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Australian Curriculum v9.0 and Playberry Laser T1-2 Literacy Program

The following document illustrates the correlations between the Playberry Laser Literacy Program and the Australian National Curriculum v9.0 for English (ACARA, 2022). It includes a discussion of the English curriculum's strands and a list of the individual F–6 content descriptions most directly linked to the program.

Playberry Laser T1.2 and Australian Curriculum v9.0

Picture of Christie-Lee Hansberry

Christie-Lee Hansberry

Co-Director Playberry Laser

Playberry Laser T1-2 follows a structured, systematic, synthetic phonics approach to teaching reading and spelling. Learning to read involves recognising individual sounds in words (phonemes) and mapping them to the letters or groups of letters (graphemes) representing those sounds.

By explicitly teaching the relationships between letters and sounds, children develop foundational skills necessary for reading fluently and accurately. The efficacy of the structured, synthetic phonics approach is supported by one of the strongest evidence bases in educational research.

In the early years of Playberry Laser, students learn how to read and spell basic code (letter-sound correspondences) and progress to more complex letter-sound correspondences (extended code). Supporting knowledge like spelling rules, syllable types, and syllable division is taught, as these concepts support decoding and correct orthographic choice when spelling.

In the middle years, students consolidate their knowledge of extended code, less frequent, more complex spelling patterns, syllable type knowledge, and spelling rules that support accurate orthographic choice.

Students in the upper years consolidate less frequent spellings and master spelling rules associated with how meaningful word parts (morphemes) come together. From Reception to Year 6, students are taught morphemes, grammar concepts, and standard spelling rules.

Playberry Laser T1-2 sets a bar .

We train teachers to use high-impact teaching methods and an instructional coaching model to help teachers continually hone their instructional methods and routines. We focus on direct and explicit teaching and support teachers to constantly sharpen their instruction to remove extraneous elements (cutting the fluff) and focus on tight instructional routines that hold student attention through high rates of response (teaching the stuff). We also support schools in implementing a multi-tiered system of support (aka Response to Intervention).

Correlations between Playberry Laser T1-2 and the Australian National Curriculum v9.0 for English (ACARA, 2022).

Strands and Sub-Strands  

The Australian National Curriculum: English (ACARA, 2022) is presented in year levels from Foundation to Year 10. Content is organised into three interrelated strands:   

  • Language
  • Literature
  • Literacy

The Language sub-strand is about students developing their knowledge of the English language and how it works. Students discover the patterns and purposes of English usage, including spelling, grammar and punctuation at word, sentence and extended text levels. This sub-strand is about students gaining a consistent understanding and talking about language, language in use and language as a system. This strand informs teaching and learning activities and connects to key concepts and skills in the other strands.  (ACARA, 2022)  

The substrand of Literature engages students in the study of literary texts of personal, cultural, social and aesthetic value. Students appreciate, analyse, interpret and evaluate a range of literary texts. (ACARA, 2022)  

The final substrand in ACARA v9 is Literacy. Within this sub-strand, students develop their ability to interpret and create texts with appropriateness, accuracy, confidence, fluency and efficacy for learning in and out of school. They learn English’s sound (phonemes) and letter (graphemes) correspondences and how they combine when reading and writing. Students learn to adapt language to meet the demands of general or specialised purposes, audiences and contexts. (ACARA, 2022)  

The Playberry Laser Literacy Program engages with elements of all three main strands to a greater or lesser degree. However, many of our lessons focus on building knowledge and skills within the Literacy strand.

ACARA v9 Content Descriptions: English

Australian Curriculum content descriptors outline the essential knowledge, understanding, and skills that students are expected to develop at each year level across different learning areas. These descriptors provide a framework for teachers to plan and deliver instruction and for assessment purposes.

Following are the content descriptors that most closely align with the Playberry Laser Literacy Program.



