set regular time in leadership team or school improvement team meetings to monitor actions developed in the Annual Implementation Plan.

Identify any enablers and barriers to achieving set literacy outcomes and identify ways to overcome barriers. Identify and document any future literacy actions to be undertaken.

  1. What supports need to be put in place so that assessment data will be collected to measure impact of practices implemented?

Finalise the literacy assessment schedule and ensure teachers develop the expertise to administer and analyse tests and use the results for improved student outcomes.

Ensure leadership team, school improvement team or relevant working groups put appropriate structures and processes in place. For example, timetabling, allocation of Education Support Staff, establishment of mentor relationships with graduate teachers to support teachers to administer, analyse and use literacy assessment data effectively.

Audit and distribute literacy resources and materials to ensure they can be used in ways that will help meet the targeted goals or identify opportunities to deploy strategic resourcing.

Implement and monitor

  1. How will implementation be supported?

Use formal and informal check-in times with individual teachers to assist with literacy teaching and learning.

Organise mentors to work with graduate teachers in planning and co-teaching.

Set up peer mentoring opportunities as part of the professional learning plan for staff, which are aligned to literacy actions in the Annual Implementation Plan.

Facilitate structures to allow literacy leaders and expert literacy teachers to demonstrate teaching for other teachers including time for planning and debriefing.

Include collaborative planning time in Professional Learning Community meetings to allow for sharing of practice and resources.

Incorporate opportunities to provide peer feedback, including through peer observations and learning walks or review/reflection of artefacts such as recordings during Professional Learning Communities.

  1. How is the teaching progressing?

Use regular check in times at Professional Learning Community meetings and staff meetings developed as part of an established monitoring plan to reflect on teaching and refine goals and practices for the next improvement cycle.

  1. What evidence of learning have students demonstrated?

Conduct an analysis of the student assessment data, including teacher judgement data, through collaborative assessment of student work. What changes have we noticed in student behaviour? What new knowledge are students demonstrating? What new skills are students employing?

Compare findings from assessment data to the identified goals to ascertain improvement in student learning outcomes.

Note growth in student improvement. For example, in the video above, the teachers reflect that for some students a focus on letter and sound knowledge is needed whereas for others segmenting and blending is important to have the most impact on student literacy learning.

Engage with parents and caregivers to monitor progress of individual students.

  1. What does student feedback tell us?

Use assessment data from students, for example, student interviews and surveys to gain further feedback on teaching practices and learning in literacy.

  1. Which whole school strategies and actions have been effective and what needs to change?

Involve all relevant groups/stakeholders in gathering feedback on impact of whole school strategies and actions for literacy improvement.

Consider student data in light of whole school strategies and actions. Have literacy goals been met? Has student literacy learning improved sufficiently? Have teaching practices changed to maximise student learning in literacy?

Record effective whole school literacy practices and articulate reasons for their success.

Identify areas for continued improvement in literacy to include in future school improvement cycles.

  1. What teaching practices have been effective and what needs to change?

Engage in a process of evaluation to examine the practices which have helped to meet the literacy goals for all students.

Support teachers to evaluate the impact of their teaching, including understanding the assessment design, knowing what the students know and can do, and considering students’ attitudes, motivation and dispositions towards literacy.

Articulate and record effective teaching practices which led to literacy improvement.

Reflect upon the current improvement cycle, in preparation for the next improvement cycle. 

Literacy improvement within Professional Learning Communities

Evaluate and diagnose

What’s going on for our learners? How do we know?

Examination of whole school student learning data can help identify an initial area of focus for Professional Learning Community improvement cycles that aligns with the Annual Implementation Plan. Professional Learning Communities then use available literacy data, such as student cohort or class data, to more precisely compare individual student learning data to the expectations set by the Victorian Curriculum F – 10 achievement standards, Literacy Learning Progressions, and the English as an additional language (EAL) Curriculum. Using this evidence, Professional Learning Communities collaboratively establish a focus group of students for the improvement cycle, and consider:

  • which outcomes of the relevant curriculum level students are demonstrating mastery of and which they have not yet mastered
  • the skills and knowledge needed to demonstrate mastery against the relevant achievement using the content descriptions and suggested elaboration(s) as guides
  • the learning opportunities required to build the skills and knowledge.

An example of a Professional Learning Community using the ‘evaluate and diagnose’ stage of the FISO improvement cycle as part of their inquiry

In the video below, Foundation teachers in a Professional Learning Community take part in the ‘evaluate and diagnose’ phase of the FISO 2.0 improvement cycle. They evaluate student data and diagnose student learning needs in relation to literacy learning, specifically phonics in reading. The video references 2 resources which support the teachers to identify what students know and where they are heading next in their development: the Victorian Curriculum Assessment Authority’s Literacy Learning Progressions (VCAA, 2018), and evidence-based research (State Government of Victoria, 2023).

Read video transccript


[Carly-Marie Clark] - As a school, we opened a couple of years ago, and we thought we knew we're going to be growing very quickly, so it was really important we had consistency throughout the school. And we thought that by having the PLC Inquiry Improvement Cycle was going to be the best way to teach our students and for our teachers to work together. We've found the power of this design by following that improvement cycle has been really focusing on what the students currently know and then, as a team, being able to work out what are the next steps for these students, monitoring how they're going, and then evaluating how successful that teaching was.                

