Nurturing young people to reach their full potential under Christ.

What is Spalding?

What is the Spalding Method?


Covenant’s literacy curriculum uses The Spalding Method, a comprehensive Years K-6 total language program called The Writing Road to Reading.

This program aims to teach all students to spell, write and read. The success of The Spalding Method with diverse students, including those who have learning disabilities or are learning English as a second language, is in large part due to the integration of scientifically-based content and methodology.

The Writing Road to Reading is a favourite of classroom and resource room teachers, adult educators as well as home educators because Spalding-taught students become competent and enthusiastic readers, spellers and writers. It is used with great success in Australia, Canada, Central America, Europe, Singapore, Taiwan and the United States.

How Does Spalding Work?

The English language is made up of 45 sounds (phenomes). Students are taught the 70 letter combinations (phonograms) that makes up these sounds – along with the 26 rules that govern how they are put together – by Term 3 of Kindergarten. This enables students, within their first year of education, to master the foundational building blocks of the English language. Students are then able to pronounce almost every word they encounter when reading, and are also able to spell and write words they hear.

Isn’t it a bit complicated, expecting children to learn so many sounds and rules, instead of just learning words?

Teaching children to learn and memorise 70 phonograms and 26 rules is actually far easier than expecting them to learn and memorise many of the four hundred thousand words in the English vocabulary, including how to spell and pronounce each one separately. The memorisation of core facts at this early age provides the best foundation for further learning. Students thrive in an environment where they know they have the ability to master their work, and are being set up to succeed.

Don’t Other Schools Teach Spalding?

Most schools do not teach Spalding methods in their literacy programs. Some schools claim to use phonogram methods but often their staff are not professionally trained in this area, or it is not the foundational basis of their curriculum. All Covenant Primary teachers undertake an intensive course with Spalding Education Australia as part of curriculum training.

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