Learning to read and write are the most important tasks of elementary school. Literacy learning at Sunnybrook School is enriched and accelerated from the early years. Confidence and pleasure in emerging literacy skills is our primary goal for these early years.

We approach reading and writing with a phonics and literature based programme, which is both effective and enjoyable in guiding young children through the beginning stages of reading and writing. Books and stories continue to enchant and delight young children; our kindergarten students enjoy various reading experiences every day. In the kindergarten years we incorporate phonemic awareness, sight words and printing skills in a balanced approach to language arts. The teachers use a variety of materials to develop early literacy skills in our students. These include the Open Court Programme, Rigby PM Benchmarks and the First Steps Literacy Programme.

The Elementary Years

Children in grades one and two learn reading and writing using various materials. We combine a phonics and literature based approach with which we guide young children through the early stages of skills acquisition. From grades three – six, the language arts are integrated into the units of study. Grammar, sentence structure, word study and writing skills are taught throughout the elementary years. Reading, creative and expository writing, and library activities are integrated into all areas of the Programme of Inquiry. Reading materials include novels, poetry, newspapers and magazines, non-fiction books and on-line sources.

In order to ensure a comprehensive approach to language arts we use a combination of programmes and approaches. These include First Steps Literacy, PM Benchmarks, Rigby literacy and DRA.

Sunnybrook takes an individualized approach to spelling, allowing children to progress according to their abilities, with a focus on more in depth word study as they mature in their literacy skills.