The Primary Literacy Programme – Reading and Writing was created by the Native-speaking English Teacher Section of the Education Bureau. It incorporates reading, writing, listening and speaking, with a particular emphasis on reading and writing. The lessons seek to cultivate an enjoyment of reading and writing in addition to the mastery of these essential skills.
The programme gives students a solid foundation in phonics, which prepares them to become strong readers and writers. Reading skills are developed through the judicious use of storytelling, reading aloud, shared reading, guided reading and independent reading in order to gradually give students more responsibility for their reading as their ability grows. Writing skills are refined through the use of shared writing and process writing. Students learn how to plan, draft, edit, revise and publish a highly polished piece of writing.
At our school, we use a modified form of the Primary Literacy Programme – Reading and Writing. Every Primary 1 and Primary 2 class has one double lesson scheduled with our Native-speaking English Teacher every week. The lessons are based on a series of engaging big books which have been specifically written for young students in Hong Kong. Four double lessons are generally allocated to the unit of work associated with each big book.
A typical lesson begins with a review or introduction of phonics sounds and high frequency words. Relevant songs and chants are often incorporated to make the lessons more exciting. The big book is then usually read, and finally students typically engage in an activity to consolidate their learning. They might play a game or complete a writing activity. In some units, the students complete writing activities over several weeks in order to practise the various stages of the writing process.
Students are also encouraged to further improve their reading skills at home by reading small books online. These small books are related to the big books which are read in the lessons at school, and they have been specifically designed to reinforce the language structures and vocabulary that the students have already learned. There are various levels of small books available to cater for learner diversity.