Parents as learning partners

Dear Parents,

Thank you for landing on this page.  This demonstrates that you have an invested interest in the education of your child.

This page will outline the Literacy framework we are developing at Emerald Secondary College to support your child’s learning.  We look forward to working in partnership with you and your child to achieve the best educational outcomes for all.

The ESC Literacy framework consists of 4 elements: Vocabulary, Reading, Writing, Substantive talk.

Here is a brief explanation of each and how they underpin the learning across the College.

Please note: This Literacy framework is being implemented from the beginning of 2016, so not all elements are in place yet.  We are working diligently toward the following ideal, and welcome your feedback and comments.  Feel free to contact me at the College.

ESC Literacy Framework 2016


All students are expected to maintain a 4 column glossary in their writing books for the collection of new words to expand their vocabulary.

4 columns:

  1. The term
  2. Definition
  3. The definition in their own words
  4. An image or non-linguistic representation of the term.

All students should also create their own account with to maintain word lists across their different subject areas.


Students in years 7 and 8 visit the library on a fortnightly basis to read and apply reading comprehension strategies.

All students are encouraged to have a book at school to bring to English classes.  Students should also be reading regularly at home, at least 30 minutes, 3 times per week additional to any other homework.

High levels of reading comprehension have a direct correlation with higher performance in VCE.

Strategies for reading comprehension include:

Before reading:

  • Prediction – What will I learn?  What is the story about?
  • Prior knowledge – What do I already know about this topic?

During reading:

  • Visualising – What image do I see in my mind while I am reading?
  • Questioning – What questions do I have about the text?
  • Inferencing – What inferences can I make?
  • Clarify – What words do I need to clarify?

After reading:

  • Identifying the main point – What was the author’s message?
  • Summary – How can I summarise and synthesise this information to fully understand what it means?


High stakes writing – all assessment tasks

These include research projects, information reports, persuasive and narrative text types.

Low stakes writing – non assessed tasks.

Low stakes writing tasks allow students to make their learning visible – teachers can quickly see where students require assistance.  They also offer students the opportunity to ‘enjoy’ their writing, as they have the opportunity to write on tasks of interest to them, without the pressure of assessment.

Substantive talk


Students are encouraged to express their viewpoints, but must be able to explain and justify their position.  Our aim is to create informed individuals who are open minded, respectful of the opinions of others, and willing to engage in lively debate about their world.

More resources can be found here:

Literacy and Numeracy tips for your students




Please feel free to contact me at the College if you have any concerns about the Literacy or learning progress of your student.

Tracey Ferguson

Literacy Leader

Emerald Secondary College