Unlocking Literacy Excellence: The InitiaLit Journey at Our Junior School

By Nicole McGrath, St Leonard’s College Deputy Head of Junior School

Over the past few years, our dedicated Junior School teaching team has embarked on a journey to enhance the teaching of literacy, ultimately leading us to embrace the InitiaLit program. This evidence-based approach, originating from Macquarie University and aligned with the Australian National Curriculum, is transforming the way we nurture young readers and writers in the first three years of school (Prep to Year 2).

What’s New?

InitiaLit is not just another program; it’s a comprehensive literacy journey that focuses on two vital components: phonics (letter-sound correspondences) and their practical application in reading and spelling. What sets it apart is the incorporation of quality children’s literature to support students’ vocabulary, oral language, and listening comprehension. As students progress into InitiaLit–2, the program expands to cover spelling, reading comprehension and fluency, grammar, and vocabulary, creating a well-rounded literacy education.

Benefits for Now and the Future

The early results of implementing InitiaLit are very pleasing. Teachers have reported increased student engagement and enthusiasm for learning, as the program provides consistent instruction across year groups. The structured approach ensures that children consolidate crucial reading and writing skills early on, laying a robust foundation for future learning.

Innovative and Valuable Progress

InitiaLit goes beyond the conventional methods by providing explicit instruction and regular assessments. One of the standout features is the careful monitoring of each child’s progress, allowing teachers to tailor interventions from the very beginning. This individualised approach ensures that no child is left behind and that every student has the opportunity to flourish.

The program doesn’t just benefit the students; it has also empowered our teaching team. The implementation of InitiaLit has strengthened our teachers’ ability to deliver literacy education explicitly, systematically, and with confidence. With a focus on data gathering and assessment, our educators are even better equipped to guide your child’s learning journey.

Looking Forward

As we witness the positive impact of InitiaLit on our students’ literacy and English knowledge, we eagerly anticipate the years to come. The program has created a culture of continuous improvement, with explicit instruction and assessment becoming integral parts of our teaching philosophy. We are excited to see the ongoing growth and development that this innovative pedagogical approach will undoubtedly bring to our Junior School.