Curriculum Matters - English

English in Semester 2

The writing program this semester will include information report and explanation text types. The students will learn how to gather factual information and follow a specific structure of a report. As students are learning about geography and comparing rainforests within Australia, South America and Asia in HASS they will gather their research and structure this information into an information report.


Students will learn the features and structure of an explanation text, linking this to the scientific explanations of the water cycle/rainforests.


Target Time - Spelling/Words Their Way:

Students have been grouped across the Torrens building according to the skills they need to develop within spelling.These groups have been formed around data gathered from a spelling test the students did at the end of last term. Four mornings a week students move to their groups for 45 minutes of targeted spelling. Words Their Way is a teacher-directed, student-centred approach to vocabulary growth and spelling development whereby students engage in a variety of sound, pattern and meaning activities, sorting pictures and words. It caters for differentiated learning in the classroom, rather than a one-size fits all solution.



Students will continue working within their SMART (small, measurable, achievable, responsive and timely) groups around literacy. Students are grouped according to their reading and comprehension skills. These skills include: finding the main idea, recalling facts and details, understanding sequence, recognising cause and effect, comparing and contrasting, making predictions, word meaning in context, conclusions and inferences, facts and opinions, author's purpose, figurative language and real and make believe.


Here, Hidden and Head:

Teaching children how to comprehend written information is one of the most crucial aspects of teaching. However, what does it mean to comprehend? Students are taught that comprehension questions often fall within three broad categories; here, hidden and head.

Here: (the answer is right there) refers to questions that are easy to pin point and can be found in one sentence.


Hidden: (think and understand what authors mean when they use particular words) are answered by joining together information from a text.


Head (world in your head) the child's opinion or information that is not contained in the text (What do you think or feel about that?).


Expanding Vocabulary:

As children reach the higher levels within our reading books, it becomes essential that they read a greater amount of non-fiction texts to expand their vocabulary.


Without prior knowledge of what technical words mean, it is very difficult to understand the text and difficult to respond to questions to demonstrate their understanding.


Sometimes, these technical words are in the glossary to support understanding. Children are encouraged to make a list of unfamiliar/technical words during reading so that they can research word meanings (dictionaries/Google or questioning adults) after reading before returning to the text for a second read.