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THRASS (Teaching Handwriting Reading and Spelling) is a pedagogical approach that is underpinned by the secure research of the linguistics of English language. At our School, we use this approach, rather than a pre-packaged program, as it allows teachers to differentiate our approach to language to support the individual needs of the students in the room, rather than assuming all students require the same instruction.

St Peter’s College Junior School teachers are skilled in the teaching of an approach that includes the following to teach phonics and spelling to students:

  • Phonetics
  • Phonology
  • Orthography
  • Morphology

Denyse Ritchie, the co-creator of THRASS, has been working with students and teachers in our School this week. As our vision is to be an exceptional community of learning, we believe that every person has something to learn every day. Denyse has modelled lessons with classes across the School which have been attended by language. These lessons have not only supported student learning but were exemplary lessons for teachers to learn from; this further positively affects their pedagogy in delivering the above skills to students.

Denyse has also delivered a staff meeting and a three-day professional learning conference. Teachers from our School, and other schools in Adelaide, have visited St Peter’s College to further their understanding of the linguistic knowledge and the practical implementation of this within the classroom – truly demonstrating the enactment of our vision.

I look forward to teachers furthering their already outstanding practice in the teaching of THRASS to your son. If you would like to learn more about THRASS and how you can support your son at home, we will be hosting a parent workshop on Thursday 30 June (Week 9) in the Function Space at 8.30am; booking details will be sent next week.

Jon Gelsthorpe 

Deputy Head of Junior School – Teaching and Learning