To be successful 21st century citizens students must be literate. Literacy involves students listening to, reading, viewing, speaking, writing and creating oral, print, visual and digital texts, and using and modifying language for different purposes in a range of contexts'. Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) 

The skills and understandings of Literacy are developmental and as such our teachers will emphasise different areas as students progress though their schooling.

Early Years

Heggerty Phonemic Awareness Program

The journey to reading begins with phonemic awareness. Phonemic awareness is the ability to understand that spoken words are made up of individual sounds called phonemes, and it's one of the best early predictors for reading success. Phonemic awareness comes before learning how to read and write using letters.

The Heggerty Phonemic Awareness Program involves quick daily lessons, focussing on 8 phonemic awareness skills. Phonemic awareness training provides the foundation on which phonics instruction is built. Thus, children need solid phonemic awareness training for phonics instruction to be effective.  

Please visit this website for more information:

Jolly Phonics

Jolly Phonics is a synthetic phonics program that has been successfully implemented  for several years at Mount Mee State School.

What is a synthetics phonics program?

·        Synthetic phonics is a method of teaching where words are broken up into the smallest units of sound (phonemes). Children learn to make connections between the letters of written texts (graphemes, or letter symbols) and the sounds of spoken language. Synthetic phonics also teaches children how to identify all the phonemes in a word and match them to a letter in order to be able to spell correctly.

·        Children are taught how to break up words, or decode them, into individual sounds, and then blend all the way through the word.

·        New sounds are not introduced in alphabetical order, and they are introduced quickly. Synthetic phonics means that children are able to read a range of easily decodable words sooner.


The Five Skills Taught in Jolly Phonics

·        Learning the letter sounds- Children are taught the 42 main letter sounds.

·        Learning letter formation- Children learn how to form and write the letters.

·        Blending-Children are taught how to blend the sounds together to read and write new words.

·        Identifying the sounds in words (Segmenting)- Children are taught the 42 main letter sounds. 

·        Tricky words- Tricky words have irregular spellings and children learn these separately.

Children are taught actions to help them remember the   letters (graphemes) that match each sound (phonemes). Visit this website to find out what each action is.


Casey the Caterpillar Handwriting

The story of Casey the Caterpillar underpins The Magic Caterpillar Handwriting. It is a process to develop correct letter formation and is used worldwide now. The Magic Caterpillar Handwriting Process is regarded as the “hub" of literacy as it brings together:

·        Letter shapes

·        Concepts of left to right and back to the margin ( the tree trunk) and down to the next line ( branch)

  • The concept of letter and the concept of word
  • Building up of automaticity of high frequency words
  • The start of sentence writing.

All elements are taught through the process of learning to write and recognise the shapes that form letters.

Please visit YouTube if you would like to view the Casey the Caterpillar story:

Read it Again

Oral language and knowing how books work: five from five:


Sight Words

Whilst it is useful to be able to automatically recognise high frequency words it is important to carefully balance the emphasis of sight words and decodeable words.

At Mount Mee SS we recognise the importance of supporting students to be able to recognise and use the relationships between sounds and letters in order to be able to decode words. There are some words however that have unusual letter/sound patterns and can be difficult to decode (sound out), EG was and the.

 After students have had sufficient opportunity to learn the letters and sounds through Jolly Phonic they will be required to practice decoding words and learning some high frequency words by sight using the Magic 100 lists.

Early, Middle and Upper Years

Words Their Way Spelling

Words Their Way, it is a developmental spelling program which has students work with level-appropriate word sorts in order to improve their understanding of the written language.  Word sorts are simply a set of words which fall into certain spelling, sound, or semantic (meaning)  categories.

 In terms 2-4  students from across all year levels are grouped according to their developmental spelling knowledge. This information is gained from and assessment conducted in Term 4 of the previous year.

Each group will be made of students from mixed year levels who all exhibit the same learning needs. Students will focus on looking for spelling patterns in groups of words.

Reading Comprehensions Strategies


Children's motivation and achievements improve when their parents are involved in their education. Please see the following attachments if your seeking ideas about how to support your child's literacy development. 

Last reviewed 09 May 2022
Last updated 09 May 2022