At Southern Cross Primary School we use a school-wide model for teaching reading, writing and spelling, targeting the needs of each individual child. Our programs are hands on, consistent across each level and structured to suit the needs and interests of our students. 



At SCPS we are committed to explicitly and systematically teaching fundamental Literacy skills daily.  We provide students with opportunities to develop skills in the English modes of Reading and Viewing, Writing and Speaking and Listening through the strands of Language, Literacy and Literacy, aligned with the Victorian Curriculum.  In 2022, we began the shift from a balanced reading approach to instructional practice aligned with the Science of Reading. 


The staff at SCPS use an structured and explicit approach to teach the Big 6 of Reading:


  1. Oral Language – The ability to speak and listen, to communicate a message and to understand what is said.
  2. Phonemic Awareness - The ability to identify and manipulate the individual sounds in spoken words.
  3. Phonics - The ability to decode words using knowledge of letter-sound relationships- decoding strategies include syllabification, segmenting and blending sounds together to read words.
  4. Fluency - Reading with appropriate pace and accuracy ensures words/texts are understood, usually requiring words read in a minute. The better the fluency, the greater the comprehension.
  5. Vocabulary - Knowing the meaning of a wide variety of words and the structure of written language- word origins (etymology).
  6. Comprehension - Understanding the meaning and intent of the word/ text- With appropriate pace comes greater comprehension and understanding of information.


Our structed approach to teaching writing includes:


  1. Spelling - blending and segmenting words.  The Students are explicitly taught the syllable types and morphology (prefixes and suffixes) and the spelling rules that govern them.  SCPS uses aspects of the Smart Spelling Program to support student spelling development.
  2. Grammar - Grammar is explicitly taught across the school directly linked to rich literature and experiences.  SCPS uses methods based on the Hochman Method (writing revolution) to systematically build sentence structure and enhance vocabulary.
  3. Vocabulary - vocabulary, also being 1 of the Big 6 of reading is essential in academic success and achievement.  Exposing students to a wide range of vocabulary and developing a more sophisticated and mature vocabulary is a key ingredient in reading, writing and speaking and listening.   This is done in various ways at SCPS and includes a systematic approach in formal instruction.
  4. Genre - SCPS supports genre development through Seven Steps to Writing Success.  Students are immersed in various genres, including narrative, procedural, persuasive, informative throughout the year.  They explore the structure, grammar and vocabulary associated with the genre and build their ability to create their own texts in various ways including multimodal techniques.
  • Plan for Success- helps students visualize and clarify their ideas
  • Sizzling Starts- encourages students to start where the action is
  • Tightening Tension- using 3 paragraphs (pebble, rock, boulder) students build tension
  • Dynamic Dialogue- including talking but skipping the boring bits
  • Show, Don’t Tell- using descriptive language
  • Ban the Boring- No waking up, eating breakfast, getting on buses- straight to the action
  • Exciting Ending- ending on a high