Helping Students Find Out How Words Work...
Read about the stunning results from the Shine 'Sounds Like Fun' Literacy Project at literacysuccess.org.nz

Joy Allcock


Joy is an author, publisher and literacy consultant. She runs professional development workshops for teachers throughout New Zealand and internationally. She originally trained and worked as an Occupational Therapist, then in 2000 she completed a Master of Education degree with first class honours at Massey University. She has been working in the literacy field since 1995 and has co-ordinated a number of literacy projects in both primary and secondary schools.

Joy is the developer of the Word Detective range of resources. She has written and published a complete range of spelling resources and is now working with three other New Zealand companies (Gilt Edge Publishing, Universal Children's Audio, Pixelhouse) to increase the range of Word Detective resources to include a series of early readers, music for developing literacy skills and digital resources that teach vocabulary and phonemic awareness skills.

Joy was a contributing author to the Ministry of Education publications Effective Literacy Practice Years 1 to 4 and Effective Literacy Practice Years 5 to 8 (Learning Media). In 2006 she was invited to join the Ministry of Education's National Literacy Reference Group which meets annually to discuss and advise on the direction of literacy instruction in New Zealand.

What People Are Saying


Sue Ashworth, (Principal)
Paparoa Street School, Christchurch

It is indeed my pleasure to write this recommendation for Joy Allcock. Several years ago we agreed that we needed a more consistent and sequential spelling programme across our school. We researched the market and selected Joy's resources because they give such a thorough foundation and learning process for children to develop skills as readers and writers.

Joy's approach is effective for all learners not just those with a natural linguistic tendency. We have been using Joy's resources, Switch On To Spelling and Spelling Under Scrutiny, across the whole school for the past five years with continual benefits which are reflected in our spelling data and also in the strategies children are using to become effective readers and spellers.

Our staff and our community thoroughly recommend these amazing resources and the results genuinely speak for themselves.


Jenny Hainsworth, an educator of twenty seven years

Switch on to Spelling excites children of all ages to play with words. Through word play patterns emerge. The English language is transposed from a confusing, illogical language to a clever and intricate communication system. Teachers learn alongside the children. This programme provides a systematic process of assessing, teaching and practising diverse ways of recording sounds. A fantastic resource that I would recommend to all learners of the English language.



Helen and Julie

Wow what a fantastic programme. We are both new girls on the block and have found the programme teacher friendly and have seen positive results from our children. The Switch on to Spelling programme provides the essential language foundation skills which are easily transferable curriculum wide. Thank you for a wonderful programme.



Andrew Hawke


I have been very impressed with the Joy Allcock programme and found it to be an extremely valuable resource. I would recommend it to any teacher or school that was looking for a resource to assist with the teaching of spelling.



Jenny Wilson (New Entrant teacher)
Roxburgh Area School, Roxburgh



In 2004, I began using the approach outlined in Switch on to Spelling in my classroom. Despite the school entry profiles of our students remaining the same since 2000 (and the teacher remaining constant!), an analysis of our 6 year Observational Survey results shows statistically significant shifts in three areas since 2004 - Concepts about Print, Hearing and Recording Sounds and Writing Vocabulary. Our students' writing in particular has been transformed.

Read more about the results from Roxburgh Area School

Martyn Giddens (Deputy Principal)

Joy's Spelling philosophy has revolutionised the way I teach spelling to my students. During my 18 years teaching, I have never come across any spelling resource that has met the needs of students across a range of ability levels, as Joy's does.