Allambie Heights Public School

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At Allambie Heights Public School, we teach phonics using a linguistic phonics program called Sounds-Write, an evidence-based program developed in the United Kingdom.

Sounds-Write is a very highly structured, multi-sensory, incremental and code-oriented, instructional approach to teaching children to read and spell. The Sounds-Write program is implemented in the classroom and provides very fast and effective teaching for children at all levels.

We are proud to be one of the few Sounds-Write Training Schools providing outstanding phonics teaching for training purposes as well as taster mornings, introducing the Sounds- Write program. This program is successful in teaching children to read and spell because it starts with what all children know from a very young age – the sounds of our spoken language. Then, using a very systematic approach, it teaches them how these sounds  are coded within our writing system.


Children at our school will be sure to tell you how much they enjoy their Sounds-Write lessons. Its structure and simplicity makes it a program accessible to all learners and helps them to make excellent progress with their reading and spelling.

Sounds-Write promotes the use of multi-sensory engagement with the materials appropriate to  the level and abilities of the children being taught. Visual, auditory and kinaesthetic activities  are at all times combined simultaneously to promote learning. Sounds-Write also enables teachers to differentiate the challenges placed before the learner in order to meet their individual needs.

The four key concepts children are taught are:

1.                letters are symbols that represent sounds

2.                sounds can be spelled using 1, 2, 3 or 4 letters

3.                the same sound can be spelled in different ways

4.                the same spelling can represent different sounds

The three key skills children need to master reading and spelling are:

1.                blending

2.                segmenting

3.                phoneme manipulation

Children in Kindergarten begin with the Initial Code where they practice all 3 key skills whilst learning the 1:1 sound-spelling correspondences and securing their understanding of key concept 1. This builds up confidence and phonic knowledge in a truly reversible system, enabling them to decode and encode a wide range of words and sentences. At first, children  learn to read and write simple one syllable words with a CVC structure. Complexity of word structure systematically builds up so that children apply their code knowledge to monosyllabic words with up to 6 sounds.

Once the Initial Code has been mastered, children continue to practice all 3 key skills whilst learning Extended Code which explores key concepts 2, 3 and 4. Learning of the Extended Code is a lifelong process – we all continue to develop our understanding of this code whenever we encounter new words. Which is why Sounds-Write can be applied across all grades in our school. Whilst learning the Extended Code, children read and write monosyllabic and polysyllabic words at an age-appropriate level.

Our K-6 learning and support program focusses on small group support for children who require additional consolidation of the classroom program so that all learners can reach their reading and spelling potential.

The following resources provide additional information for our parents and carers about the Sounds-Write program:

·         Sounds-Write website

·         Sounds-Write – Help your child to read and write with John Walker (Initial Code Unit 1 to Unit 7)

·         Sounds-Write – Help your child to read and write – part 2 with John Walker (Initial Code Unit 8 to Unit 11)

·         Pronunciation of Initial Code sounds


The following video demonstrates the teaching of Sounds-Write in our classrooms and support programs:

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