Calling all budding artists! Miss Emma is creating new Code Level readers with children for the ICRWY Project readers, which will be added to the SSP Monster Mapping app for Parents and then the SSP Monster Mapping app for Schools!
Email to take part! Miss Emma will share the text for the readers, and you illustrate the pages!

press to zoom

press to zoom

press to zoom

press to zoom

This new Purple Code Level book is in the Code Level ICRWY bookshelf and can be downloaded to print - so the children can colour in the last page and let me know what Stan's crocs look like!

I would like as many of the ICRWY (I Can Read Without You) Project resources to be created by children, for children, and will be visiting schools local to The Reading Hut to get some help too!


The Speech Sound Monsters (phonetic symbols for kids) show children how to pronounce any graphemes used in the reader that are not included within the Purple Code Level. Use the Monsters in the Spelling Piano app or James' free Monster Sound app if unsure of those sounds. (in this book there are two - for words 'put' and 'his')

Please send clips of children reading the books in the bookshelf too!

I Can Read Without You (ICRWY) Project
Decodable Readers

We used to use this term but are in the process of replacing it with 'Code Level' readers, for reasons outlined in the blog!


The free Decodable Reader Guide makes it easier for parents to understand which readers to get from the library, to best support their child at home. 
Rory started school about 3 months ago and is on the Purple Code Level. Great reading Rory!
Here, he is reading a Dandelion reader.


'Decodable' relates to the child's phonics knowledge, not the word or book. This is a really important concept. A book is only decodable to that child if they know those graphemes. With good instruction, every book is 'decodable'.
Miss Emma

When Rory started he had very poor phonemic awareness and spent longer on Phase 1 activities. His Mum was aware of the importance as her older son had struggled due to phonemic awareness deficits that were never addressed. This is why Mummy went looking for help from Miss Emma.
With Rory she was able to take an early intervention approach.  

Within the Speech Sound Pics (SSP) Approach we teach 100 or so high frequency graphemes, within 4 Code Levels. Our 'Code Level' readers are scaffolded so that they ONLY contain the graphemes the child is working with, and also Code Mapped high-frequency words. We know that our 'decodable readers' are decodable to our children. Other publishers may introduce graphemes in a different teaching order. We will therefore organise those books into the SSP teaching order so that they are decodable to our children.     However we do not only use 'decodable readers'. We are not going to tell a child they can't try to read a book about 'spiders' because they don't yet know the /er/ represents the schwa in that word. 

Publisher? Contact us to add your Decodable Readers to the guide. We will align them with
our 4 SSP Code Levels. 


The SSP Spelling Piano app gives students the opportunity to learn the target graphemes quickly, in our SSP teaching order.


Segmenting words, to map the phonemes to graphemes, helps us to ascertain which graphemes they are paying attention to. This really matters with 'exception' words. 

Parents send their clips of 'home reading' sessions for tips and advice.

Parents often send us their videos, to show progress.

'Kensi started Phase 2 of SSP 6 Months ago, (she was 3. We spent the first 2 months on the Green code level (s,a,t,p,i,n), then continued with Purple and then Yellow code level. She started blue code level on her 4th birthday. This video shows how far she has come with SSP since she first started reading 6 months ago! (Note: before we started Phase 2 of SSP - reading - we spent time in Phase 1.... where the child focuses on phonemic awareness activities without using any actual letters of the alphabet... This stage was critically important to give her the skills needed to be able to go on and rapidly progress with her reading in Phase 2. The importance of Phase 1 cannot be overstated!!!)'

I Can Read Without You (ICRWY) Bookcase.
Perfect for remote learning!

SSP Code Level Reader Bookshelf

Non Code Level Reader Bookshelf



I also do something unique- I make text 'decodable' to the child, regardless of the graphemes they know. How? I Code Map and Monster Map the texts. They are books the children want to read.

The Red Pirate.
Regular text. 

The Red Pirate.
Code Mapped and Monster Mapped.
Now it's 'decodable' to more learners! It is 'decodable' to children who know the Monster Sounds (phonetic symbols for kids) 


I was recently told by someone working for the UK Department for Education that they didn't agree with my stance that readers are only 'decodable' if they align with the code knowledge of the child ...I have questioned that various schemes marketed as 'decodable readers' are 'ideal for practice and reinforcement alongside (your) phonics teaching' (see Floppy's Phonics) Perhaps they don't understand, therefore, the issues faced by children given the Oxford Reading Tree series (Biff, Chip and Kipper etc) who struggle to 'sound out' the words.  They are marketed as 'decodable' and yet they aren't, because they do not align with the systematic teaching order - which has predominantly been the teaching order used within the government synthetic phonics programme 'Letters and Sounds' (which we are now told is not fit for purpose?!) The books have graphemes not EVER covered in the systematic teaching order. I would show teachers how to use them, alongside their other resources, but they certainly aren't 'decodable' if the term implies that the children will not come across graphemes they do not yet know. Surely 'phonics consultants' such as Debbie Hepplewhite understand this?

It is ironic, as in 2010  the DfE introduced a revised set of criteria for synthetic phonics programmes. Advice was given, regarding early texts to practise reading 
‘(E)nsure that as pupils move through the early stages of acquiring phonics, they are invited to practise by reading texts which are entirely decodable for them, so that they experience success and learn to rely on phonemic strategies. It is important that texts are of the appropriate level for children to apply and practise the phonic knowledge and skills that they have learnt. Children should not be expected to use strategies such as whole-word recognition and/or cues from context, grammar, or pictures.’

This is exactly my point. They need to be decodable for THEM.

So teachers using the Speech Sound Pics (SSP) Approach refer to Code Level Readers (not 'decodable readers') and non Code Level readers. They can actually read the two, from around the end of the Purple Code Level, because I Code Map and Monster map the non Code Level readers for them. See the I Can Read Without You (ICRWY) Bookshelf. 
It reminded me of an image I was sent years ago, when questioning synthetic phonics - because the Jolly Phonics Handbook stated that children were to 'learn the 42 letters sounds' (1 per day for the first term) and then (and only then) were they to be given access to their 'readers'. Readers that actually gave 'silent letters' in bold (please tell me that term is no longer used) Those books are definitely not 'decodable'.


Source unknown, but accurate!