Sound Waves Literacy

Systematic synthetic phonics and word study

Sound Waves Literacy provides teachers with the training and resources to deliver systematic, explicit and engaging lessons followed by targeted reading and spelling practice.

Instruction builds from Foundation to Year 6

The program progresses from teaching simple to more complex concepts, achieving a cumulative and cohesive approach to literacy across your whole school.


Phonemic awareness: Start strong in the first year of school with phonemic awareness to set the foundations ready for students to develop their spelling and reading skills.

Synthetic phonics: Teach phoneme–grapheme relationships in a systematic and cumulative way. Each unit focuses on one or two phonemes and their common graphemes, giving students the most effective base for learning how to spell and read.

Morphology: Teach meaningful parts of words from the get-go with the introduction of the suffix s in the Foundation year. Morphological knowledge steadily increases and accumulates right through to Year 6, giving students the building blocks for understanding words and word families.

Etymology: Engage upper years students with the rich history of borrowed language using fascinating etymology instruction.

These four key areas of instruction allow you to provide the best framework for reading and spelling success.

View Scope and Sequence


teacher and student

Deliver effective daily lessons

Using the online teaching resources

Sound Waves Literacy lessons follow the gradual release of responsibility framework. In the lessons, you explicitly teach phoneme–grapheme relationships and reading skills as well as vocabulary, morphology and etymology concepts (such as homophones, suffixes, and Greek and Latin roots).

The online teaching resources provide you with comprehensive lesson guides and projectable slideshows (featuring videos and interactive tools) for every lesson. Early years teachers also have access to projectable Sound Waves Decodable Readers for modelled and shared reading.

Start your free trial today to explore the resources firsthand.

Consolidate with targeted practice

Using the Student Books and Decodable Readers

Student Books

After each lesson, have students complete the corresponding Student Book activities to consolidate the synthetic phonics and word study knowledge you have just taught. Student Books are available as a physical workbook or as printable pages.

View sample Student Book pages:

Decodable Readers

For students in the early years, use the Sound Waves Decodable Readers, which directly align with the lesson content for targeted reading practice.

View sample Decodable Readers:

Foundation sample books for the grapheme w as in web.

Year 1 sample books for the grapheme r as in robot.

Student and teacher

Student with assessment

Assess, diagnose and remediate

Using the dedicated assessments

Sound Waves Literacy provides assessments for Foundation to Year 6.

Foundation new

The Foundation program includes a suite of spelling and reading assessments, as well as follow-up suggestions and remediation resources to help you provide targeted support where required.

The four types of Foundation assessments are:

  • Phonemic Awareness Assessment
  • Single Word Reading Assessment (Regular Words)
  • Single Word Reading Assessment (Special Words)
  • Spelling Assessment

The Phonemic Awareness Assessment is administered at the end of Term 1. The Single Word Reading Assessments and Spelling Assessments are administered at the end of Terms 2, 3 and 4.

Years 1 to 6

Content Reviews: Use these mid and end-of-term tests to assess students’ understanding of phoneme–grapheme relationships and previously taught vocabulary, morphology and etymology concepts. The reviews also include single-word and sentence dictation. 
There are eight Content Reviews in each year level.

Spelling Diagnostic Test: Use this diagnostic tool in Term 1 and Term 3 to identify students’ strengths and weaknesses with specific spelling concepts. The assessment resources include remediation activities to use where required.

Read our assessment article for an in-depth breakdown of how Sound Waves Literacy assessments work for your year level.

Differentiation, games, interactive tools and more

Sound Waves Literacy supports teachers with meaningful tools and resources to facilitate differentiation, boost engagement and enhance your weekly lessons!

ChartsTeaching Charts and Student Charts Chevron

Each chart is a quick reference featuring all 43 phonemes of Australian English and their common graphemes.

Use the Teaching Charts for whole-class instruction and to play games. Students use their Student Chart to help them make correct spelling choices in their everyday writing.

Sound Waves Literacy charts are available in Foundation, Standard and Extended versions.

Interactive ToolInteractive tools, Black Line Masters and videos Chevron

The online teaching resources are jam-packed with extra features to enhance your synthetic phonics and word study lessons.

Interactive tools

Use tools such as the Read and Sort, Segmenting Tool, Match Up and Word Unjumbler anytime throughout the week for independent practice and consolidation, as well as within your structured Sound Waves Literacy lessons.

Pronunciation videos

Help students learn the 43 phonemes that make up Australian English by using the Chants and Actions videos. These are an engaging classroom favourite that you will use time and time again.

For more focused pronunciation practice, every unit also includes a How to Say the Sound video that you can use to demonstrate correct articulation and model mouth position.

Black Line Masters

From segmenting sheets to prefix posters, board games, match-ups, puzzles, templates and more – you’ll find printable resources that fit a multitude of purposes.

trophySmall-group and whole-class games Chevron

Any student who doesn’t believe learning can be fun, hasn’t played a Sound Waves game. Within each unit in the online teaching resources there are a handful of engaging game ideas for small-group and whole-class settings to use anytime throughout the week.

Your students will love applying their synthetic phonics and word knowledge skills to games such as Phoneme Chain, Find It First, and Crack the Code.

StarsExtension Words and challenges Chevron

A helping hand for differentiation – Sound Waves Literacy includes Extension Words and challenges.

Extension Words are available in every unit from Years 1 to 6. Have students use the Extension Words in a variety of ways including for segmenting practice, games and sentence writing.

Challenges are scattered through the Student Books for Years 3 to 6 so you can easily provide an engaging activity for your fast finishers.

These are just a couple of the ways Sound Waves Literacy keeps your super spellers suitably engaged, freeing you up to support students requiring remediation.

Free professional learning and support

Workshops, articles, videos and more

We understand that ongoing professional learning leads to consistent and successful implementation of instruction. Our team has a wealth of teaching experience and provides a range of tailored professional learning opportunities to continually support you and your school in using the Sound Waves Literacy resources.

Request a workshop for your school, register for one of our virtual workshops, browse our professional learning articles, or simply reach out to your local education consultant anytime of the year with your questions.

Find out more

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Take the next step in your Sound Waves Literacy journey

Explore the online teaching resources
Access free professional learning for your school
Speak with an education consultant