By Matt Rogers, ICT Subject Leader and Year 3 Teacher: Snowfields Primary School
When I first discovered the wonder that is Teach Your Monster To Read, I was immediately taken with its interface and design – and I could see straight away how it would come to be loved by the children at Snowsfields Primary. The fact that it uses the voice of Simon Farnaby is an huge bonus (especially as I’m a teacher who loves Horrible Histories!)
We have been using the program for around 3 months, mainly with our children in EYFS. However we have also begun to use it with our pupils in Key Stage 1, as both a preparation tool for the Y1 Phonics Screening Check, and as a way of engaging the children with Phonics through an interactive medium. The program is a perfect mix of both engaging content and stimulating ‘graphics’ to keep the children entertained and most importantly LEARNING!
The main point I have to make about Teach Your Monster to Read is that it works! We have seen first-hand the difference that it has made to our children, when used both as a whole class/small group session (our Reception and Nursery classes have a class monster they travel with together), and also on an individual level; the children are ‘glued to the IWB/Computer screen’.
I am a Year 3 teacher – I have worked both in EYFS and Key Stage 1 prior to this- and I understand phonics and the role it plays in children’s learning. I know the game itself is initially targeted at the early Phases within Letters and Sounds and so would not necessarily be appropriate for the children in my class. However, we have one child with ASD who is absolutely addicted to the game. In the 2 years I have worked with him we have made very little in the way of progress in terms of phonics, but since the introduction of Teach Your Monster to Read we have seen a dramatic improvement in both his engagement with phonics and the retention of what he has been learning. It’s definitely the ownership of teaching his monster what he ‘already knows’ that drives him on!
The children (and I) are really looking forward to the next instalment of the game, where we can continue our learning journey!
I was stunned to see how much they enjoyed this. It blew me away.
Cippenham Primary School
letters and sounds
Designed in collaboration with
The game has been funded by the Usborne Foundation, a charity set up to support initiatives to develop early literacy.
Our mission is to help as many children learn to read as possible. The computer version is 100% free and we put profits from the app back into the Usborne Foundation, to continue to create new and exciting ways for children to learn.
The charity was founded by Peter Usborne MBE and his children, Nicola and Publishing, one of the world’s leading children’s book publishing companies and Children’s Publisher of the Year 2012. He was previously one of the founders of the magazine Private Eye.
What age is it for?
The game is for children in the first stages of learning to read, or for older children who need a bit more practice. Read more
details about the three games.
How do children learn from the game?
The game takes children on a magical journey, meeting colourful characters along the way and collecting fantastic rewards. When children are engaged, they’re motivated to learn.
As they progress, they rehearse a range of essential reading skills; matching letters to sounds, blending, segmenting, tricky words and reading full sentences.
The game runs on any normal laptop or desktop computer (including Apple Macs) and the app works on iPhone, iPad, Android and Kindle tablets.
Who are The Usborne Foundation?
Peter Usborne is the founder and Managing Director of Usborne Publishing, one of the world’s leading children’s book publishing companies and Children’s Publisher of the Year 2012. He was previously one of the founders of the magazine Private Eye, and was recently awarded an MBE for services to publishing.
"I was stunned to see how much they enjoyed this. It blew me away."
Cippenham Primary School
"The kids absolutely love this game - and they're learning!"
Wray Common Primary School
"This is a fun and engaging way to help your child learn to read. My son warmed to the game quickly and didn't want to stop playing it!"
mum to Leon aged 5
This is a fun and engaging way to help your child learn to read. My son warmed to the game quickly and didn't want to stop playing it!