Below you will find a general skill acquisition sequence. Do note that the reading assessment (now openly available to download on the PLD website) is what schools should be utilizing to plan the class reading program and the decodable reading books required. Not all students acquire reading skills at the same pace. Those who have had a history of ear infections, speech and/or language delays or family members who have experienced difficulties with literacy, will often require repeated practice and more time to master the levels.

Be aware that junior primary students require repeated opportunities to practice and consolidate their skills. Only progress to higher levels of reading ability when there is a high level of accuracy and automaticity is being observed.

Make sure your scope and sequence for the year is realistic but also that it is being utilised in conjunction with the screening. It is not recommended to push students through a scope and sequence, without providing opportunities for repeated practice and consolidation, only to find that skills are lost over the Christmas holiday period.


Term 1 pre-reading skills: Alphabet sound knowledge and blending of three phonemes. Once students are demonstrating an adequate level of alphabet knowledge and have acquired the ability to blend three phonemes, they are ready to start decoding. To track readiness for decoding page 1 of the following screening tool is appropriate:

Term 2: VC and CVC Decoding for the students who have acquired adequate pre-reading skills. It is likely that if the students are presented with words in games, flash cards and books, they will read by decoding (i.e. blending each letter sound, rather than whole word reading). To track skill development refer to Ex. 1 and 2 in the following screen:

Term 3: Consolidate VC and CVC Reading, but start to develop stage 1 target 2 digraphs. Should decodable home reading books and targeted group reading books have been utilized some students will start to acquiring more automatic reading within Term 3. This means that rather than reading ’m/a/t’ = mat, some students will start decoding the word as ’m/at’ or even as a whole word ’mat’. By the end of Term 3, students should have a high level of accuracy reading Ex. 1, 2, 3 words using the following screen:

Term 4: Consolidate VC, CVC, stage 1 target 2 and target 3 skills, with quality decodable readers. For the bulk of students, not only should they have skills in reading stage 1 target 1, 2, and 3 words, automatic word reading should also be emerging. Many students should be chunking when reading or be showing the emergence of whole word reading. The following screen will provide information on the type of decodable reading material that is required but also useful hand-over information for the Year 1 teachers.

Please note, some students as they acquire CVC decoding/word reading, they simultaneously acquire CCVC and CVCC ability. For others CCVC and CVCC reading material needs to be systematically factored in the the plan.

For more information of decodable reading books:
Reading 1:
Reading 2:

The Foundation section of the whole school literacy strategy may also be useful:
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