Schools & Colleges

Supporting teachers, staff and students.

Working with Students

Classrooms are busy places full of students with different needs when it comes to reading and spelling.

Units of Sound is a versatile, online literacy tool which helps you support an individual or groups of students very easily. So whether you are in a school, community centre or at home, Units of Sound offers a solution.


Independent Learning

As Units of Sound is mainly independent computer work, it is perfect for group work.

This means one member of staff can run a group, with each student working at different levels in reading and spelling. As there is no lesson preparation, there is more time to provide extra help for students who need more support.

Now Units of Sound is online, it can be set as homework, as long as students have internet access at home. This means they will progress more quickly through the program.
You’ll need a computer and a good quality headset with microphone for each student in the group, and internet access.

Running groups  

Schools and colleges can run the groups to fit in with the time and staff they have available. You may be able to run short 30 minute sessions a few times a week, or longer sessions once a week.

One staff member, who knows the program, can work with a group of six students, or you may be able to timetable two teachers or teaching assistants to work with a group of 10 students. You may prefer smaller groups if the students’ literacy difficulties are quite severe, to give time for one to one teaching within the lesson, or if students have behavioural difficulties.

Types of Group  

Duration: 20 mins
For primary schools, little and often may work best – 20 minute sessions a few times a week for example. One staff member could work with a group of five or six students, or you could timetable two teachers/ teaching assistants to work with a larger group.
Duration: 30 mins
You could run short 30 minute sessions a few times a week, or longer sessions once a week and set independent work at home. Group sizes may depend on the level and needs of the students.
Duration: 30-40 mins
For students who cannot access Units of Sound at home, an after school ‘Catch Up Club’ can work really well. Students could work for 30-40mins once or twice a week on Units of Sound supported by either a member of staff or volunteers.
Duration: 30 mins
Sometimes a student needs to focus on spelling rather than reading. You may wish to have a spelling group for those who only need to work on Spelling, Memory and Dictation.

Duration of use  

This will depend on the individual student’s needs, year group and timetabling. Schools use Units of Sound in all sorts of ways, from intensive work on severe literacy needs to a boost for spelling before leaving for secondary school. As you get used to using Units of Sound, you will find all sorts of ways to get the best from it.

Monitoring Progress  

You monitor the Reading program through Reading Check, which will give you a thorough oversight of a student’s word reading, sound recognition, reading fluency and comprehension. These happen at regular intervals throughout the program. Spelling, Memory and Dictation are all monitored by the program, with mini tests on most pages. All the scores are logged in the Records section in the Tutor area, so you can easily see how each student is doing.


For all tutors there is a Practitioner’s Course that gets you up and running with your students on Units of Sound as quickly and smoothly as possible. If you or the student gets stuck, there are Screen tutors built into the program to demonstrate each activity with a short video. There is also a Units of Sound Help site which gives easy access to anything you need to know about Units of Sound.