[Planning Group discussion]                

- So we're just going to spend five minutes. I'm going to give you each a sheet just to jot down what do you see and what does the data suggest.                

- So I can just see that there's been an improvement across all three fluid groups with both decoding and letter sound knowledge. And the data suggests that the strategy of continuous blending is working for our students. And if we continue to do this, we will see further improved student outcomes.                

- So I saw that in our current data from this unit, none of the students are not evident, which is a big celebration. They're all with support usually or consistently, which is great. And 21 of our students are decoding consistently. So again, like what Shelley said, it seems the continuous blending is working. But our work's not done. We need to keep approaching that.                


[Carly-Marie Clark] - So we've found the real power in collaboration. And because all of our students are grouped into their fluid groupings, throughout the year, they'll actually get to work with all of the teachers in their learning community. So it's really powerful for all of the teachers to have input onto what the students are learning, because they've either taught them in a previous unit or will be teaching them in an upcoming unit. So being able to have that collective understanding of the students has been really powerful. So whilst it might be a bit of a shift in how people have worked in the past, just worrying about, you know, my 20 students, being collectively responsible for all 60 has had great power, not only for the students' improvement, but also the teachers' own capacity. It also gives an opportunity for staff to be able to question and challenge each other. And a lot of the work by using, you know, actually relating it back to the data, professional reading that the leaders bring along. So it gives this really great platform for teachers to challenge each other, not personally, but about what they're actually doing and how that's going to benefit the students.                

[Planning Group discussion]                

- So we've got some documents to read. Carly-Marie and Bianca, I thought you two could look at the phonic knowledge and word recognition document. Shelley and I, we can look at blending sounds into words. And then share our findings. And from our findings, these, we'll be able to come up with our essential learnings to take the next step with our students.                


[Katrina Maskell]               

 - Within our prep learning community, we structure our reading sessions with five lessons a week, two of those in which we're teaching phonics and concepts about print. And that may look like initially the letters and their sounds, and then moving further into putting them together by decoding and using continuous blending to blend the words to be able to read them. The other three lessons, we focus on other important reading strategies, like comprehension, and this might look like linking our different strategies to different text types we're learning about. This might include information and narrative. It also allows the children to read for meaning. And it will also allow them to practice their phonic knowledge as well.                

[Planning Group discussion]                

-So we're going to move on now. We're going to fill out the content descriptors, have a look at our reading planner for unit six, and then we'll work on the outline of our five-week unit, share some potential mentor texts, and create some learning intentions and success criteria together. And then we'll be able to plan some of the sequence of the lessons.                


[Carly-Marie Clark]                

- I suppose from my point of view, it's been great to see a lot of our graduates really build those skills really early in their career, which is again comes back to improving our student outcomes.                


Documents referred to in this video to build teacher knowledge of curriculum and pedagogy are:

Prioritise and set goals

What does our evidence tell us? Where will we concentrate our energies to make the greatest impact on learning? How will we measure impact?

Share understandings of core literacy content with a view to establishing a common understanding underpinned by research and evidence. For example, a shared understanding of how students develop their phonics knowledge or comprehension skills and the extent to which there is consistency across classrooms.

Using this shared understanding, set specific goals and targets for student learning and teaching practice for the students in focus.

It is important that goals continue to be framed around expected student development and literacy learning progress. This involves being specific about identifiable student improvement and the extent to which improvement is expected as an outcome of the strategies being put in place.

The Professional Learning Community will also need to develop an agreed definition of what success looks like, and how this will be assessed.

Develop and plan

How will we focus our teaching to ensure we are meeting all students at where they are now, and support them with where they need to go next? What will we do that will have the greatest impact on student learning? What is currently working, what needs to change and how will we find out more?

Consider which evidence-based practices will best support students to acquire the required knowledge or skills. Useful resources include the Literacy Teaching Toolkit, the high-impact teaching strategies and the high-impact wellbeing strategies. Professional Learning Communities are encouraged to engage with knowledgeable others, including learning specialists, education support staff, disability and inclusion leaders and other subject matter experts.

Design literacy learning tasks which explicitly support the development of the required knowledge or skills. Where possible, learning tasks should connect with other areas of the curriculum to provide multiple exposures through opportunities to test and apply core knowledge and skills in varied contexts.

Consider how changes in teacher practice and impact on student learning will be measured. Plan for data collection and ensure there are regular opportunities to analyse data and evaluate progress against set goals.

Implement and monitor

How will we know along the way that our efforts are making enough of a difference to student progress? What evidence of learning have students demonstrated? What teaching practices have been effective and what needs to change?

Use ongoing formative assessment such as specific questioning exit tickets, work samples, and conferring to collect evidence of student learning and inform next steps or adjustments to literacy teaching.

Include collaborative planning time during Professional Learning Community meetings to allow for sharing of practices highlighting authentic and contextualised learning and multiple exposures, as well as resources.

