Further information about the self-assessment process
The Department wishes to offer schools and early years settings support in choosing effective systematic synthetic phonics teaching materials. To assist in providing this, the Department has published revised core criteria that define the key features of an effective systematic synthetic phonics teaching programme.
The criteria are not prioritised; they comprise an interdependent core, and a good support programme should meet all of them. The Department is strongly encouraging heads and teachers to consider these revised core criteria when making decisions about the quality of commercial programmes and the suitability of them for their particular schools and settings.
To ensure that this process is as easy and useful as possible for schools and settings, publishers of phonics products are invited to evaluate their materials against each of the revised core criteria and complete a self-assessment form. The self-assessment should demonstrate how each of the criteria is met, or explain why a particular criterion is not applicable to the product. Please refer also to the explanatory notes where applicable.
Publishers are asked to provide information that is succinct and focused on the criteria in a form that is easy to read and understand. Please note that there is a word limit for the text boxes provided within the template.
We expect that publishers will provide accurate information about their materials, and completed entries will be independently scrutinised for accuracy.
Completed and verified self-assessments will be displayed on this website for schools to browse through before making a decision. It should be noted that the Department does not endorse or rank the programmes that appear on this website. Completed evaluation forms should not be regarded or advertised as an ‘approved’ programme or resource. However, completed forms can be used for the purposes of demonstrating to schools how a programme or resource meets the core criteria and can, for example, be displayed on publishers’ websites.
If you would like to submit a self-assessment form, please e-mail it to: . Any feedback on this process may also be sent to this address.
Assuring high quality phonic work – snapshot self-assessment form
The self-assessment below provides a snapshot of how this product meets the core criteria for a high quality phonics programme. For more detailed information on how this product meets each of the core criteria, please see the detailed form.
When completing this form you will find it helpful to refer to the explanatory notes which can be found by [scrolling down the core criteria page of this website].
Name of product: Teach Your Monster to Read
Is this a full, stand alone phonics teaching programme or a supplementary resource or group of resources? Please explain briefly how the product should be used in teaching.
We would describe this as a supplementary resource. More information on how this should be used in teaching is provided later in this form.This product: / Tick to confirm
presents high quality systematic, synthetic phonic work as the prime approach to decoding print, i.e. a phonics ‘first and fast’ approach /
✔ (see below for explanationenables children to start learning phonic knowledge and skills using a systematic, synthetic programme by the age of five, with the expectation that they will be fluent readers having secured word recognition skills by the end of key stage one / ✔ (see below for explanation
is designed for the teaching of discrete, daily sessions progressing from simple to more complex phonic knowledge and skills and covering the major grapheme/phoneme correspondences / ✔ (see below for explanation)
enables children’s progress to be assessed / N/A
uses a multi-sensory approach so that children learn variously from simultaneous visual, auditory and kinaesthetic activities which are designed to secure essential phonic knowledge and skills / ✔ (see below for explanation
demonstrates that phonemes should be blended, in order, from left to right, ‘all through the word’ for reading / ✔ (see below for explanation
demonstrates how words can be segmented into their constituent phonemes for spelling and that this is the reverse of blending phonemes to read words / ✔ (see below for explanation
ensures that children apply phonic knowledge and skills as their first approach to reading and spelling even if a word is not completely phonically regular / ✔ (see below for explanation
ensures that children are taught high frequency words that do not conform completely to grapheme/phoneme correspondence rules / ✔ (see below for explanation
provides fidelity to the teaching framework for the duration of the programme, to ensure that these irregular words are fully learnt / ✔ (see below for explanation
ensures that, as pupils move through the early stages of acquiring phonics, they are invited to practise by reading texts which are entirely decodable for them, so that they experience success and learn to rely on phonemic strategies. / N/A
Please explain how your product meets the core criteria above.200 words max
Teach your Monster to Read is a free, BAFTA-nominated online game which helps children to practise the key first stages of reading.
The game helps children to develop speed and accuracy in:
· grapheme-phoneme correspondences
· blending and segmenting
· decoding tricky (common exception) words
· reading decodable captions and sentences
The game complements Letters and Sounds (L & S). It is based on a purely synthetic approach to phonics and follows the teaching sequence of GPCs as laid out in L & S.
The game was developed in collaboration with the literacy experts from the University of Roehampton who have ensured that it delivers on its learning objectives.
The product is also unique in the quality of its production values. It was designed by expert game designers, and its engaging characters, beautiful graphics, voices, and reward systems all keep children highly focussed while they’re playing.
The game has been a winner and finalist in a number of awards and has had over a million plays (each with an average of 20 minutes gameplay). It has been extremely well reviewed by teachers and the press (see reviews at http://www.teachyourmonstertoread.com/reviews)
Please provide a brief explanation of what your product provides, e.g. resources, training etc150 words max
There are two games thus far: First Steps and Fun With Words.
