Benalla P-12 College

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Our Literacy Program

Benalla P-12 College is a leading school in the teaching and learning of literacy; a school where students have the opportunity to realise their full potential.  Literacy across all year levels (F-12) is a school priority.  Our Annual Implementation Plan has prioritised Reading and Writing as our Literacy Focus for Professional Learning and Teacher Capacity Building during 2016/2017.  We aim to increase student learning outcomes in all literacy areas - Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, and to develop life-long readers, confident speakers and writers, and improved literacy outcomes for all out students.

We build teacher capacity through regular Professional Learning Team Meetings and Learning Area Meetings. We plan for ‘Intentioned Learning’ in weekly Learning Area Meetings. Our Literacy program aims to teach each student at their ‘point of need’ using up-to-date student data.

The teaching of literacy is the responsibility of all teachers and leadership at Benalla P-12 College. We support literacy improvement in every student, in every class, implementing a whole school approach.

 “At Benalla P-12 College I have learnt that reading is not just reading, but transportation to another world and enjoying being there.”  Tiahna Year 8

“Reading is getting books in your head so it makes magical creatures in your mind.”

 Annabelle 1/2 O’M

                                                 Year 5 & 6 and Foundation Reading Buddies

Our Definition of Literacy

“Literacy competence is being able to think deeply, comprehend, respond to and produce a diverse range of text types, across all areas of learning and life.”

Our Current Literacy Focus

Student Literacy is prioritised at Benalla P-12 College.  Our literacy team participated in the Bastow Institute Leading Literacy Program during 2014.  The module provided our literacy leaders with a deep understanding of recent research around the processes of reading, writing, speaking and listening and best practices for literacy instruction.

Our focus for 2016/2017 is the Reading Workshop, Writers Workshop, Our Instructional Model, Readers Notebook, Formative Assessments in Literacy and Substantive Conversations.

During 2016 our school is continuing to employed the skilled expertise of Literacy Consultants, Keay Cobbin and Steve Willy, to support our understandings and learning in Instructional Practices, Substantive Conversations, Reader's Workshop, Writer's Workshop, Formative Assessments and Intentioned Literacy Learning.

We believe Regie Routman when she says:

Students who read more, read better, have higher reading achievement.  Common sense tells us that if we want to get good at an activity, regardless of what that activity is, we have t practice it".

Victorian Curriculum

Literacy at Benalla P-12 College is based on DET English Curriculum Policies including the Victorian Curriculum Foundation to Year 10 (AusVELS).  The Senior Years campus offers all of the VCE literacy subjects, along with VCAL Literacy.

As part of our endeavour to improve student literacy, the following strategies have been implemented:


The key elements include:

*    Learning intentions and success criteria

*    Mini lesson - explicit teaching and modelling

*    Independent practise, including conferring

*    Catch - opportunity for clarification

*    Teacher Focus Groups - Guided Reading, Language Experience, Read Aloud

*    Reflection on our learning


*    Being prepared for reading

*    Choosing Just Right Books

*    Daily Independent Reading time

*    Explicit teaching of reading strategies and comprehension skills

*    Book clubs

*    Readers Notebook


*    Modelled writing

*    Word Walls

*    Genre based writing activities

*    Sustained time engaged in writing

*    Blogs and web based tools

*    Writing process - revising, editing and publishing          

*    Spelling taught in context   



Home Reading

Regular home reading is expected at all levels of the school with parents playing a vital role in laying the foundations for learning to read.  Home reading gives children the opportunity to practise and demonstrate their reading skills to others.  The selection of appropriate material for this purpose is vital.

In Foundation to Year 4 students select take home books from a range of texts provided in the classroom.  These books are mated to the student's reading level to provide them with a balance between necessary support and small challenges.                                                          

Year 5/6 and Foundation Reading Buddies 




The two F-4 Campuses (Avon & Waller) utilise volunteer reading buddies through the Tomorrow Today Foundation.  Reading Buddies make a significant difference to students and young people's learning, self-esteem and confidence whilst providing Benalla F-4 teachers with much needed support for the Reading and Writing Workshops.

Reading Buddies



This is  a series of workshops designed to support parents in helping their child with reading, writing, speaking and listening, homework and organisational skills, and providing tips for helping their child become more independent and organised.  It also aims to support parents with setting good homework patterns at home and how they can interest their child to become a better writer and speller. 







At Benalla P-12 College we offer

Reading Recovery

at Year 1 level,

Koorie Literacy Intervention 

(F-3) and, in 2016, we are introducing the

Middle Years Levelled Literacy Intervention (Fountas & Pinnell)

for students at Years 5-9, who require additional literacy support in Reading and Writing.


“At Benalla P-12 College I have learnt that reading is not just reading, but knowing what you read and imagining a picture of what you read.” 
Stevan Year 7

“I think reading is all about a book making sense and telling a story. I like reading.”  Olivia Prep

“I think reading is really hard. I use the picture.”  Maddy Prep

“Reading transports you to a different world. When I read, everything around me is a blur. It’s like I am living the pages. Words are the meaning of life; they are what separate us from a lump of clay. Books tell us the story of another life in another place, another person with another dream.”  Willow Year 7D

“I think reading is about looking at the words.”   Ryan Prep

“It is visualisation, asking questions, getting lost in your story, engaging with your story and even learning about various, different things.”  Claire Year 7

“I think I can read to myself.”  Hannah H. Prep

Parents as Partner in Learning