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  Literacy Learning at Ross Hill Public School

Literacy: Priority Number 1 at Ross Hill PS

Ross Hill Public School provides the best possible opportunities for students to learn, consolidate and refine their Literacy skills. Literacy skills are established at Ross Hill in all Key Learning Areas; with the English K-6 Syllabus providing the central focus through the learning strands of talking and listening, reading and writing. Literacy learning continues to be a key focus of the school.

  • K - 2
  • 3 - 6

K-2 - Learning to Read at Ross Hill:

Ross Hill is a Best Start and Jolly Phonics school. All staff K-2 have been trained in Best Start and Jolly Phonics to provide a solid platform for Literacy development in the early years.

Best Start is an assessment that enables teachers to identify the Literacy and Numeracy knowledge and skills that each child brings to school as they enter Kindergarten and to inform the development and implementation of quality teaching and learning programs. Best Start schools such as Ross Hill link the development of student progress in reading, writing and talking and listening skills to a learning continuum published by the NSW Department of Education. This continuum provides explicit details of expected student knowledge and skill attainment as students progress through their first years at school. Ross Hill Public is a Best Start Lighthouse school - which means our kindergarten is leading the way in Best Start Assessment in NSW.

Best Start Info

The Best Start Parent Information
Best Start Continuum

The Best Start Learning Continuum


Jolly Phonics is a program that provides a thorough foundation for reading and writing. It teaches the letter sounds in an enjoyable, multisensory way, and enables children to use them to read and write words. Jolly Phonics literacy learning has five key components: learning the letter sounds, learning letter formation, blending, identifying sounds in words and spelling the tricky words.

You can see more on the Jolly Phonics YouTube channel.


Jolly Phonics Vowel Song  

Jolly Phonics Alphabet songs

Jolly Phonics Blends
(Double Consonants)

Students learning to read at Ross Hill in K-2 practice their oral reading fluency, reading for meaning and word solving strategies daily in small groups using leveled readers at an instructional level. Home readers are sent home each evening with K-2 students to further advance oral reading fluency and word solving strategies, however, are usually a level or two lower than levels used in class at that time. Oral reading fluency is measured regularly by staff by way of a running record. Parents are encouraged to talk to classroom teachers further about their child’s progress in reading at any time.

3-6 - Reading To Learn at Ross Hill:

The Reading To Learn program underpins student Literacy development for students at Ross Hill in Years 3 to 6. The aim of Reading to Learn is to support every student in a class to read and write challenging texts at their grade level. Through carefully designed guidance, all students are continually engaged and successful at each step of the R2L teaching cycle. The program includes three levels of support that can be integrated at various points in a teaching program. Explicit teaching strategies designed to develop specific skills and understanding are employed systematically in a two week cycle by all 3-6 staff.

By the end of 2011 all staff 3-6 at Ross Hill will have been trained in Reading To Learn; that being 4, two day workshops. The founder of the program Professor David Rose visits the school on a termly basis to lead staff Literacy learning and development. Many staff have also visited other schools outside of the New England Region in Dubbo, Orange and the Hunter Valley to view best practice in R2L.

Parents wanting to learn more about Reading to learn and the R2L Cycle can watch a short information video at our YouTube Channel:


Literacy Resources:

The school has undertaken an extensive overhaul of reading resources in the past 12 months. Substantial funds have been targeted to ensure K-2 class readers, home readers, big books and early chapter books are in good supply for all students. In 3-6 all grades have been equipped with full class sets of classic literature, ensuring all students have access to age appropriate quality reading material. Funds have also been committed to the purchase of reading material supporting genre specific text type learning; usually linked to the content learning of Connected Outcomes Groups of each grade.


Literacy Assessment and Reporting at Ross Hill:

Ross Hill PS utilises assessment to inform teaching and learning and to determine student performance. A whole school writing task and whole grade reading tasks are undertaken in February and October to gauge student and school literacy growth. Regular class assessment is undertaken on a weekly basis in classrooms throughout the term; with a focus on word solving strategies and reading fluency in K - 2 and reading comprehension in 3 - 6.

Student reports K-6 are published each semester with parent teacher interviews conducted in the last two weeks of Semester 1. Parents are encouraged to discuss their child’s Literacy knowledge and skill development with classroom teachers as required. Staff are available with notice for interview before and after school.


At Ross Hill technology is used to enrich literacy learning wherever possible in all grades K-6. Interactive whiteboards, document cameras, internet based resources, electronic books and appropriate software are used to support, expand and enrich literacy learning and to prepare and expose students to our modern world.


Learning Needs:

Students with specific learning needs are identified by the school’s Learning Support Team. Available resources are accessed where possible and individual learning plans are developed by the school in conjunction with the home to support these needs. See our Support Unit Blog for more information specific to some of these children.


Great Literacy Links for Parents

The following websites are recommended reading for any parent. They are independent and may not represent the values or opinions of the NSW Department of Education and Training.

Writing Fun
Writing Fun - a site for learning about the different writing styles (text types) that are used.

Spelling City Spelling City - A great site for boosting your spelling results.

Cambridge Dictionary - a great online dictionary.

Online Thesaurus - an online thesaurus - for finding words that are the same or opposite.

Crossword maker - Make your own crossword puzzles.


Grammar Gorillas - Time to get ya grammar rite.

Grammar Game Zone - Still need ta gat ya grandma rite?






  Quick Links

Our Home page



Jolly Phonics
the Jolly Phonics Program - Used through the Infants school, and into Primary



Reading To Learn Reading to Learn - used through the Primary school.


  Dept Resources
English Curriculum Support Resources - including:
Teacher Programming Support
Literacy Support Resources - includes parent resources
National Literacy and Numeracy Week
TALE - A place to find teaching and learning resources
the Centre for Learning Innovation
Support Resources - the Sherlock Library





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