Articles on: Literacy

How well should students be spelling at the end of the Foundation school year?


Below is a general acquisition sequence. Note that the spelling assessments (now openly available to download on the PLD website) are what school’s should be utilizing to refine the class spelling program.

Be aware that young students require repeated practice and opportunities for consolidation. Only progress to higher levels of spelling ability when there is a high level of ease and accuracy being observed. Make sure that the school’s scope and sequence for the year is realistic and 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.

The students 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. Download the Foundation Teaching Sequence Manual.

Term 1 pre-spelling skills: Phonemic segmentation and alphabet recall and formation. Once students are demonstrating an adequate level of segmentation and alphabet skills they are ready to start spelling. To track readiness for spelling refer to page 2 of the following screening tool:

Term 2: CVC Spelling in an early childhood manner. It is not uncommon for alphabet recall and formation to take considerable time to develop. While these skills are being developed, early childhood spelling can still occur in Term 2, but with the assistance of letter boards, and wikki stix spelling.
End of term screening: Refer to page 23; End of Term 2 Review from the Phonic Sight Word Sequence:

Term 3: CVC Spelling and start to develop stage 1 target 2 digraph spelling. An early childhood approach can be factored into a proportion utilising wikki stix and the following PLD program: Make sure within Term 3 the switch to handwritten spelling also occurs. Refer to page 24; End of Term 3 Review from the Phonic Sight Word Sequence:

Term 4: Consolidate CVC, stage 1 target 2 and target 3 skills. For the bulk of students, they should they have acquired stage 1 target 1, 2, and 3 spelling skills. Keep in mind that letter reversals may still be commonly occurring for a proportion of the students. Evidence of this development for handover information can be sourced by presenting the screen on page 24: End of Term 4 Review.

Download the Foundation Screening & Tracking Manual.

Updated on: 26/10/2020

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