Unlocking the Code is the Key to Reading Success

The key to unlock the puzzle of the English Alphabet Code empowers teachers to teach and children & learners of any age to reach their true reading potential

What is the Sound Reading System?

It is a carefully constructed advanced ‘synthetic phonic’ reading programme that teaches children and adults how to read the complex English spelling code in simple, logical steps. The careful structure makes it both a reliable teaching tool and a tool with which to train teachers. The Sound Reading System is built round a comprehensive understanding of the entire English spelling code and could be usefully described as a ‘linguistic phonic’ programme.

It has broken down the code into a workable framework:

  • 26 alphabet letters,
  • 44 spoken sounds,
  • 176 basic spellings.

What does this mean?

First, the available 26 letters of the alphabet have to represent the 44 sounds of speech (therefore combining letters to represent sounds that are not represented by an alphabet letter: eg the ‘sh’ in sh-i-p). Instead of having 44 neat spellings to represent the 44 sounds, there are 176 basic spellings.


How is this demonstrated?

Thus most of the sounds have more than one spelling. Play the video below to see the jigsaw reveal multiple spellings for single sounds. You can also download diagrams of the common spellings.

SRS Handbook CH01_1-44

Double click on the Handbook
for more information on how
our alphabet works as a code.

The sound /ee/ has 9 spellings:

m-e,    t-r-ee,     t-ea-m,    f-u-nn-y,    
k-ey,    ch-ie-f,     r-e-c-ei-ve,      e-v-e,    m-a-ch-i-n-e

And the sound /f/ has 4 spellings:

f-a-t,       s-t-u-ff,     ph-o-n-e,     t-ou-gh