Game 1 (First Steps) is compatible with Phases 2 and 3 of Letters and Sounds and complements other major systematic synthetics phonics programmes.
· Letter and sound practice for the first 31 grapheme-phoneme correspondences (s a t p i n m d g o c k ck e u r h b f ff l ll ss j qu v w x y z zz)
· Basic blending and segmenting practice
· Introduction of some tricky words.
Game 2: (Fun With Words) complements Letters and Sounds up to the end of Phase 4.
· Introduction and practice of new GPCs: ch, sh, th, ng, ai, ee, igh, oa, oo, ar, or, ur, ow, oi, ear, air, ure, er
· Lots of blending and segmenting practice with CVC, CVCC, CCV and CCVC words, (therefore including adjacent consonants) and some polysyllabic words
· Introduction and practice of tricky words: he, she, the, to, we, me, be, was, no, go, my, you, they, her, all, are, said, so, have, like, some, come, were, there, little, one, do when, out, what
· Reading and comprehension of sentences and captions.
A third game which addresses Phase 5 will be available from early 2016.
For further details of coverage please go to:
Contact detailsAntonio Gould
Producer: The Usborne Foundation
Assuring high quality phonic work – Detailed self-assessment form
This second self assessment form gives schools and settings detailed and expanded information about this product, set against each core criterion.
Name of product:
Please explain how your product meets the following core criteria:
This product presents high quality systematic, synthetic phonic work as the prime approach to decoding print by:
Teach your Monster to Read (TYMTR) follows the systematic synthetic approach as laid out in Letters and Sounds (L & S). As such, it has all the hallmarks of a quality SSP scheme (i.e. GPCs taught in sequence; reading skills addressed before writing; tricky words introduced gradually; progression from VC and CVC words to those with adjacent consonants and more than one syllable.)
This product enables children to start learning phonic knowledge and skills using a systematic, synthetic programme by the age of five, with the expectation that they will be fluent readers having secured word recognition skills by the end of key stage one by:
See the point above about following the L & S programme with its time-bound expectations
This product has been designed for the teaching of discrete, daily sessions progressing from simple to more complex phonic knowledge and skills and covering the major grapheme/phoneme correspondences by:
This product has been designed to support the teaching work done in discrete daily sessions rather than replacing it.
Once children have learned the content and skills during lessons, Teach Your Monster to Read helps them to practise these skills over and over again.
Children can work independently, with Teaching Assistants or at home practising the skills needed to progress from simple to more complex knowledge. The game takes them through the content at their own pace, only allowing them to continue once they have practised each part sufficiently.
This product enables children’s progress to be assessed by:
This product uses a multi-sensory approach so that children learn variously from simultaneous visual, auditory and kinaesthetic activities which are designed to secure essential phonic knowledge and skills by:
The game is full of beautiful illustration, animation, characters and story.
It has carefully designed reward systems which keep children entertained and motivated throughout the game.
Each of the activities involves a balanced combination of characters, movement, audio visual cues and script, all designed by a team of top quality producers, artists and game designers working with the University of Roehampton to ensure the learning outcomes are being met.
This product demonstrates that phonemes should be blended, in order, from left to right, ‘all through the word’ for reading by:
There are several mini-games which give children practice in recognising individual grapheme-phoneme correspondences (e.g. by listening to a phoneme and ‘herding’ it into a sheep pen with the correct grapheme).
Once these are securely in place, they progress to a set of games in which they practise both blending and segmenting these to create CVC words (in game 1) and CCVC / CVCC words (in game 2).
There is a large amount of practice in this, especially in the second game.
In all of these games, the process of blending left-to-right and showing that segmenting into phonemes is the reverse of this process has been carefully blended into the game mechanics.
This product demonstrates how words can be segmented into their constituent phonemes for spelling and that this is the reverse of blending phonemes to read words by:
See previous answer
This product ensures that children apply phonic knowledge and skills as their first approach to reading and spelling even if a word is not completely phonically regular by:
Throughout the game, children are given opportunities to read and practise semi-decodable words (such as ‘no’).
· This product ensures that children are taught high frequency words that do not conform completely to grapheme/phoneme correspondence rules by:150 words max
These HFWs feature from the start of the programme. First Steps introduces both the concept and the first set of words.
In Fun with Words, children are both introduced to a larger set of these words (through the “Tricky” characters) and practise each rigorously through the “Hungry Beast” game. The can only moving on when they have received enough practice.
This product provides fidelity to the teaching framework for the duration of the programme, to ensure that these irregular words are fully learnt by:
Irregular words are introduced so that they complement the sequence in which they are taught in L & S; there is sufficient time for practice in each before children are allowed to move forward.
This product ensures that, as pupils move through the early stages of acquiring phonics, they are invited to practise by reading texts which are entirely decodable for them, so that they experience success and learn to rely on phonemic strategies by:
Please provide a brief explanation of what your product provides, e.g. resources, training etc150 words max
(This is a repeat of the question above)