What do the teachers and teaching assistants who have attended our courses recently think about the course?

"Many thanks for the best inset of my teaching career to date"

Sounds WriteSounds Write

Meet The Team


John WalkerJohn

John Walker is the director and co-author (with Susan Case and David Philpot) of Sounds-Write.

John has been a qualified teacher, university lecturer and teacher trainer for over thirty years, teaching English language and literature in many different countries and settings. He is a graduate of the University of Sussex and holds master degrees from the Universities of Sussex and Warwick. He is qualified in the teaching of English as a foreign language and holds an advanced certificate in English language teaching from the University of Edinburgh.

He trains teaching practitioners in Sounds-Write and promotes the Sounds-Write programme in schools and other educational institutions across the world. In addition, he was an associate lecturer for the Open University, teaching on Discovering English and Children’s Literature, in addition to several early years courses.

John is an enthusiastic edu-blogger, who posts regularly on all aspects of literacy teaching at his site theliteracyblog.com.



Dr. Derrie Clark

Derrie has been a chartered child and educational psychologist (EP) for over twenty years.  She has specialised in literacy for the major part of this period and completed a doctorate in the field.  Her interest in literacy arose as a result of the countless referrals from schools and parents for children struggling to develop reading and writing skills.  

Derrie came across Sounds-Write at its inception in 2003.  Having been an early-years’ teacher and then an EP, the clear progression of the Sounds-Write approach and the ongoing assessment through teaching it facilitated, proved it to be an effective tool for identifying gaps in children’s literacy development.  At the same time it provided those who had received the Sounds-Write training with research based knowledge and teaching strategies to close those gaps.  She quickly realised that any individual working with children should have access to the Sounds-Write training.

Derrie has been training in Sounds-Write for over ten years.  She continues to work as an EP whilst also providing tutoring to young people with literacy difficulties:  from an autistic six-year old at the beginning of his reading journey to a Year 9 grammar school pupil needing help to improve his spelling.  


Jane Bent

Jane has 30 years experience teaching in primary and middle schools acrossOur trainer Jane Bent Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire. She has worked as both a class teacher and Senco in a junior school and a literacy support teacher in the Cambridgeshire Learning Support Service, before moving on to be Head of Inclusion in a large middle school  in Central Bedfordshire for 11 years. In 2008 this school was judged outstanding by Ofsted and the provision and inclusion for vulnerable pupils was identified as a particular strength.

Jane has now worked in Bedford Borough Local authority for the past 3 years as a Specialist Advisory Teacher for Inclusion within the Psychology and Advisory Support Service and provides advice and training for Senco’s, teachers and support staff on all issues relating to inclusion, but with a particular focus on the linguistic phonics approach to reading.

Ginny Campbell

Ginny Campbell has worked in primary, special and secondary education and was SENCO at Kingsbridge Community College for 10 years. She has been running courses on inclusion, TA induction and literacy for the past 9 years, and provides Sounds-Write training to teachers and TAs in Devon and neighbouring LAs. Ginny can be contacted via Sounds-Write.


Mary Gladstone


Mary Gladstone is a qualified primary school teacher with 28 years experience both in Australia and the United Kingdom, twenty-four of which have been in working with children who have learning and behavioural difficulties.

Mary runs Sounds-Write courses in Australia (New South Wales), read more on our 'Australia' page.


Pam Heath

Pam is an Improvement Adviser, Vulnerable Pupils and Phonics Lead in Bedford Borough. She has been a Sounds~ Write trainer for 8 years. Prior to her current post Pam had considerable teaching experience in both the primary and secondary phases. During her career she has worked closely with pupils encountering literacy difficulties and has also provided input, guidance and support to schools in order to improve phonics outcomes at whole school and individual pupil level.

Pam says ‘I believe that enabling children to develop good word level skills is vital to their future educational success. I am a Sounds~Write trainer because I have seen a first-hand the positive impact of this well-structured, evidence based, programme’. 


Sarah Horner

Sarah Horner is an experienced teacher and literacy trainer. She has taught in a variety of situations, across the primary and secondary ranges, both in England and overseas. This experience includes class, group and individual teaching. Over the past eight years she has combined teaching children with reading difficulties with the training of teachers and support staff in a linguistic phonics approach to reading. She supplies Sounds-Write training in a range of settings across London.


Louise McMullan

A native of Leeds, Louise McMullan currently lives and works in Northern Ireland.  She is married and has three teenage girls.  She has been a qualified teacher for twenty years and a Sounds-Write trainer for the past seven years.  She is the only Sounds-Write trainer in Ireland and organises Sounds-Write courses both north and south of the border.   As well as organising  and leading Sounds-Write courses and school based trainings, Louise teaches two days each week in a large primary school and two days each week for the education authority, working with dyslexic children, 1:1.  After school, Louise uses the Sounds-Write programme to teach children struggling with literacy to read and write in private tutorials (with an interested parent present), at her home.  



Frances Woodward

Frances Woodward is a qualified teacher, holding a Cert.Ed and B.Ed from Birmingham University. She has over twenty years experience teaching in primary schools in various parts of England, Scotland and Canada. For the past fourteen years she has specialised francesin the teaching of reading, using linguistic phonics, working with both children and adults.

She is currently an Associate Lecturer at Bedford College of Further Education, working with students with reading problems. She has a special interest in the use of Sounds-Write with ESOL learners (English for Speakers of Other Languages). She has worked with Adult Community Learning, running Literacy classes for Entry Level learners and is now managing similar classes at Bedford College.  She has written two books of resources for older learners, which are designed to be used alongside the Sounds-Write programme. Visit: www.forwardwithphonics.com


Lala Worrall

Lala has 35 years' experience teaching in Primary, Special and Secondary education, working as a class teacher, specialist SEN teacher and SENCo. Her current position is as an advisory teacher for Inclusion, working for the Targeted Educational Support Service in Wigan. For the past 14 years she has supported teachers, TAs, pupils and parents in this role.

She also manages the Specialist Teaching Team and has ensured that all teachers and Teaching assistants use this programme as their primary method in teaching children to read and write. In addition, she runs and co-ordinates Sounds-Write courses within Wigan Authority. Lala feels privileged to have the opportunity to deliver Sounds-Write training in Wigan schools, and also to support staff in establishing good working practice in the Sounds-Write method following their initial training.


What is Sounds-Write


Watch our video introduction