Please note this page is currently being updated. A revised version of the Spelling for Older Students program will soon be available: At this stage revised lessons 1 - 14 have been uploaded. For lessons 15 - 35, please try again in September.

What is the SOS program?

The SOS Program, created for SPELD SA by Jan Polkinghorne, is a series of Power point presentations containing activities to build basic phonic and spelling knowledge with students from year 5 upwards called SOS. The 35 lessons have been recently revised and are structured with the same sequence of sounds as the Jolly Phonic Program so that they can be readily used with all of our free synthetic phonic resources on our site.

Why do struggling students have difficulty spelling?

Older struggling reader/writers frequently have never been taught to spell by sound. They have mostly relied on memorizing words. Many can see no logic behind English. To help them achieve we need to change their ideas of reading and writing. To help them see that English is a code which takes the sounds we speak and translates them via symbols into marks on a page so others who know the code can change them back into speech. We need to begin again by teaching these students the code, and helping them learn to blend the sounds to read and segment the sounds to write. Old strategies of guessing need to be replaced by blending and segmenting right through a word. There are 42 (44) sounds in English but we only have 26 letters to represent these sounds therefore we have to use combinations of letters (digraphs) to represent some sounds. Once we have learnt the code then we can read and write the majority of words in English—even the long ones.

SOS (Spelling for Older Students) is a way to attempt to teach older students the code in an age appropriate fashion. It is designed to be presented as quickly as possible over six or seven weeks as a concerted effort to remediate reluctant or struggling readers and writers.

With older students, it is important to screen them first to find out what level they're working at and provide activies to address the gaps. If you make the sessions fast and fun, include competitiveness, build in rewards, games and prizes, students will join in. You can use the SPELD SA free synthetic phonic assessment materials to find out which letter sounds they know

The following 16 lessons introduce the sounds s, a, t, i, p, n, (c, k, ck,) e, h, r, m, d, g, o, u, l, b  and various ways of recording them. 19 new lessons will be loaded on to the website shortly.

These Powerpoints are provided at no cost.

Download First: Operating Instructions

Please click on the links below to save the files you wish to view to your computer. 

Each lesson is in a PowerPoint format, the teaching notes are in a PDF format.


SOS - Set 1: s, a, t, p, i, n

SOS Lesson 1: S s

Lesson 1 instructions

Worksheet Lesson 1

Lesson 1 Handwriting


SOS Lesson 2: A a

Lesson 2 instructions

Worksheet Lesson 2

Lesson 2 Handwriting

Lesson 1 Tricky Words revision

SOS Lesson 3: T t

Lesson 3 instructions

Worksheet Lesson 3

Lesson 3 Handwriting

Lesson 2 Tricky Words revision

SOS Lesson 4: P p

Lesson 4 instructions

Worksheet Lesson 4

Lesson 4 Handwriting

Lesson 3 Tricky Words revision

SOS Lesson 5: I i

Lesson 5 instructions

Worksheet Lesson 5

Lesson 5 Handwriting

Lesson 4 Tricky Words revision

SOS Lesson 6: N n

Lesson 6 instructions

Worksheet Lesson 6

Lesson 6 Handwriting

Lesson 5 Tricky Words revision





SOS Test Week 1



Set 2: c, k, ck, e, h, r, m, d

SOS Lesson 7: c k ck

Lesson 7 instructions

Worksheet Lesson 7

Lesson 7 Handwriting

Lesson 6 Tricky Words revision 

SOS Lesson 8: E e

Lesson 8 instructions

Worksheet Lesson 8

Lesson 8 Handwriting

Lesson 7 Tricky Words revision

SOS Lesson 9: H h

Lesson 9 instructions

Worksheet Lesson 9

Lesson 9 Handwriting

Lesson 8 Tricky Words revision

SOS Lesson 10: R r

Lesson 10 instructions

Worksheet Lesson 10

Lesson 10 Handwriting

Lesson 9 Tricky Words revision

SOS Lesson 11: M m

Lesson 11 instructions

Worksheet Lesson 11

Lesson 11 Handwriting

Lesson 10 Tricky Words revision

SOS Lesson 12: D d

Lesson 12 instructions

Worksheet Lesson 12

Lesson 12 Handwriting

Lesson 11 Tricky Words revision





SOS Test Week 2



Set 3: g, o, u, l, b

SOS Lesson 13: G g & O o

Lesson 13 instructions

Worksheet Lesson 13

Lesson 13 Handwriting

Lesson 12 Tricky Words revision 

SOS Lesson 14: U u

Lesson 14 instructions

Worksheet Lesson 14

Lesson 14 Handwriting

Lesson 13 Tricky Words revision

SOS Lesson 15: L l

Lesson 15 instructions

Worksheet Lesson 15

Lesson 15 Handwriting

Lesson 14 Tricky Words revision

SOS Lesson 16: B b

Lesson 16 instructions

Worksheet Lesson 16

Lesson 16 Handwriting

Lesson 15 Tricky Words revision





SOS Test Week 3



There is now a new version with 30 lessons made in Easiteach (PC only) which can be purchased for $15 with invoice or $5 for donation by contacting the office on 8431 1655 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The disc also holds a copy of the PowerPoint version.



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