Zack McPherson has learnt the secret to breaking a very important code.
The Year 6 student at St Augustine's Primary School in Wodonga has enjoyed a huge boost to his learning and confidence thanks to the school's systematic approach to literacy.
"I feel happy because I am getting much better at reading," he said.
Such is its dedication, the school of 323 students has been asked to both host and participate in the first Phonics Roadshow to be held outside a capital city.
The one-day professional learning course, which aims to explain the benefits of explicit phonics instruction, was sold out in a week with more than 50 teachers from the region registered to attend the March 26 event.
As part of the course, St Augustine's will throw open its classroom doors to demonstrate how they put evidence into action at the coal-face of learning.
Principal Joe Quinn said it had been a three-year journey to "re-learn" the best way to teach literacy.
"We are going back to teaching the mechanics of language," he explained.
"Phonics is one aspect of teaching reading embedded in six key components of literacy.
"We now have 10 teachers trained in the synthetic phonics approach and they help mentor and upskill other teachers.
"We are all learning together and the anecdotal results and early evidence is very positive."
St Augustine's literacy leader Dean Butler said the approach essentially helped students to "break the alphabetic code".
"Student engagement and confidence is growing through explicit direct instruction," he said.
"They have become more articulate with their learning."
Zack's mum Jennifer McPherson said she couldn't believe the change in her son when the school started working on phonics-based literacy.
Because of his dyslexia and dyscalculia, she said Zack had previously struggled with learning to read and write.
"Using readers and learning the separate sounds letters make, I have noticed a real improvement in how Zack is able to de-code words," Jennifer said.
"This approach helps all children learn how to read and write."