Establishing automatic and efficient skills in literacy, oral language and handwriting is a priority within Year 1 and 2. This is achieved through the delivery of targeted explicit Structured Synthetic Phonics (SSP) instruction and targeted repeated practice which has been devised on the basis of the schedule of skills. This is an extract from PLD’s 2020 Whole School Literacy Strategy pages 14-20. You can request complimentary printed copies or download a version for your school here

Setting your students up for success in the new school year with PLD involves three components:

  1. Student screening and tracking
  2. Investing in your Professional Development
  3. Having the right programs

How do we start preparing to implement PLD in Year 1 & 2?

  1. Phonic Sight Word Sequence Placement Test
  2. Year 1 and 2 Early Reading Profile 
  3. Assessments for Students Experiencing Difficulty in Stage 1 
  4. Register for the 2020 Monitoring and Tracking Spreadsheets.

Key PLD dates to note in Term 1

  • Week 1: Download the 2020 Monitoring and Tracking Spreadsheets.
  • Week 1: Literacy – Present the Week 1, Term 1 test from the downloadable Phonic and Sight Word Sequence Placement Test. Student results to be entered onto a ‘cloud-based’ tracking by close of week 1.
  • Weeks 1 & 2: Oral Language – ‘Show and Tell’, for example – Reptiles.
  • Week 2: Present The Year 1 & 2 Early Reading Profile Screen. Then based on the students results allocate decodable reading material.
  • Weeks 3 – 9: Explicit teaching phase of SSP, to read, spell and transfer concepts into extended writing delivered in three targeted teaching groups.
  • Weeks 3 & 4: Oral Language – ‘Show and Tell’, for example – Occupations
  • Weeks 5 & 6: Oral Language – ‘Show and Tell’, for example – Transport
  • Weeks 7 & 8: Oral Language – ‘Show and Tell’, for example – Insects
  • Weeks 9 & 10: Oral Language – ‘Show and Tell’, for example – After 8 weeks of semantic group teaching, age-appropriate descriptive items can be brought in from home for students to self generate their own responses. 
  • Week 10: Present the End of Term 1 PLD Placement Test from page 35 of the Phonic and Sight Word Sequence. Student results should be entered into ‘cloud-based’ tracking by close of week 10. Based on the results, adjust your ability groups accordingly before the start of Term 2.

Whole Year Scope and Sequence Overview

While some of the children will progress faster and some slower, this plan is for the bulk of the children. Download PLD’s whole year scope and sequence overview for Early Years to Year 6 here

Let’s break it down further …

Year 1 & 2 – Literacy – Term 1 focus

In order to achieve consistency across the school, teachers should be conducting quarterly screening of all Year 1 and 2 classes. Your screening should commence within Week 1 of Term 1 by the presentation of Phonic and Sight Word Placement Screening to determine the starting point for your SSP program. 

Establishing your starting point

Tracking student Progress Once you have completed the Week 1, Term 1 Phonic and Sight Word Placement Screening, enter the scores into the 2020 PLD Tracking Sheets. The goal of the scoring/analysis process is to establish at which stage (or stages) students require targeted instruction. To find out more about how you can establish an effective screening and tracking process that caters for the range in your students ability, click here. Once the three or four ability groups have been established teachers are in a good position to start planning for the class-specific needs.

Catering for Range in Ability At the start of each week, provide each student with a word study list. The word study lists should be based on your placement testing, it is expected that you provide three levels of words for each class. Typically word lists should be comprised of one or two focus phonic concepts devised from the lists in the Phonic and Sight Word Sequence. Rather than providing words as purely spelling words, a broader set of word study goals are proposed. The word study goals for your students are: they should be able to read and spell the words, sound out the word, identify the phonemes (i.e. apply phonological awareness skills) and phonics within the words and transfer the words into extended writing, both in dictation and self generated writing. Your students should be retaining the concepts over the term and not just during the week they are presented.

