The programme

There are 26 children, all with different names in the playground.  Some of them are playing alone, some in pairs or trios and others in groups and they are all making different noises. They each have their own unique personality: bold, quiet, shy, bossy, energetic, naughty and of course there is always the cheeky one who loves to fool around and play jokes

I liken the alphabet to the children in the playground.  Letters make a certain sound when they are on their own and different sounds when they are joined by others.  They can also be silent, bossy, cheeky and naughty. 

In a playground situation, there are certain rules that children follow when playing games.  Likewise, the alphabet is governed by spelling rules that dictate the sound letters, in particular the vowels, will make.

Children can relate to the letters of the alphabet being likened to them in the playground, hence the title “Playground Sound”. The programme was created as a guide to the fundamentals of English spelling and the decoding of unfamiliar words with a huge emphasis on FUN and multi-sensory learning.  I like to think of it as a "kickstart" programme because it lays the foundation of English words but also develops confidence in children to have a go at new concepts, not be afraid of failure and builds self esteem and a sense of self belief.

I have run Playground Sound in small group sessions at Bayswater West Primary School in Melbourne for the past 2 years with many successful outcomes.  The half an hour a week that children get has proven to be extremely beneficial and many children have moved out of the programme as their academic performance has improved and they are benchmarking at the appropriate level.   I have many success stories but one of the best was a young lady who came to us to repeat Grade 6.  She had an assessed spelling age of 8 and poor comprehension skills but brilliant at maths.  Yes, a literal learner!  At the end of the year her spelling age was 15 and her comprehension had improved significantly.   

 Playground Sound is simple and covers all the spelling rules, phonics etc without using technical jargon.  Each concept has its own programme that is both flexible and adaptable.  It takes into consideration different accents and the most common forms of spelling certain sounds.  It is easy to run, does not require any expensive outlay for equipment, books etc.  Enthusiasm, a good printer, paper, whiteboard,  laminator and some creativity are the key requirements.

 If children follow the spelling strategies given they will have about  80% to 90% chance of spelling, reading and writing words correctly. Research has shown that there are only about 6% of words that ARE THE EXCEPTIONS.  THESE ARE THE NAUGHTY WORDS WHO GET UP TO MISCHIEF AND WON’T DO WHAT THEY ARE EXPECTED TO OR TOLD TO DO.  These words should be caught and kept in a special personal dictionary or box of words (like a jail).  There are many strategies and tricks given for children to remember how to spell these words in the Naughty Word section of the Website.

Playground Sound will be available in stages under the Resource Section of the website in due course.



© Playground Sound