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English is the language of instruction at Grayston. Proficiency in a language develops gradually over time and cognisance should be taken of this, especially in cases where English is not the home language of the child. The emphasis in the lower grades is on providing a ‘balanced approach’ whereby the children’s emergent literacy is used as the starting point and children are given opportunities to read and write while at the same time developing the basic phonemic awareness necessary for successful reading and writing.

As the children move through the grades, the emphasis changes from learning to read in JP to reading to learn in SP. This presupposes that children will be exposed to a wide range of reading materials covering the progressive reading skills as part of the work done in all Learning Areas. It is essential that children be given ample opportunity to process the texts that they read in order to gain understanding of and information from what they read.

Writing is fundamentally a constructive process of encoding new information. The act of translating experience into a personalised accounts aids and extends learning. Writing to learn focuses on deepening understanding and improving retention of content. The writing activities, which typically are short and informal, resemble an advanced form of note taking.