Why are the Sound Units in Foundation in a different order to Years 1–6?
Sound Waves Spelling
The sequence of the Foundation Program is deliberately constructed to suit the age and learning ability of Foundation students. The program is divided into two phases.
The first phase (Exploring Sounds) is an oral and kinaesthetic phase where students learn to hear and shape the 43 individual sounds and link them to the associated icons. Consonant sounds are introduced first, followed by vowel sounds. This is the same order as in the Chants and Actions, an integral learning tool for students.
The second phase (Discovering Graphemes) introduces students to single graphemes first (m, a, t, s, i, d down to z). This is followed by the introduction of common but more complex consonant and vowel graphemes, and finally /er/ for the schwa sound. This order of introduction enables students to read and spell multiple words within the first few weeks of the teaching process. This is very satisfying for students and encourages them to become good encoders and decoders very quickly.