students reading

The St Mary’s literacy program sees reading, writing and speaking and listening being integrated in a supportive and stimulating environment in which independent and reflective, critical thinking is fostered.

Our literacy program operates under the beliefs and understandings that all students can achieve a high standard if they are given sufficient time and support in

 their learning. We believe that high expectations and early interventions to deal with learning problems are essential to successful learning outcomes. Our teachers are able to articulate the “what‟ and the “why‟ of what they do and are given the right conditions and support to allow them to teach all students to a high standard.

OLSAL ~ Oral Language Supporting All Learners

The OLSEL framework runs throughout the school and provides students with opportunities to improve their oral language which supports their reading and writing skills.  The four pillars of the framework are: phonological awareness, vocabulary, complex sentences and story grammar which connect effectively with other areas of the curriculum.  Teachers also moderate the amount of time they spend talking during learning time and direct and encourage student learning conversations with their peers to check and build understanding. 

Smart Spelling

SMART Spelling is a spelling approach where children are taught spelling patterns one at a time.  Student are also taught the ‘4 Spelling Rules’ that can apply to many words and spelling patterns.  It is a multisensory approach that uses visual, auditory and tactile elements.  It is taught from Prep to Grade 6.

Literacy Intervention


For those students who are deemed as needing extra time and support with their literacy development, the MiniLit program is offered during Grade 1 and 2.  Research has shown MiniLit to be a most effective small group intervention in Literacy.  The MiniLit program is offered to students selected under a strict set of criteria, through a 60 minute lesson with a trained MiniLit teacher.  These sessions take place four days a week.

students at desk writing


MacqLit is a reading intervention program aimed at students in Grade 3 and above.  The program is designed to teach children appropriate strategies for reading and spelling. It is delivered by a trained MacqLit teacher five days a week.

ERIK (Early Reading Intervention Knowledge)

ERIK is a reading intervention program designed for students in Grades 3 – 6. Students are taken onto the program after an assessment profile has been completed.  This profile determines the strategic intervention pathway of the group of 2 – 3 students. Daily, forty-five minute ERIK sessions are conducted by an ERIK trained Integration Aide and teacher.