At Launching Place Primary School, we follow the Reading Workshop Model across the whole school from Prep to Grade 6 for one hour every day. This includes:

  • A Warm Up in which teacher and students unpack the Learning Intention and Success Criteria and discuss why the students need to know the learning.
  • A Mini Lesson where teachers explicitly teach reading strategies based on an identified area of need based on data collected from student assessments.
  • Independent Reading where students choose 'good fit books' and books of interest from the classroom library to keep in their book box to read (approximately 20 minutes). Teacher completes one-on-one-reading conferences and sets reading goals for each individual student.
  • Independent literacy work where students practice a range of skills across the Reading Curriculum and at their point of need. They are grouped in different ways depending on the purpose (e.g. like needs, strategy groups, reading levels, etc) 
  • The teacher conducts Guided Reading sessions with small groups of students during this time.
  • A Reflection where students discuss what they have achieved and learnt. The class reflects on the learning intention and success criteria to see if students were successful in the lesson.



Along with other resources, we use the CAFÉ Reading Menu during the reading mini lessons to explicitly teach reading strategies. This stands for:




Expand Vocabulary




At Launching Place Primary School, we have a Writing Workshop model across the whole school from Prep to Grade 6. Each session runs for one hour. This includes:

  • A Warm Up where students play an oral language game that aims to improve their vocabulary and language skills or they complete a quick game/activity around improving ‘VCOP’.
  • A Mini Lesson in which the teacher explains the Learning Intention and Success Criteria for the lesson. They explicitly teach writing strategies and skills using core teaching practices that include modelled, shared or interactive writing and substantive talk. Mentor texts are used to motivate students to try to emulate the specific writing skill.
  • Independent Writing where students practise writing skills from the Mini Lesson and they work on their own writing pieces. The teacher completes writing conferences and sets writing goals for each individual student.
  • A Reflection where students talk about what they have achieved, learnt and go over the learning intention and success criteria to see if they were successful in the lesson.

We incorporate Big Writes and VCOP into our writing program at Launching Place Primary School.

Big Writes develop connections between learning at school and learning at home. When schools and families work together, children become more engaged with their schoolwork. Big Write and VCOP are designed to bring the fun back into writing, to make the children want to write and to be continuously challenged throughout their writing journey. Through games, activities, writing tasks, conversations and discussions, students will learn not only where their abilities lie in a fun and engaging way, but also the steps they need to take, in order to continue to improve.’



VCOP stands for Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers and Punctuation. These four elements quickly and easily enhance writing by creating the writer’s voice. Together with GHaSP (grammar, handwriting, spelling and punctuation)- the building blocks to correct and clear writing, VCOP adds the icing on the cake- excitement, pizzazz and flow to keep the audience engaged throughout the piece.

  • V – Vocabulary words and phrases that make us go wow.
  • C – Connectives words that we use to join thoughts, paragraphs, and ideas together.
  • O – Openers words or phrases used to start sentences.
  • P – Punctuation carefully selected to create an effect (but we will link it closely with punctuation to ensure we are grammatically correct as well).

Our lessons focus on incorporating as much ‘talk’ as we can to help build the oral language skills of our students. Oral language is pivotal for writing success. ‘If they can’t say it, they can’t write it’. We also focus on the handwriting skills of our students, as well as improving spelling through personalised spelling lists.

Big Write

  • Each fortnight, students participate in a ‘Big Write’ session. Each session follows a new writing stimulus.                          
  • During the Big Write, students produce a start-stop piece of independent writing to be proud of. They show off all of the writing skills they have learned during the week.
  • Students are encouraged to participate in Home Talk before their Big Talk and Big Write sessions to help clarify their thoughts and ideas.
  • Teachers select a student to be awarded the Super Writer Award to celebrate students who have worked hard on the writing goals.
  • One grade per fortnight displays their writing in the G.P. Room.

Home Talk!

  • Prior to our fortnightly ‘Big Write’, we send home our writing topic/stimulus. Home talk is an opportunity for students to discuss their thoughts, feelings and ideas with others outside of the classroom. 
  • Home Talk is just as the title suggests…talking! It might be 2 minutes or 20 minutes, and is aimed at being enjoyable, not stressful. Big Talk helps students prepare for their Big Write, which is a celebration of their learning, not a test. 
  • Check out the article written about us in the Upper Yarra Mail!


Alongside our fortnightly Big Writes and the incorporation of VCOP elements, teachers explicitly teach the students about writing specific genres. We include elements of the 6+1 Traits of Writing. This includes:



Word Choice



Sentence Fluency

+ 1 is the Presentation


Each student also has a Writer’s Notebook. This is a really special place where students can write about the things that they love. At the start of the year, each student creates a Heart Map by writing and drawing all the things that they really care about in their life such as family, friends, animals, books and anything else of importance to them. Students can then use their Writer’s Notebook to develop their ideas for their writing and to pursue their own topics for writing.


Throughout the Reading and Writing Workshops, teachers follow The Gradual Release of Responsibility Model. This is a teaching strategy characterized by a sequence of learning activities that shift the responsibility from the teacher to the student. The goal of this approach is student independence–ideally, the students gain the ability to transfer understanding on their own. 

The basic sequence is:

  1. Direct Instruction
  2. Guided Instruction
  3. Collaborative Learning
  4. Independent Practice 




Effective speaking and listening instruction (


Oral language is the foundation of all literacy skills. If young children experience rich oral language by talking with and listening to adults and other children, they will have a large ‘bank’ of spoken vocabulary.


Children will have heard and joined in word play and rhyming and be aware of the sounds of English.They will be familiar with lots of different sentence types and understand how language can change in different situations. They will understand that words have meaning, and that we use language to communicate information, ideas, feelings and thoughts.


Speaking and Listening is integrated into all areas of school life and is considered in many formal and informal situations. Students have many authentic opportunities to practise presentation skills including; hosting assemblies, class news, debating and …

Students are also taught explicit skills during literacy times where they have opportunities to prepare formal presentations on different topics which they deliver to their peers.


Substantive Talk

Substantive talk practices allow for students to work together to build classroom discussion guidelines, and opportunities to engage in the 5 core skills of academic conversations:

  1. Elaborate and Clarify
  2. Support Ideas with Examples
  3. Build on and/or challenge a partner’s idea
  4. Paraphrase
  5. Synthesize conversation points

Within sessions, students are explicitly taught these skills, undertaking activities for them to practise in an authentic context.  The overarching aim being that students are exceptional conversationalists who can transfer these skills to their everyday lives. 


Vocabulary Instruction

A strong vocabulary opens a world of possibilities for children and thus, the teaching of vocabulary is central to our English curriculum.  Through our Reading and Writing programs, students explore rich vocabulary through literature, making connections with the words so that they are able to understand them in books and use them in their writing.  Building connections between words is another aspect of vocabulary instruction (known as building schema), allowing students to organise new vocabulary in their minds in an orderly and retrievable manner. 

Copyright Launching Place Primary School