Cable Beach Primary School’s vision is to develop literate, engaged and active members of the community, who have the skills they need to succeed in life and make positive contributions to the society in which they live. To achieve this vision, we are committed to whole of school approaches that provide high quality instruction grounded in evidence-based practices. We use teaching methods that provide explicit and systematic instruction in phonics, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension based on latest research. Our school fosters a culture of reflection regularly evaluating the effectiveness of our literacy instruction and interventions, based on data and feedback from teachers. We use this information to refine our practices and approaches continually striving to improve our students’ literacy outcomes.

Talk for Writing

We use the ‘Talk for Writing’ approach to writing developed by Pie Corbett. It is fun, creative yet also rigorous and has a proven record of accelerating children’s learning.

It starts with enjoying and sharing stories. Throughout the school, we place a strong emphasis on children reading stories and enjoying a range of literature. Through regular reading, we want children to build up an extensive and rich vocabulary for use in their own writing.

Talk for Writing is powerful because it enables children to imitate the language they need for a particular topic orally before reading and analysing it and then writing their own version.  It is built on three stages of teaching:

1) Imitation – the children learn a text and the language they need

2) Innovation – the children adapt the model text with ideas of their own

3) Invention – the children create their own text using the language and skills that the model taught them.

During the initial ‘imitation‘ stage of Talk for Writing, a text (fiction and non-fiction) is introduced and read to the children. Together they learn to tell the story off by heart. To help them remember the text a multi-sensory approach is used. They retell a text with expression and actions and use a visual story map to support their retelling. As children learn the text word for word, they  build up a bank of interesting vocabulary, phrases and types of plot which they can then use in their own writing. The principle is that if a child can tell a story, they will be able to write a story.

Once the story is learnt, children are encouraged to adapt it. At this ‘innovation‘ stage, children make the story their own. They could start with a simple change of character or for older children it may involve telling the story from a different view point. They will make changes to their story map and rehearse retelling their innovated story orally. They will then write out the innovated story in manageable sections and will receive feedback from the teacher. There is an opportunity to respond to this marking before they go on to write the next section. This very supportive and structured approach allows children to gain confidence and know what they need to do in order to get better.

The final stage is the ‘invention‘ stage where the children use all the skills they have learnt to write an independent piece. There is the freedom to draw upon their own ideas and experiences, or they can ‘hug closely’ to the shared text should they need to.

Pie Corbett Discussing The Talk for Writing Process:

Sounds Write

Sounds-Write is a synthetic-based phonics program that we introduce in Pre-primary. Sounds Write teaches students how the alphabetic code works. It teaches students the key skills required to be effective readers and spellers. As your child progresses through their schooling, they are progressively taught to a more sophisticated and complex alphabetical code, allowing them to become masters of the English language.

We use the Sounds-Write program to cater for all levels of students, at a whole class instructional level and providing additional assistance for small group intervention. Sounds Write then teaches those letters or combinations of letters are the ways in which we represent those sounds when we write.

Here is a guide to help you assist your child at home: sound write parent info

You can also visit this website to access a free parent online course assisting parents to support their child at home:,for%20use%20on%20iPads%20only).

Heggerty Phonological Awareness

Phonemic Awareness is the ability to understand that spoken words are made up of individual sounds, called phonemes. It is one of the best early predictors for reading success.  At Cable Beach Primary School, students in the early years engage in daily Phonemic Awareness lessons, using the Heggerty Curriculum.

This program focuses on the 8 phonemic aware skills, along with two additional skills of letter and sound recognition and language awareness:

  •          Rhyming
  •          Onset fluency
  •          Blending
  •          Isolating final and medial phonemes (sounds),
  •          Segmenting
  •          Adding phonemes
  •          Deleting phoneme and
  •          Substituting phoneme

For more information about Heggerty and how you can help your child at home please visit:

Spelling Mastery

Students in Years 3-6 learn to spell using Spelling Mastery which is a differentiated spelling program. The program uses an explicit, teacher-directed method of teaching called Direct Instruction. Spelling Mastery is an effective, research-proven spelling program that teaches students the strategies they need to become successful, life-long spellers.

Spelling Mastery helps students to understand the relationship between sounds, word parts and spelling patterns and encourages them to become proficient writers. Through Spelling Mastery, students learn to spell in three ways:

  1. Students learn words using a phonemic approach. This sound-symbol method teaches students predictable spellings for different sounds.
  2. Students learn using a whole-word approach. This whole-word method teaches students common, irregularly-spelled words. For example, words like friend, answer and people, whose spellings can’t be figured out.
  3. Students learn rules about how to put different word parts together. These word parts are all called morphographs. Once they have learned to spell a few morphographs, students can mix them up to spell many words. They also learn the rules of putting morphographs together.

Decodable Texts

In our early years we use decodable texts to teach reading. Decodable texts are simple books that are written for the beginning reader and contain the specific grapheme-phoneme correspondences students have learned. This provides learners with the opportunity to use their developing segmenting and blending skills to read words in order to develop automaticity, or the ability to recognise words quickly and effortlessly, and experience independent reading success.

Decodable books encourage children to sound out words using decoding strategies rather than guessing

from pictures or predicting from other cues. They can be introduced once beginning readers have learned some simple grapheme-phoneme correspondences and can blend from left to right. The English language has a rather complicated sounds system, and this must be taught explicitly for all children to be able to read fluently. The decodability of books will change as children progress and increase their knowledge of the code.

EXTENSION ACTIVITIES: At Cable Beach Primary School we strive to provide all of our students with academic extension opportunities in the area of English. These programs have a great success rate which is evident in the number of students from CBPS that are selected to be part of the high school extension Big History program. We run many programs which allow students to strive for excellence, these include;

  • Lunch Time Reading Groups

The Lunch Time reading group provides students who love reading with the opportunity to share their thoughts and opinions about a chosen novel. Each week the group will decide on the number of chapters the group is to finish before the next meeting. Being part of the group means that students are making a commitment to the team and agree to read the weekly chapters.  Meetings take place on Monday lunch time in the library, and we currently have approximately 25 students involved.

  • Debate Club

Every Monday after school we run a Debate Club. Students are involved in a variety of activities which promote confidence in public speaking and the ability to justify their point of view in a respectful manner.

Once a term, students are given a debate topic, placed in teams and then work with their team to write a persuasive argument to justify their stance. We hold a debate in the library welcoming parents and community members to attend.

Why we Believe Debating is an Important Life Skill 

  • Debate is a great device for helping students understand essential critical-thinking and presentation skills.
  • Debates can nurture rational thinking, citizenship, manners, organization of thoughts, persuasion and public speaking.
  • Student debate has the capability to deeply engage the students in relevant learning and to inspire students to be deep thinkers.


  • Spelling Bee

Yearly Cable Beach Primary School holds a school- based Spelling Bee for Year 1-6 students, where three to four top spellers from each class compete against students in a similar year group. The two top competitors from year 3 to 6 then go on to represent our school at the West Kimberley Spelling Bee. This event show cases the best spellers from public and private primary and secondary schools within Broome and the surrounding areas.

  • Poetry Slam

Slam poetry is a blend of literature and performance that culminates in live competitions called Slams. It transforms students from reluctant, shy learners into passionate artists. It helps teachers not just teach writing but also build confidence.  Yearly Cable Beach Primary School holds a school- based Poetry Slam for Year 1-6 students, where three to four top poets from each class compete against other students. The three top competitors from year 3 to 6 then go on to represent our school at the West Kimberley Poetry Slam. This event show cases the best poets from public and private primary and secondary schools within Broome and the surrounding areas.