Success Stories

Longitudinal study of literacy development using Sounds-Write

Sounds-Write was conceived and written in 2002-3. From the outset, we encouraged schools to collect data on their students’ performance to determine the utility and effectiveness of the programme. These are the key findings from the original study, which reported on the literacy development journeys of 1,607 children from Reception to the end of Key Stage 1.

What do our customers say?

UK Case Studies

Children at desk

Angel Oak Academy, Peckham, London

Child Pointing At Whiteboard

Corpus Christi Catholic Primary School, Bournemouth, Dorset

Child Writing

East Hunsbury Primary School, Northampton

Two Kids At Desk

Kingswood Parks Primary School, Hull

Two Kids At Desk

Milecastle Primary School, Newcastle upon Tyne

Two Kids At Desk

Olive Hill Primary Academy, Halesowen, West Midlands

Two Kids At Desk

Princecroft Primary School, Warminster, Wiltshire

Child Writing

Sidmouth C of E Primary School, Sidmouth, Devon

St Leonard’s C of E Primary Academy, St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex

St Leonard’s C of E Primary Academy, St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex

Child Holding Paper

St Matthew’s C of E Primary School, Birmingham

Child Holding Paper

St Michael’s C of E Primary School, Bishop Middleham, County Durham

Child Pointing at Whiteboard 2

St Oswald’s CE Aided Primary and Nursery School, Durham

Child Writing

Studley Green Primary School, Trowbridge, Wiltshire

Outstanding School

Three Bridges Primary School, Southall, London

Torfield Special School, UK, October 2023

Torfield Special School, Hastings, East Sussex

Australian Case Studies

Child Pointing at Whiteboard

Allambie Heights Public School, Sydney

Child Pointing at Whiteboard

Cleveland State School, South East Queensland

Child Holding Paper

Lord Howe Central School, Lord Howe Island

Child Pointing at Whiteboard 2

Parafield Gardens High School, Northern Adelaide

USA Case Studies

Child Pointing at Whiteboard

Johnson STEAM Academy Magnet School, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Speech-Language Pathologist, US, October 2023

Katie, Speech-Language Pathologist, Massachusetts

Child Pointing at Whiteboard 2

Lynbrook Union Free School District, Lynbrook, New York

Canadian Case Studies

Child Pointing at Whiteboard 2

Paul Penna Downtown Jewish Day School, Toronto


Attenborough School, Germany, June 2023

Attenborough School, Germany

The British School Al Khubairat, Abu Dhabi, November 2023

The British School Al Khubairat, Abu Dhabi

Sounds-Write is more than just a scheme for phonics. For Selby Community Primary School it has improved pupils’ self-esteem around reading and writing. Sounds-Write has developed stronger spellers and pupils who transfer their phonics knowledge straight into their written work.

Ian Clennan, Headteacher, Selby Community Primary School, Selby, Yorkshire, UK

Case Studies from Sounds-Write Practitioners

We’ve also published a book of peer-reviewed case studies in different geographical and educational settings.

Each case study includes data from a specific school (or other educational settings) and recommendations about how best to implement Sounds-Write.

In her foreword to the book, Professor Pamela Snow said:

‘The publication of three national inquiries (the US in 2000, Australia in 2005, and England in 2006) heralded something of a false dawn in putting the major debates to rest, unanimously highlighting the importance of an early focus on explicitly and systematically teaching children (as readers and writers) how the English writing system works, alongside supporting their development in phonemic awareness, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension.


Robust recommendations are one thing, but full implementation of those recommendations is something else altogether. This is why schools need access to high-quality programmes that have the heavy-lifting already done in terms of their theoretical foundations, scope and sequence, teaching materials and scripts, assessment and monitoring tools, high-quality training and coaching, and demonstration videos. Sounds-Write is such a programme, and it is no surprise that its developers have gone the extra nine yards to compile this collection of case studies about how Sounds-Write looks in action.’

(Snow, P. (2022). Foreword. In A. Beaven, A. Comas-Quinn & N. Hinton (Eds), Systematic synthetic phonics: case studies from Sounds-Write practitioners (pp. xv-xvi). rpnet.2022.55.1353)