San Ġorġ Preca College embarked on a College Literacy Policy with a basic aim of improving the Literacy level from the very beginning of schooling. As from scholastic year 2012-2013 Floriana Primary has put into practice this policy based on phonological awareness from the very early stages. The alphabet has been developed in blocks, and stories have been developed for each letter sound. A 10-15 session of phonological awareness is scheduled in the early year classes (K1- Year 2). At Kinder 1 the pupils are introduced to the sound of 10 letters, the first two blocks of letters developed. Through crafts and fun games pupils learn the sounds of these 10 letters and by the end of the year they should be able to say the letter sound when presented with the written letter. At Kinder 2 the first 10 letters are revised and the rest of the alphabet is introduced along the scholastic year. So basically when the pupils go up to Year 1 they know the letter sounds and work can get started smoothly with blending of 2 to more letter sounds. The Read Write Inc Program is used at this stage and pupils ought to progress to basic reading skills and this is consolidated at Year 2.
One can never stress enough the importance of pupils’ access to books, even at home. Reading should be presented as fun and at Floriana Primary we introduced a Buddy Reading system in addition to the Guided Reading Sessions. During a Buddy Reading session a small group of 4 children at a time is withdrawn from the class to go and read to a buddy student in a lower class, example Year 6 pupils reading to Year 3 and Year 2 pupils, Year 5 pupils reading to fellow pupils in Year 1 and Kinder classes. This system that has been adopted not only encourages pupils to read and to share a book with an audience but enhances the child’s self-esteem as the little ones look up to them while they are reading and engaging with them in questioning and fun moments.