What are Decodable Readers?

As most of us know, learning to read isn’t always that simple. Many (if not most) children will benefit from using a systematic phonics-based approach when learning to read. As children learn using a phonics based approach, decodable books become a key component of this learning process.


A decodable reading book is a book that only contains phonetics that a child has already learnt. For instance, a child starting out in the earliest stages of reading who has learnt the sounds s / a / t / p, would be able to decode words in a book such as at, sat, tap, and pat. Therefore, the decodable book would only contain these words and would not introduce any unfamiliar letters and sounds.

Reading non-decodable, or partially decodable books, can be demotivating and frustrating for children learning to read. When children read a fully decodable book, they can use their decoding skills to read words. Being able to decode all the words in a book, builds fluency and self-confidence.

Junior Learning’s Letters & Sounds Decodable Readers range are 100% decodable. Our reading program is designed to help children build on their reading success and feel a sense of accomplishment as they work their way through each decodable story. Our Letters & Sounds series follows children week-by-week through the program providing them text-based context to practice their emerging ready skills. Every story in both the fiction, and non-fiction range of books, has been written with a strictly controlled text.

Almost all of Junior Learning’s literacy resources are developed around our Letters & Sounds systematic phonics teaching program. You can find the full range here!

Phase 1 Phonemic Awareness 

Phonemic awareness readers are designed for teaching the understanding of sounds and words. Each phonemic awareness reader introduces 8 diferent letter sounds (phonemes)

Phase 2 Letter Sounds

Letter sound readers introduce the first 21 letter sounds. They also have a strictly controlled vocabulary that follows the letter-by-letter progression along with ‘tricky words’

Phase 3 Phonics 

Phonics readers introduce the next 22 letter sounds. They also have a strictly controlled vocabulary that follows the letter-by letter progression along with ‘tricky words’.

Phase 4 Blends

Blend readers introduce 38 different adjacent consonants (or blends).  Strictly controlled vocabulary. Sentence development and story structure.

Phase 5 Vowel Sounds 

These introduce 20 letter patterns, mainly focusing on alternative vowel sounds. They also have a strictly controlled vocabulary. Building on sentence structure and word counts

Phase 6 Spelling

Spelling readers have been written with a rich vocabulary including embedded words that contain suffixes. They also consolidate earlier taught phonics skills and ‘tricky words’

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