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Australian Curriculum Update: English


The Australian Curriculum version 8 has been released with important updates for English – specifically for the newly named sub-strand phonics and word knowledge.

The ACARA ’What’s changed for version 8’ press release states:

The presence of phonics and phonemic awareness in the Australian Curriculum: English has been increased. The sound and letter knowledge sub-strand of the language strand has been strengthened and renamed phonics and word knowledge, comprising three threads: phonological and phonemic awareness, alphabet and phonic knowledge, and spelling. 

In summary, the improvements to this sub-strand include:

  • an extension of phonological and phonemic awareness knowledge beyond Year 2 (now to Year 10)
  • an increased application of segmenting and blending skills
  • application of alphabet and phonic knowledge beyond Year 1 (now to Year 10)
  • a strengthened focus on the relationship between sounds and letters (graphemes)
  • an increase in understanding of letters and letter patterns within words.

Full details of the Curriculum improvements can be found in the Tracked changes for Foundation – Year 10 Australian Curriculum document.

So what does this mean for my Sound Waves lessons?

We’ve investigated the changes and can confirm that the Sound Waves program comprehensively covers all three threads in the phonics and word knowledge sub-strand.

So if you already teach a Sound Waves program, you’ve got the Curriculum covered!

I don’t use Sound Waves – how can I find out more?

Sound Waves is the only Australian whole school phonemic spelling program. You can get started from as little as $3 per student with a School Licence. To find out more: