Science of Reading

The Science of Reading refers to a vast body of research on learning to read with contributions from various disciplines, including cognitive science, linguistics, psychology, education, psychology, neurology, and more.


The Science of Reading has evolved from varied research areas, participants, and statistical analyses. We have insight into how humans learn to read now, the skills required, and which parts of the brain are involved in literacy development from a wide range of empirically supported research. Using this research, we can identify an evidence-based best practice approach to teaching foundational literacy.


We now know a great deal about how the brain develops as we learn to read and what instructional practices are most effective for all children. We are committed to stopping doing what doesn't work and being guided by scientific research to ensure that we deliver on the promise of high-quality literacy for every student every day.


Professor Pamela Snow discusses reading in our school system and the different types of instruction our children can receive.

Professor Pam Snow: Dear Parents: Welcome to the Confusing World of Reading Instruction 


Nancy Young's globally recognised Ladder of Reading illustrates the ratio of students who require an explicit, sequential, systematic, synthetic phonics approach. The infographic compares the small percentage of children who learn to read effortlessly. Her Ladder of Reading (see links) succinctly shows us how Structured Literacy, as we use it at Chelsea Primary School, is advantageous for ALL students, not just struggling learners.


SOR Explanation: SOR 3 minutes explanation! by Dr Stephanie Stollar


Orthographic Mapping Explainer:

Orthographic mapping explainer! by Lyn Stone


How we learn to Read and the Simple View of Reading: The Simple View of Reading (Gough and Tunmer, 1986) is a representation of how reading comprehension comprises two sets of equally essential skills: decoding and linguistic comprehension. Many educators are familiar with the Reading Rope, a visual representation of the many strands woven into skilled reading. See Scarborough's Rope.


Emily Hanford's AMP Reports:

Emily Hanford: At A Loss For Words What's - Wrong With How Schools Teach Reading (Podcast Version)

Dyslexia Victoria Support: can provide information & support to parents on literacy and numeracy instruction for struggling learners.

Centred on improving reading and writing outcomes, the Catalyst literacy approach will help us realise our goal of “every student a competent reader”.


Our teaching approach for literacy is backed by a comprehensive body of knowledge and research on how students learn to read​, known as the Science of Reading. We believe reading is a key enabler for learning – when students can read well, they build their capacity to learn and build greater knowledge.


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