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At Fairfield Primary School, Literacy is a core subject essential to all learning domains. Students experience a daily dedicated literacy block of learning that encompasses reading, writing, language and spelling. We have developed a whole school literacy approach, which is framed on the research of Marie Clay, Irene Fountas and Gay Pinnell and the Balanced Literacy Approach. This ensures consistency of teaching practice and learning development from Foundation to Grade 6.

We recognise that reading is a complex process in which the reader actively constructs meaning. The reader draws on cognitive and linguistic strategies, as well as a range of information—both within and outside of the text—to process the language and develop meaning and understanding. Students develop reading comprehension skills and strategies that enable them to comprehend increasingly challenging texts in all learning domains.


Our Reading Workshop involves explicit teaching of specific reading strategies and skills, providing scaffolding for students as they make the transition from dependent to independent readers.


There are 6 components to the Reading Workshop:

  1. The Interactive Read Aloud where teachers model correct reading strategies and behaviours to the students.
  2. Guided Reading/Literature Circles where teachers work with a group of students at their instructional level. These groups are formed using data provided by running records.
  3. Shared Reading where students and teacher read together, providing the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of what the students are reading.
  4. Independent Reading which allows students time to actively practice applying the new strategies and skills they have been learning.
  5. Word Study which links reading to spelling. Starting at letters and the sounds they make through to exploring root words, suffixes and prefixes and learning how to derive meaning from words.
  6. Reading conferences that take place regularly between the teacher and individual students. These enables the teacher to have a genuine conversation with the student about their reading, text selection and to monitor their progress in achieving learning goals.


Teachers at all levels regularly assess students reading using the Fountas & Pinnell Benchmarking system. These diagnostic assessments show not only a student’s decoding skills but also their level of comprehension and reading behaviours. From this information, teachers plan appropriate teaching and learning interactions to develop student competencies.


We understand that every student is an individual and unique learner. Every student has his or her own strengths, challenges and rate of development. It is within this context, that individual learning plans and targets are developed inclusive of the teacher, student and parent. Sometimes it is appropriate to provide targeted short-term literacy support to individual students to support their ongoing development. This is organised on a needs basis and provided by our Literacy Support teacher.