Incorporate opportunities to provide peer feedback, including through peer observations and learning walks or review/reflection of artefacts such as recordings during Professional Learning Communities

Collaboratively analyse student assessment data to identify the new knowledge and skills students are demonstrating and note growth in student improvement. For example, in the video below, the teachers reflect that for some students a focus on letter and sound knowledge is needed whereas for others segmenting and blending is important to have the most impact on student literacy learning.

As at the whole school level, evaluate the practices which have helped to meet the literacy goals for all students, and articulate and record effective teaching practices which led to literacy improvement, including how these might be connected to or expanded upon in a future improvement cycle. This includes reflecting on what changes can be made to teaching practices and teaching teams in the future.

An example of a Professional Learning Community using the ‘implement and monitor’ stage of the FISO 2.0

The video below highlights how a Professional Learning Community team, focused on writing development engage in individual and collective reflection on their phonics planning and teaching as part of the 'implement and monitor' phase of the FISO improvement cycle. Within this, they use formative student data to link pedagogic decisions to the writing process, instructional methods and curriculum expectations and plan for adjustments and improvements to their instruction based on student needs. This video highlights the value of feedback, collaboration, and collective commitment to enhance phonics teaching within a Professional Learning Community framework and ensuring that variability is reduced between classrooms.

Read video transcript

[Planning Group discussion]                 

- Yes, I agree. Alright, I think I've got all the-                 


[Sarah Mountain]                 

- Our professional learning communities enable all of our teachers to collaborate together. We take ownership for the needs of all students in the cohort. We focus on what the students know from our findings, and then we talk about what needs to come next. By planning word study in this fluid way, we're able to make sure that all students are catered for across the cohort and all needs are met. We can play to the advantages of our teachers. Some teachers, for example, might really want to work with those exceeding students that might move on to etymology and morphology of words, whereas we might have some smaller groups still focusing on that segmenting and blending in order for them to be able to read and spell. Our PLCs enable the teachers to collaborate and plan together. We can share ideas, we can share best practice, we can talk about what has worked and what hasn't worked, and we can then adapt our planning for the next three weeks cycle, depending on those conversations.                 

[Planning Group discussion]                 

So I thought it would be a good idea to pull out some writing samples. I know you all completed a dictation activity, as one of your word study lessons for our pre-assessment for this next cycle. So if we have a look at that and start to talk about what we're noticing and where we're going to go next. So what is it that these students need? What is that next step? What do they still need to learn.                 


[Sarah Mountain]                 

Prior to the PLC, I'll prepare the teachers with an evidence-based reading. This makes sure that when they come to the PLCs, they know where they want to go with the planning and they can use evidence-based instruction from what they have read. So, we have a three weekly planning cycle. So after the three weeks up, we'll reconvene, we'll meet again, we'll look at further samples of writing, or it could be reading data for the students, and then the groups from there might change, we might even change the teachers. So then at the end of the term, we can use the data to inform our reporting, looking at our learning outcomes, making sure everything's been covered over the term, and then even over the year. This data can then go with the students up to year one, where we will continue our fluid grouping for this explicit phonics teaching approach. By planning for each group of students in this way, the success is absolutely in their reading and writing. We've noticed great improvements from our data in previous years. Our students can read by decoding and they can spell by encoding.                 

[Planning Group discussion]                 

Okay, so at this end, we've got initial sounds, we've got consonant sounds, we've got strings of letters.                 


[Yolanda Andrews]                 

- We determined the focus group for this inquiry cycle by analysing writing samples. In this case, the writing samples were dictation passages we gave the students last week. We then analysed these writing samples across the whole cohort. We created a continuum of the work samples to identify common trends and to meet the needs of each individual student. By creating this continuum, we could see the common trends. For example, one might be that there was a group of students requiring a bit more support to develop their letter sound knowledge, whilst another group could benefit from more time practicing segmenting and blending CVC work.                 

[Planning Group discussion]                 

- We wouldn't know. It's a very collaborative process in that sense.                 

- Yeah, absolutely.                 

- Very much working together.                 


[Mollie McMahon]                 

- The benefits of collaboratively planning and assessing student work, is that we as a team, we take shared responsibility and a collective ownership over our whole cohort, so no student is left behind. The teachers work together, we share practice, we share ideas, there's a lot of dialogue and a lot of discussion about student work samples, and it helps us to think about where our planning will go next.                 

[Planning Group discussion]                 

- So I guess the next thing we need to talk about is then how are we going to know that this is successful? So when we meet again in three weeks, is there a writing sample from the planner that you want to bring where we can... That we can assess for the next cycle?                 


[Mollie McMahon]                 

- As we plan together, we have consistency across the year level with all of our lessons. No matter what room you walk into, we will all be teaching the same lesson, which ensures that all students at our school have the same learning opportunities. Working together as a team, we are able to decide what working towards at standard and above standard looks like for our students. This ensures that we have a consistent moderation approach.                 



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 Department of Education. (2022). Using FISO 2.0 to plan school improvement. State Government Victoria. https://www2.education.vic.gov.au/pal/fiso/policy

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