About Us

There are reams of research concluding that systematic phonics instruction is the best way to teach children how to read and spell. In 2005, Educational Psychologist, Michael Wood worked with a primary school to see how this theory could be put into practice. Could it really make such a difference to students’ outcomes?

YES! Recall of the sounds improved. Decoding improved. Fluency improved. Spelling improved. And so quickly!

That was the beginning of Phonics Hero. Since then, we’ve made over 850 systematic synthetic phonics games, launched our no-prep Phonics Lessons and taught tens of thousands of children to read and spell across the globe.

Meet the Educational Contributors


Michael Wood.

Michael Wood

Michael has over 30 years’ experience as an Educational Psychologist working for the North Yorkshire County Council in the UK and in British international schools in Hong Kong. Throughout his practice he has had a keen interest and focus on early intervention in literacy difficulties.

Elaine Cleary.

Elaine Cleary

Elaine is a primary school teacher who has taught in Ireland and Australia for the past 13 years, in both mainstream classes and learning support. She passionately believes in the importance of phonics being taught explicitly.


Shirley Houston

Shirley Houston

With a Masters degree in Special Education, Shirley has been teaching children and training teachers in Australia for over 30 years. Working with children with learning difficulties, Shirley champions the importance of teaching phonics systematically and to mastery in mainstream classrooms.

We are always developing and looking at ways to improve Phonics Hero, if you have any suggestions we would love to hear from you! Just get in touch and you could join our team of Educational Contributors.

Meet the Operations Team


Team headshot for Katherine Wood.

Katherine Wood – CEO

Katherine has spent the last fifteen years working in synthetic phonics on both print and online products. She works side-by-side with our educational contributors developing phonics products which are fun but – most importantly – make an impact.


Team headshot for Michelle Haines.

Michelle Haines – School Account Manager

Michelle helps schools make the Phonics Hero magic happen! Having previously worked for a phonics publisher for 3 years, Michelle understands the intricacies of how schools get things done. She works with teachers getting them started and guiding them through how to get the best from Phonics Hero.


Team headshot for Dovenia Chow.

Dovenia Chow– Business Development Manager

With over 14 years of Partnership and Business Development experience under her belt, Dovenia understands the needs of both global and local clients. She firmly believes the best business relationships are win-win and wants to help share the love of Phonics Hero to all corners of the globe, and improve child literacy everywhere!


Team headshot for Jenny Hedger.

Jenny Hedger – Marketing and Customer Happiness Executive

Jenny creates content for Phonics Hero’s website and social media accounts and assists parents with getting the most out of Phonics Hero. With an MFA in Creative Writing and a social work background, literacy holds a special place in her heart.