To be effective, your Junior Primary (SSP) approach must provide opportunities to rehearse skills so that they become automatic. The information gained from the placement tests will direct additional teaching needs. The options available include: 

How do you structure A Synthetic Phonics Approach Within Literacy Blocks? An easily adaptable, well trialled structure, has been listed on page 17 of our downloadable ‘Whole School Literacy Plan’.

A weekly routine helps to establish effective phonics instruction. Design a weekly routine of skill rehearsal tasks with a specific focus over a five day or weekly cycle. When instructing the spelling list words it is essential to focus on the phonic structure in conjunction with the sound structure. Why? Phonemic awareness instruction (or the ‘sound out as you spell strategy’) is imperative in order for phonics instruction to be effective. Specific Activities can be selected (or adapted from): Spelling Activities in the Junior Primary. A suggested weekly routine is available on our downloadable Whole School Literacy Plan on page 17.

For an overview of how you can support your students who are experiencing difficulties acquiring CVC reading and spelling skills, download our ‘Whole School Literacy Plan’ and refer to pg 19.

Progress check In the final week of Term 1, review your students spelling skill development through the presentation of the End of Term 1 review, pg 35, in the Phonic and Sight Word Placement Screening. Once complete, re-enter the student test scores into the tracking sheets. The data provided by the End of Term 1 review, through the tracking sheets, is then used to adjust your teaching ability groups for Term 2.

Year 1 & 2 – Oral Language – Term 1 focus

Connecting Oral Language with Written Genres – Object Description (or ‘Show and Tell’) Explicit Instruction Schedule daily (i.e. 5-10 minute) sessions. Rather than students bringing in something from home, the descriptions are recommended to be based upon semantic categories. For example, reptiles (in weeks 1 and 2), occupations (in weeks 3 and 4), transport (in weeks 5 and 6) and insects (in weeks 7 and 8). After 8 weeks of semantic group teaching, age-appropriate description items can be brought in from home in weeks 9 and 10 for students to self generate their own descriptions. 

Templates to support oral language transitioning into written language. At the end of each fortnight, a written description or report on what they have learned should be scheduled. This will challenge students to transfer the oral language structure they have been rehearsing into writing. Undoubtedly there will be a range in writing ability within the class. Different templates can be applied to various ability groups.

Boost Reading Comprehension (through the facilitation of a home program)

Progress Check (optional) The comprehension questions program includes a targeted progress check. This check can be presented mid-year and/or at the end of the year. Download the comprehension progress check here. The information will provide evidence of progress and/or can be used to accompany a referral to a speech pathologist.

Your Term 1 Year 1 & 2 Year Checklist

1. Do I have the current PLD screening tools?

Each screen is available to download directly from the PLD site. Each of the PLD Screens has been updated for 2020. If you haven’t already, click here to download the revised versions.

2. Do I have the 2020 versions of the PLD tracking sheets?

PLD recommends that Year 1 & 2 testing is placed on the PLD tracking sheets, which can be requested here. General instructions and samples for achieving a consistent process can be found here.

3. Have I downloaded and read all of the relevant PLD information for Year 1 & 2?

These downloads include the PLD Whole School Literacy Strategy and Year 1 & 2 developmental milestones I should expect my students to be achieving.

4. Have I read through PLD’s 2020 checklist?

You can view the full Year 1 & 2 checklist here.

5. Have I shared the PLD process with the parents in my classroom?

PLD believes that school and home must work together in order to have an effective start to Year 1 & 2. PLD has created a range of parent information videos that are available to view here.

6. Have I downloaded the resources I need for running a successful Parent Information Night?

If not, you can download them here.

As always, we are on hand to help implement the PLD process in your school. If at any time you need any assistance with the above or any PLD programs you can get in touch with us by email to [email protected].

Don’t forget to check back here late in Term 1 for What to teach? When to screen? and how to cater for the range of ability in your classroom and how you can adjust your data and teaching groups ready for Term 2.

Teaching multiple year levels? Click on the links below to access the termly content.

early years foundation year 1 & 2 Year 3, 4, 5 & 6