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Curriculum Catch-Up - The Science of Reading


If a child memorises ten words, then the child can read ten words. But, if the child can learn the sounds of ten letters, the child can read…


a. 350 three-sound words

b. 4,320 four-sound words

c. 21,650 five-sound words


The Science of Reading (SoR) has gained momentum over the last few years.


The Science of Reading is a holistic approach to teaching reading which is based on scientific evidence with years of research. These multiple studies have enabled educators to gain a deeper understanding of reading and to learn about which parts of the brain are responsible through the cognitive processes.


Phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and spelling all make up the skills required to read with the ultimate goal being comprehension. These skills need to be taught explicitly to be effective when learning to read.


Decoding and encoding are skills which develop through practice and review. When using these skills, students monitor for meaning and self-correct. To assist children to read effectively some questions that may be asked are as follows:

  • M (Meaning) – Does the word you read make sense in the sentence?

  • S (Syntax) – Does the word you read fit grammatically in the sentence?

  • V (Visual) – Does the word you read match the letters/phonics patterns?

Over the years, there have been many programs which use this approach and I have personally used, for example, Jolly Phonics, Fitzroy Levelled Readers, Minilit, Sound Waves, SPELD and Sounds-Write to name a few. These programs are still valid and used in schools today.


The teachers in the Primary school use similar programs to ensure students are being taught explicitly, systematically and holistically. But the best tool is to make reading fun and engaging so students will wish to read more.


At Rockhampton Girls Grammar School, we are currently working on two ways to engage students across the school, The Premiers Reading Challenge and the Inter-House Reading Competition. Please encourage your daughter to visit the library and participate in these initiatives and watch her reading soar.


The best thing about a book…you can read it again and it doesn’t need charging!


Jacqui Goltz

Director of Primary


1. journal.imse.com/what-is-the-science-of-reading

2. littlelearnersloveliteracy.com.au/blogs/why-llll/the-science-of-reading

3. learningattheprimarypond.com/blog/what-is-the-science-of-reading

4. Scarborough Reading Rope

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