At Wilandra Rise Primary School, our aim is to provide students with a positive and supportive model to learning Reading and Writing. We develop in students the ability to speak, listen, read, view and write effectively with confidence, purpose and enjoyment. 


Reading and Phonics at WRPS

What is Systematic Synthetic Phonics?


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.


Example: In the word bat, children learn to identify three individual phonemes using the synthetic phonics method: /b/ /a/ /t/ that can be blended back together to produce a word. The ‘synthetic’ part of this particular phonics instruction derives from the process of synthesising or blending sounds to create words.


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.


This means that if a child is introduced to the sounds /m/ /s/ /a/ /t/ they can quickly read the words at, mat, sat, am, Sam etc.


At Wilandra Rise Primary School we follow this program as it is one of the building blocks to becoming a successful reader. Before our students can read fluently, understand vocabulary and comprend a read text, we need to expose them to oral language opportunities, phonemic awareness activities and the Phonics curriculum which we teach via the Simple Code and Complex Code from Foundation to Year Six. 


What is Talk for Writing?

Many students find the writing process extremely challenging. These students may have wonderful ideas, but struggle to get their thoughts onto the page. Even those who read reasonably well can experience difficulty with written expression.


Talk for Writing is a unique process that uses spoken (oral) activities to develop writing skills.


Quality writing is created by first expanding and developing students’ oral language skills and then teaching the necessary steps for exceptional sentence, paragraph and text construction. Talk for Writing has the potential to dramatically improve students’ writing. The approach also offers students with learning and language difficulties an opportunity to develop stronger writing skills. Feedback from students indicates that they find Talk for Writing ‘fun, engaging and motivating.’


We are very excited to announce that at Wilandra Rise Primary School we have started to use this approach when teaching writing across the school.


Teachers are participating in weekly Professional Development sessions to upskill staff in this writing process and continuing to build teacher capacity to effectively teach writing in their classrooms and engage students.

Talk for Writing is a sequential and systematic approach that enables students to access explicit teaching of both fiction and non-fiction texts. Students are encouraged to delve into the specific literacy tools and devices used by authors to engage their audience.


This process started in 2020 in Foundation and Year 1 and in 2022 we began to embed it in the middle and senior school. It is pleasing to observe a significant increase in student engagement during Writing sessions. In addition, pre and post writing data is also indicating an improvement in student learning outcomes in writing.



Talk for Writing is built on three stages of teaching:

  • Imitation - the children learn a text and the language they need. During this phase students are encouraged to orally rehearse and internalise a text both in the classroom and at home.
  • Innovation - the children adapt the model text with ideas of their own.
  • Invention - the children create their own text using the language and skills that the model taught them.


During each unit of work, we follow a certain process to cover a range of English outcomes including comprehension, grammar, spelling, handwriting, sentence and paragraph tasks, creating toolkits, writing and editing skills:



To find out more about Talk for Writing follow the below link to listen to Pie Corbett (Talk for Writing founder) explain why this approach to teaching writing is so successful.


Talk for Writing


Please ask your child about what they are learning in writing sessions at school and encourage them to orally rehearse the texts at home.


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