Bell Primary School fosters a culture of collaboration amongst teachers. They regularly meet in year level teams to look at assessment and discuss observations to plan lessons and units of work that are engaging and targeted at students’ individual level of need. There is daily explicit teaching and learning in every classroom. Teachers employ a range of whole class, small group and individual instructional practices based on the needs of their students.

In English there is time devoted to the development of reading skills, habits and behaviours, writing and oral language. 


The essential features of our English teaching include;

  • Explicit teaching of reading and writing (including speaking and listening
  • Varied teaching practices such as modelled, guided and shared reading and writing
  • Independent Reading in order to build their reading stamina, enjoyment of reading and practise skills learnt/taught.
  • Book clubs in the upper years where students use their reading skills to have student-led discussions about a shared book
  • Phonological awareness (reading and writing) using the Jolly Phonics program in the lower school
  • Teaching of sight words using the Oxford 500 Most Used Words
  • A focus on developing students’ skills as writers using the 6 + 1 Traits of Writing. These traits are Ideas, Sentence Fluency, Organisation, Word Choice, Voice, Conventions and Presentation. These traits are taught through various genres of writing and align with the Victorian Curricu       

What can you do at home to support the learning of your child?


  • Encourage your child to choose reading materials that match their interests and set aside time for reading each day.
  • Have a book chat by asking questions before reading (e.g. what do you think will happen?), during reading (e.g. why do you think the character did that?) and after reading (e.g. can you retell the story in your own words?)
  • Find opportunities to read for everyday purposes such as reading recipes, the newspaper or shopping lists.


  • Encourage your child to create a picture that visually represents their ideas
  • Provide special stationery, such as coloured pens and pencils, and different coloured paper
  • Support your child to read their writing aloud
  • Always proudly display your child’s work in a prominent position in your house. This will give them confidence, and demonstrates the importance of writing.
  • Create an ‘ideas bag’ or ‘ideas folder’ to use as a writing prompt. Inspire writing ideas by collecting objects. For example, photographs, pictures from magazines and brochures, movie tickets, or other items.
  • Continue to encourage your child to write for everyday skills. This includes writing recipes, family messages, shopping lists and greeting cards.

Speaking and Listening (Oral Language)

  • Include your child when discussing everyday activities such as grocery shopping, gardening, cooking dinner, collecting mail from the mailbox, doing housework, and travelling in the car or bus.
  • Try to ask your child specific questions about their day. A general question like “how was your day?” will likely get a single-word response of “good.” Ask specific questions like “what is the book you are reading in class about?” or “what did you do at lunchtime today?”
  • Outings can also provide a world of new vocabulary. Discussion during outings can enrich your child’s understanding of the world. Outings might include going to the park, the zoo, a shopping centre, museums, libraries and art galleries.
  • Story-telling is a great way to extend your child’s language and listening skills, as well as expanding their imagination. Either you can tell the story, or encourage your child to tell the story. Make it exciting, with different voices, puppets, props or a finger play.
  • As your child gets older, discuss news and current events can enrich your child’s understanding of the world.