Paul Hemphill, Saint Stephen's College
Paul Hemphill is the brain behind the spelling program that meets Saint Stephen’s College vision for personalisation. He has developed a unique spelling program with personalised words for all Year 1-6 students. With a strong phonemic knowledge base, it is also user-friendly for teachers.
The Saint Stephen’s College spelling program has been developed to enable each child to learn the words they are ready for, to enhance their writing and take them to the next stage. With his deep knowledge of teaching English and technology skills, Hemphill developed a system to individualise spelling lists at every student's level. Each list includes personal “essential” words and differentiated focus words. The focus words are levelled for each child and contain both instructional and enrichment vocabulary. Furthermore, these focus words all contain the current phonics focus of the class. The program also gives teachers the data they need to track how their children are progressing.
It is from Hemphill’s leadership that students at Saint Stephen's College sit a series of simple essential word tests each term. The results of these tests are used to develop the personalised lists that reflect student’s direct learning needs and allows teachers to focus whole-class and small-group lessons around particular shared focuses. Now, not only does Hemphill's tool produce personal spelling lists for each child in Years 1-6, he utilises this digital bank of personalised words to create customised weekly spelling activity pages.