Understand conventions of print and screen, including how books and simple digital texts are usually organised. AC9EFLA04  

Recognise that sentences are groups of words that work together in particular ways to make meaning. AC9EFLA06 

Recognise and develop awareness of vocabulary used in familiar contexts related to everyday experiences, personal interests and topics taught at school. AC9EFLA08  

Identify punctuation as a feature of written text different from letters; recognise that capital letters are used for names and that capital letters signal the beginning of sentences while punctuation marks signal the end. AC9EFLA09  


Interact in informal and structured situations by listening while others speak and using voice features, including volume levels. AC9EFLY02

Read decodable and authentic texts using developing phonic knowledge and monitor meaning using context and emerging grammatical knowledge. AC9EFLY04  

Use comprehension strategies such as visualising, predicting, connecting, summarising and questioning to understand and discuss texts listened to, viewed or read independently. AC9EFLY05

Create and participate in shared editing of short written texts to record and report ideas and events using some learned vocabulary, basic sentence boundary punctuation, and spelling some consonant–vowel–consonant words correctly. AC9EFLY06  

Form most lower-case and upper-case letters using learnt letter formations. AC9EFLY08

Recognise and generate rhyming words, alliteration patterns, syllables and sounds (phonemes) in spoken words (phonological awareness). AC9EFLY09

Segment sentences into individual words; orally blend and segment single-syllable spoken words; isolate, blend and manipulate phonemes in single-syllable words (phonological awareness). AC9EFLY10

Recognise and name all upper- and lower-case letters (graphs) and know each letter’s most common sound. AC9EFLY11

Write consonant–vowel–consonant (CVC) words by representing sounds with the appropriate letters and blending sounds associated with letters when reading CVC words. AC9EFLY12

Use knowledge of letters and sounds to spell words. AC9EFLY13

Read and write some high-frequency words and other familiar words. AC9EFLY14  

Understand that words are units of meaning and can be made of more than one meaningful part. AC9EFLY15   

Year 1


Understand that words can represent people, places and things (nouns, including pronouns), happenings and states (verbs), qualities (adjectives) and details such as when, where and how (adverbs). AC9E1LA07  

Recognise the vocabulary of learning area topics. AC9E1LA09  

Understand that written language uses punctuation such as full stops, question marks, exclamation marks, and capital letters for familiar proper nouns. AC9E1LA10 


Use interaction skills, including turn-taking, speaking clearly, using active listening behaviours, responding to the contributions of others, and contributing ideas and questions. AC9E1LY02

Read decodable and authentic texts using developing phonic knowledge, phrasing and fluency, and monitoring meaning using context and grammatical knowledge. AC9E1LY04  

Use comprehension strategies such as visualising, predicting, connecting, summarising and questioning when listening, viewing and reading to build literal and inferred meaning by drawing on vocabulary and growing knowledge of context and text structures. AC9E1LY05

Segment words into separate phonemes (sounds), including consonant blends or clusters at the beginnings and ends of words (phonological awareness). AC9E1LY09

Orally manipulate phonemes in spoken words by addition, deletion and substituting initial, medial and final phonemes to generate new words (phonological awareness). AC9E1LY10

Use short vowels, common long vowels, consonant blends and digraphs to write words, and blend these to read one- and two-syllable words. AC9E1LY11  

Understand that a letter can represent more than one sound and that a syllable must contain a vowel sound. AC9E1LY12  

Spell one- and two-syllable words with common letter patterns. AC9E1LY13

Read and write an increasing number of high-frequency words. AC9E1LY14

Recognise and know how to use grammatical morphemes to create word families. AC9E1LY15

Year 2


Recognise that capital letters are used in titles and commas are used to separate items in lists. AC9E2LA10  


Read texts with phrasing and fluency, using phonic and word knowledge, and monitoring meaning by re-reading and self-correcting. AC9E2LY04  

Use comprehension strategies such as visualising, predicting, connecting, summarising, monitoring and questioning to build literal and inferred meaning. AC9E2LY05  

Write words legibly and with growing fluency using unjoined upper-case and lower-case letters. AC9E2LY08

Manipulate more complex sounds in spoken words and use knowledge of blending, segmenting, phoneme deletion and phoneme substitution to read and write words. AC9E2LY09

