Students from Year 2-6 participate in Spelling Mastery every day from 9.00-9.25am. This 6-level direct instruction program combines three approaches to teach spelling.

Whole Wordmemorisation of irregularly spelled words that do not fit generalisations, e.g. answer, through.

Phonemic – application of sound-letter relationships to help spellers apply generalisations to regularly spelled words, e.g. m/a/n.

Morphemic – combination of meaningful spelling units (bases and affixes) to form words using rules to combine the units, e.g. run-n-ing.

Students are allocated to a multiage spelling group following a placement test. Content in each level is taught and reviewed systematically with Levels A and B focusing on phonemic and whole word approaches and Levels C-F placing greater emphasis on morphographic strategies.


  • Morphograph – smallest units of words that have meaning e.g. ‘run’, ‘-ing’, ‘un-‘.
  • Phoneme – the smallest units of speech sounds. There are 44 speech sounds in the English language.
  • Vowel – a speech sound represented by the letters a, e, i, o, u. Can be short (a as in cat) or long (a as in ape). Air is not blocked by the lips, tongue or throat before leaving the mouth.
  • Consonant – a speech sound represented by the letters that are not vowels. Air is blocked by the lips, tongue or throat before leaving the mouth.
  • Diagraph – pairs of consonants or vowels that make a single speech sound e.g. sh, ai, wh, oo
  • CVC word – a three letter word spelled with a consonant, vowel, consonant.
  • Short word – a word spelled with four or fewer letters.

For more information, visit the Australian Council for Educational Research Spelling Mastery (acer.org)