At Bonbeach Primary School, we focus on research based practices, such as the Science of Reading, to deliver classroom instruction that allows students to learn and develop into confident and capable readers. During our reading sessions, modeled and shared reading is used by teachers to target whole class needs.


We follow the Simple View of reading where teachers explore elements of reading, including ‘The Big Six’:

  • Oral Language - Oral language is the foundation of all literacy skills. If young children experience rich oral language by talking with and listening to adults and other children, they will have a large ‘bank’ of spoken vocabulary, words they understand when used in spoken communication
  • Phonological Awareness - The ability to recognise and manipulate the phonemes (sounds) in spoken words,
  • Phonics - The understanding that there is a relationship between the individual sounds (the phonemes) of spoken language and the letters (graphemes) that represent those sounds in written language.
  • Fluency - The ability to read text accurately, quickly and with expression.
  • Vocabulary - The knowledge of words, including their structure (morphology), use (grammar) and meanings (semantics).
  • Comprehension - The ability to understand what they have read.




In order to support beginning learners, Foundation students at Bonbeach Primary School are involved in explicit teaching sessions; engaging and relevant hands-on activities and Story Time, which stimulates their curiosity about the world and enhances their vocabulary. Prep students sing, chant and listen to rhymes, are involved in performance, read and write daily and are encouraged to express their ideas and opinions during book discussions. They take part in explicit teaching sessions, small group activities, individual conferences with the teacher and peer tasks.


Years One - Two


Students in our Junior School focus on learning to read. 

  • During Years One and Two, the students transfer what they learn during spelling - Phonemic Awareness and Phonics. 
  • They are explicitly taught decoding strategies to promote accuracy for reading unfamiliar words: Lefty Larry, Grapheme Grasshopper, Blendy Wendy, Syllable Sam, Chase the Base and Lucy Lightbulb


Decoding Strategies

  • For students starting to read, we incorporate decodable texts that allow them to achieve success in these using decoding strategies and apply the sounds to letters that are being taught in the classroom.
  • In our Junior classrooms, students are exposed to what a fluent reader sounds like and how punctuation affects our fluency. They have the opportunity to practice the same text multiple times during the week.
  • Vocabulary is explored before and during reading of texts - what it means and examples in sentences. 
  • We explore our understanding of texts, through thinking activities, such as See, Think and Wonder. The students are given opportunities to apply their literal comprehension (what they see), inferential comprehension (what they think is happening) and questioning skills (what else am I curious about) to photos, short texts, songs, poetry and longer texts for more confident students. 
  • At Bonbeach Primary School, we believe that exploring a text over the course of a week allows for deeper understanding and exploration of further comprehension skills. This includes making connections to themselves and the world around them, and visualisation.
  • Buddy and Independent Reading time allows for students to put into practice skills which have been explicitly taught during whole class or small group sessions. During Independent Reading, teachers conference with small groups of students to develop individual reading goals.


Years Three - Six

Students in Years Three to Six focus on reading to learn. 

  • Students in our Middle and Senior school focus on building vocabulary by exploring synonyms and upleveling words. 
  • We explore syntax and the understanding of a sentence or paragraph of writing. Syntax is the study and understanding of grammar — the system and arrangement of words, phrases, and clauses that make up a sentence. In order to comprehend a sentence, the reader must process, store (in working memory), and integrate a variety of syntactic and word meaning information (Paris & Hamilton, 2009).
  • Students are supported in developing the skills required to think critically about high quality texts through building comprehension strategies: inferencing, examining author’s purpose, summarising, cause and effect, making connections and questioning.
  • Students explore texts through Literary Circles. They have the opportunity to work in small groups to break apart texts at their level of reading. 



At Bonbeach Primary School, students are exposed to high quality writing through mentor texts. They explore why and how authors create excellent pieces of writing by focussing on:

  • Voice, 
  • Organisation, 
  • Ideas, 
  • Vocabulary, 
  • Cohesion,
  • Sentence Structure and 
  • Conventions.


Students are exposed to writing for specific purposes by developing a clear understanding of the structures of various text types. 


Whole class needs are explicitly taught through modeled and shared writing mini-lessons. Individual and small group goals are specifically targeted through Guided Writing groups and one to one conferencing with the teacher. 


Students explore different writing genres over a 2 - 3 week period. They have the opportunity to construct their own piece of writing over the course of a week by going through the process of brainstorming ideas through talking with their peers, drafting a copy and editing and revising their work. 




At Bonbeach Primary we incorporate both SMART Spelling and MSL instruction. 


All of the staff, including Education Support Staff, are trained in SMART Spelling. 


We have 1 accredited teacher and 4 trained teachers to deliver MSL instruction. 


SMART Spelling - is an explicit and systematic approach to the teaching of spelling. It includes a scope and sequence, beginning in Foundation through to Year 6. SMART spelling focusses on teaching the meaning of words to expand vocabulary and then breaks words into syllables, sounds and letter patterns (graphs, digraphs and trigraphs). Students must be able to read words, understand what they mean and how to use them.


MSL - MSL is also known as: Orton Gillingham (OG) and or Structured Literacy (SL) in the USA. IMSLE in Australia. (Institute of Multisensory Language Education in Australia)


This synthetic approach (not a course or a program) is primarily concerned with the learning and teaching of phonemes (sounds) and their graphemes (corresponding symbols). It is based on a Neurological framework and is language based. It focuses on teaching the rules of spelling - when to use specific spelling patterns. It is used as an approach to teach students with Dyslexia, but used in a classroom as ‘best practice’ for all students to learn.



SMART Foundation teaches sounds and letters from the ‘Word of the Week’ and common words from 

‘The Sentence of the Week’! 

  • The 'Word of the Week' inspires curiosity, excitement, hands-on shared experiences and rich oral language.
  • Sounds and letters are taught explicitly and systematically in a carefully structured sequence from the Words of the Week. 
  • ‘The Sentence of the Week’ places the most commonly seen words into meaningful sentences. These common words are explicitly taught by the classroom teacher and there is also home learning to support this called…‘My Weekly Words’


Years 1 - 6

Spelling conventions and handwriting skills are supported through whole class and small group instruction.


We follow a scope and sequence that explicitly teaches spelling patterns, one at a time. We focus on teaching the meaning of words to expand vocabulary, and then break words into syllables, sounds and letter patterns (graphs, digraphs and trigraphs).


Over the course of the week, students will have the opportunity to read (decode) and spell (encode) various words and explore the spelling pattern, while revisiting previous spelling focuses. Each week finishes with a short dictation that also acts as a revision for our writing focus e.g. punctuation, sentence structure.