Use phoneme–grapheme (sound–letter/s) matches, including vowel digraphs, less common long vowel patterns, consonant clusters and silent letters when reading and writing words of one or more syllables, including compound words. AC9E2LY10

Use knowledge of spelling patterns and morphemes to read and write words whose spelling is not completely predictable from their sounds, including high-frequency words. AC9E2LY11  

Build morphemic word families using knowledge of prefixes and suffixes. AC9E2LY12

Year 3


Understand how verbs represent different processes for doing, feeling, thinking, saying and relating. AC9E3LA07  

Understand that verbs are anchored in time through tense. AC9E3LA08  

Extend topic-specific and technical vocabulary and know that words can have different meanings in different contexts. AC9E3LA10  

Understand that apostrophes signal missing letters in contractions, and apostrophes are used to show singular and plural possession. AC9E3LA11  


Read a range of texts using phonic, semantic and grammatical knowledge to read accurately and fluently, re-reading and self-correcting when required. AC9E3LY04  

Use comprehension strategies when listening and viewing to build literal and inferred meaning. Then, begin to evaluate texts by drawing on a growing knowledge of context, text structures and language features. AC9E3LY05

Write words using joined letters that are clearly formed and consistent in size. AC9E3LY08  

Understand how to apply knowledge of phoneme–grapheme (sound–letter) relationships, syllables, and blending and segmenting to fluently read and write multisyllabic words with more complex letter patterns. AC9E3LY09

Understand how to apply knowledge of common base words, prefixes, suffixes and generalisations for adding a suffix to a base word to read and comprehend new multimorphemic words. AC9E3LY10   

Use phoneme–grapheme (sound–letter) relationships and less common letter patterns to spell words. AC9EFLY11

Recognise and know how to write most high-frequency words, including some homophones. AC9E3LY12

Year 4


Expand vocabulary by exploring a range of synonyms and antonyms, and using words encountered in a range of sources. AC9E4LA11  

Understand that punctuation signals dialogue through quotation marks and that dialogue follows conventions for using capital letters, commas and boundary punctuation. AC9E4LA12  


Read different types of texts, integrating phonic, semantic and grammatical knowledge to read accurately and fluently, re-reading and self-correcting when needed. AC9E4LY04

Use comprehension strategies such as visualising, predicting, connecting, summarising, monitoring and questioning to build literal and inferred meaning, to expand topic knowledge and ideas, and evaluate texts. AC9E4LY05

Write words using clearly formed joined letters, with developing fluency and automaticity. AC9E4LY08

Understand how to use and apply phonological and morphological knowledge to read and write multisyllabic words with more complex letter combinations, including a variety of vowel sounds and known prefixes and suffixes. AC9E4LY09 

Understand how to use knowledge of letter patterns, including double letters, spelling generalisations, morphological word families, common prefixes and suffixes, and word origins, to spell more complex words. AC9E4LY10

Read and write high-frequency words, including homophones, and know how to use context to identify correct spelling. AC9E4LY11

Year 5


Navigate and read texts for specific purposes, monitoring meaning using strategies such as skimming, scanning and confirming. AC9E5LY04

Use comprehension strategies such as visualising, predicting, connecting, summarising, monitoring and questioning to build literal and inferred meaning to evaluate information and ideas. AC9E5LY05

Use phonic, morphemic, and vocabulary knowledge to read and spell words with common letter patterns but different pronunciations. AC9E5LY08  

Build and spell new words from knowledge of known words, base words, prefixes and suffixes, word origins, letter patterns and spelling generalisations. AC9E5LY09  

Explore less common plurals and understand how a suffix changes a word’s meaning or grammatical form. AC9E5LY10 

Year 6


Use phonic knowledge of common and less common grapheme–phoneme relationships to read and write increasingly complex words. AC9E6LY08

Use knowledge of known words and word origins, including some Latin and Greek roots, base words, prefixes, suffixes, letter patterns and spelling generalisations to spell new words, including technical words. AC9E6LY09



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