At Syndal South Primary School, we understand how vital it is for students to become fluent readers to support self esteem and give the highest possibility to develop a love of reading and learning. We use evidence-based methods to ensure all our students succeed and thrive in reading.


The explicit and systematic teaching of fundamental knowledge and skills is at the centre of our approach. We achieve this using the ‘Sounds Write’ Sustained Systematic Phonics Program, to provide the best possible environment for our students to develop the ability to read, spell and write.


We have followed what the research tells us around literacy instruction and understand Foundation – Year 2 is where the fundamental skills of reading must be embedded which then leads to sustained improvement and growth through to the later years.


Our structured reading and writing approach underpinned by oral language includes:

  • Phonological awareness and phonics skill screening
  • Explicit teaching of phonological awareness and phonics
  • Automaticity training in the recognition of irregular words
  • Guided practice to improve fluency
  • Vocabulary development including structured morphology from Foundation to Year 6
  • Engagement in a knowledge rich curriculum
  • Explicit Teaching of comprehension questioning techniques.


Fluency is defined as the ability to read with speed, accuracy, and proper expression. To understand what they read, children must be able to read fluently whether they are reading aloud or silently. When reading aloud fluent readers read in phrases and add intonation appropriately.



Vocabulary is one of the five major components of reading and is linked to academic success. Vocabulary instruction provides essential background knowledge for reading and writing. If students are taught words before they read them in a text, they have a better chance of comprehending what has been read. Vocabulary must be taught explicitly with the intention of improving comprehension and writing.



Spelling activities involve students spelling, blending, and segmenting words. Students are also explicitly taught morphology and etymology.


Morphology looks at the internal structure of the words, and their makeup. For example, the word shopping has the base word ‘shop’ and the end of the word (suffix) being ‘ing’. By becoming familiar with various base words, prefixes and suffixes, students start to see patterns and are confident to make more accurate spelling attempts in their writing.


Etymology is the study of word origins and how they have changed throughout history. Often when students understand the origin of the word they begin to see patterns emerge that assist them in spelling.  For example, ‘spect’ is latin, meaning ‘to see’ and appears in words such as ‘inspect’ or ‘spectator’.  Having a strong understanding of word origin enables students to finely tune their spelling and understanding of more complex words in the English language.


Through the explicit teaching and exploration of the English language, students can learn to spell and understand a wide range of rich vocabulary to support them as readers and writers.


Mentor Texts

The use of quality mentor texts underpins the teaching of reading and writing in the classroom at Syndal South Primary School. A quality mentor text is utilised by the teacher to identify techniques and approaches used by the writer, to discuss and understand why those approaches were effective and then to support the students to use their learning in their own writing.


Quality mentor texts offer exemplars of language resources used for particular purposes which stretch students’ reading capabilities, as well as providing models for the students to use in their writing.



Students are systematically and explicitly taught the fundamentals of writing from letter formation, handwriting, spelling, sentence construction and paragraphing through to complex writing. During writing lessons, students are involved in a range of writing experiences linked to their learning including modelled, shared, and independent writing. 

  • provide direct and explicit instruction to improve our students as writers
  • ensure students write across a range of genres and for different purposes
  • give regular feedback
  • use consistent school-wide approaches to the teaching of writing, this includes generating ideas to publishing on a regular basis.

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