Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening
The Language Arts Program at Buckingham Friends School is one of balanced literacy. The aim of the program is to support learners in reading, writing, speaking and listening to foster a desire toward independence and life-long learning. Through a variety of intentional practices students are explicitly taught the strategies and habits of effective reading and writing. Students are supported in whole group, small group, partnerships and one-to-one arrangements. Teachers employ a variety of materials including picture books, short stories, novels, articles and texts in demonstration lessons, literacy circles, genre studies and subject area studies. This balanced literacy program provides opportunities for shared reading, shared writing, interactive writing, read aloud and word study.
In grades kindergarten through fifth, students are assessed early in the year and at the end of each year to determine fluency, comprehension and level of independence. A certified Reading Specialist provides ongoing extension and support, throughout the year to students in these grades. Instruction is differentiated to adapt to the learning needs of the students. Gradually students take on more responsibility, apply literacy skills in all subjects, and demonstrate successful ownership for their learning.
Word study and language structure are taught in the form of spelling, vocabulary, and grammar studies. Students learn through teacher modeling, guided practice and active participation. Early on students are instructed in letter formation, phonological awareness, word structure, high frequency words and sound mastery. As they grow, they develop fluency, comprehension, and written composition skills.
Speaking and listening are practiced and modeled in and out of the classroom at Buckingham Friends School. Confidence, self-awareness, preparation and presence are demonstrated in class and exemplified in practice. Through book club conversations, digital exchanges, Meeting for Worship, stage performances, speaking opportunities, and classroom meetings, students practice the skills necessary to become self-confident speakers and receptive, engaged listeners. A signature experience at Buckingham Friends School is the yearly stage performance. All students prepare and perform in a class production. Productions vary in genre from plays to musicals to iMovies. These lively, age-appropriate performances are often student driven and highlight the strengths of each child.
A Scope and Sequence has been developed with the collaboration of Buckingham Friends School Faculty through a timely and extensive curricular review process. It is a compilation of The Common Core State Standards and Buckingham Friends School faculty curriculum maps. The document serves to outline benchmark skills taught at each grade level in each content area. Students within each grade meet benchmarks in varying degrees and times depending on their developmental readiness. The Scopes and Sequences for each grade are accessed by clicking on the links within each grade.