This year one of our school goals is to develop an ongoing whole school approach for the teaching of spelling. Together as a staff we have dedicated time for collaborative learning discussions to deepen beliefs, understandings and practices about the teaching of spelling.

We have reviewed latest research and we know that teaching spelling effectively can also support reading and writing development. Our aim is to embed spelling within the whole reading and writing program, and ensure it is a part of all encounters with print in all learning areas. Regular opportunities to write and proofread writing are integral to spelling success.

Children benefit from being taught a repertoire of strategies that tap into all the key spelling knowledges: phonology (study of speech sounds), morphology (the study of the structure and form of words), orthography (representation of sounds of a language by written symbols) and etymology (the study of the origin of words and the way their meanings have changed over time).

The aim is for our students to be aware of all spelling strategies (metacognition); we know that effective spellers have the ability to use a variety of strategies to work out how to spell an unfamiliar word. In their word studies, students especially love learning about where words come from.

“Almost every word tells a story. Did you know that Macadamia nuts were named after a Scottish-born scientist living in Australia, John Macadam?

What do garlic, garfish and Edgar have in common? The morpheme ‘gar’, means spear. So garlic is a spear-shaped leek, Garfish are spear-shaped fish and Ed meant prosperity – so Edgar is a wealthy warrior.” (‘Spelling It Out’ by Misty Adoniou)

We will be continuing our learning about the teaching of spelling throughout the year and look forward to sharing our new learnings with you.

Denise Thomas
Primary Learning Leader​