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At Alawa Primary School, our goal is to establish a whole school approach to literacy learning. Our whole school approach includes:

6 + 1 Traits of Writing

This model looks at the main characteristics (traits) of writing. The traits allows both the reader and the writer to note strengths and weaknesses in the piece of writing as they move through the writing process. The model ensures that students receive constructive feedback to improve their writing as it develops. The traits are:Writing

  • Ideas: They make up the content of the piece of writing. When the ideas are strong, the overall message is clear.

  • Organisation: It is the internal structure of the piece of writing; the thread of meaning; the logical pattern of ideas.

  • Voice: This is the soul of the piece. It is what makes the writer’s style unique as his / her feelings come out through the words- it is how the reader knows it is really you speaking.

  • Word Choice: The use of rich, colourful, precise language that moves and enlightens the reader.

  • Sentence Fluency: This is the flow of language.

  • Conventions: This is the extent to which the writer uses grammar and other mechanics of writing to make ideas readable.

  • Presentation: How pleasing is the piece to the eye? Good writers are aware of the importance of presentation.

  • Oral language

  • Phonological Awareness

  • Letter-sound knowledge

  • Vocabulary

  • Fluency

  • Comprehension

Our goal is to have students who see themselves as writers and want to write for different purposes.

Guided reading

The Big Six of Reading

The Big Six is a framework that has been developed to bring together the findings from extensive research into how children learn to read. This framework highlights six areas that children need to develop in to become an independent reader.

At Alawa Primary School the Big 6 underpins our approach to the teaching of reading across the school.



Our whole school approach to the teaching of spelling.


The Sound Waves phonemic approach uses a sound-to-letter strategy which acknowledges that sounds can be represented more than one way in written form. This synthetic phonics approach focuses first on the basic units of sound in our language – phonemes. It then explores the letters that represent these sounds and how they can be put together to form written words. Sound Waves enhances learning with strategies for reading, writing and spelling. This way our students will gain a deeper understanding of how words are structured.

For further information on Soundwaves, visit the website.