Structured Word Inquiry Institute

Monday, June 22 - Friday, June 26, 2020

Registration opens January 2020

Join educators from the Bay Area and beyond for the sixth annual Structured Word Inquiry Institute. The 2019 institute hosts five days of engaging, practical, and active workshops that enable educators to teach students how to read and spell through a structured inquiry approach.

What is Structured Word Inquiry?

Structured Word Inquiry was started by Peter Bowers, PhD, founder of the WordWorks Literacy Centre in Ontario, Canada. For most of his ten years as an elementary school teacher in international schools and in Canada, Peter shared the common view that English spelling is highly irregular and full of exceptions to be memorized. In his 9th year of teaching, Pete developed a new inquiry-based technique for teaching English to children grades PreK-5.

The Structured Word Inquiry Institute returns to Nueva for its sixth consecutive year. Nueva teachers join the conference as both participants and workshop leaders. They often coach attendees through the advanced level structured word inquiry courses and share learning experiences from their classrooms. For more, including a video of classroom instruction, please visit our Structured Word Inquiry page.

Nueva Structured Word Inquiry Coach, Rebecca Loveless will present for all five workshop days and provide institute attendees with practical examples of Nueva's SWI program.


Registration cost includes all materials and delicious breakfasts, lunches, and snacks each day.

All program participation fees are due in advance to confirm your registration and participation.  Any cancellation and refund requests must be submitted in writing via email to

This Institute is eligible for Continuing Education Units.

Three Institute Options

All sessions are held from 9:30 – 3:30 pm.

Part One

Part One

Two-day Introductory Workshop
Mon-Tues, June 17-18 ($500)

The two-day Introductory Workshop provides foundational understanding of teaching Structured Word Inquiry. The Part One course is recommended to SWI beginners and novices. 

Part Two

Part Two

Three-day Advanced Workshop
Wed-Fri, June 19-21 ($750)

The three-day Advanced Workshop assumes knowledge from Part One, or substantial exposure with Structured Word Inquiry. It is not recommended for novices to jump into Part Two with little background. 


Parts One & Two

Parts One and Two

Five-day Workshop
Mon-Fri, June 17-21 ($1,150)  

The five-day Institute is combination of Parts One and Two and is offered to both novice or experienced participants.

The Nueva School
San Mateo Campus
131 E 28th Avenue
San Mateo, CA 94403

Contact Information
Questions? Contact us at wordinstitute@

Registered Structured Word Inquiry Institute participants engage in five days of workshops, activities, and lectures at Nueva


I believe that work we’ve begun doing with Structured Word Inquiry is profound and revolutionary. I believe that it is relevant to educators who work in every discipline and with all age groups. I believe that it represents most accurately what we know about teaching and learning and enacts the core values held in our community.”**

Emily Kolatch
  former Head of the Nueva Lower School

**The above is taken from Emily’s short article on SWI at Nueva in the Nueva Journal. See her full article.

What I love about Pete's workshops is that he takes a room full of teachers and turns them into learners.”

- Jonathan Twigg
Primary School Assistant Principal-PYP Coordinator at International   School of Lausanne