"The visual approach really helps. Last year our Year 1 phonics results improved by 10%."
Sarah Brailey, Newton Flotman Primary, Norfolk
Sarah Brailey, Newton Flotman Primary, Norfolk
DfE-listed, Monster Phonics is designed as a whole-class scheme for children in Reception and Key Stage 1 and as an intervention in Key Stages 1 and 2, with all resources mapped against the Letters & Sounds phases 1 to 6 and the KS1 Spelling Curriculum.
The colour-coded grapheme system is unique to Monster Phonics; each coloured grapheme is paired with a monster character that makes the same sound to give audio-visual prompts that help children ‘see’ each sound within a word and pronounce it correctly. Our monsters are really sound cues to help children remember how to read and pronounce graphemes. Click on a monster below to find out more.
Look at this simple yearly overview to see where to start your next Monster Phonics lesson. Benefit from consistent planning and improved results straight away. Don’t wait for September which can allow gaps to widen.
Lesson plans and resources are available for every grapheme in Reception and the KS1 National Curriculum. All resources are easy to find and print or download. These include PowerPoints, animations, songs, stories, phonics flashcards, worksheets and differentiated multisensory activities.
Stories, songs and activities are carefully woven into the lessons which are highly engaging. Colour-coded flashcards, word charts and PowerPoints make the teaching of the Commons Exception and High-Frequency Words far easier. The interim and end of year assessment materials are simple and straightforward.
There are 8 graphemes that make the long A sound. We colour them red.
Angry Red A is a memory cue for the long A sound because he makes this sound.
Angry Red A is a kind but crazy monster. He sometimes breaks objects without thinking. He loves driving his racing car and has a monster taxi service. On Fridays, his cave becomes the Rave Cave for the weekly monster disco.
There are 9 graphemes that make the long E sound. We colour them green.
Green Froggy is a memory cue for the long E sound because she makes this sound.
‘Green Froggy is happy to dr eam under the tree’
‘Green Froggy is a teacher at the teapot school house. She loves to drink tea and coffee and always looks forward to the weekend’
There are 5 graphemes that make the long I sound. We colour them yellow.
The Yellow I monster is a memory cue for the long I sound because he makes this sound.
Yellow I watches over the other monsters from his lighthouse. When there is trouble the lighthouse blinks and he jumps into action. Yellow I is a spy who goes on secret missions and loves gadgets like iPads and iPhones. He can fly when he wears his secret cloak.
There are 5 graphemes that make the long O sound. We colour them pink.
Miss Oh No is a memory cue for the long O sound because she says ‘Oh No!’ when she bumps into things.
Miss Oh No loves to dance more than anything else in the world. She is a disco dance teacher giving lessons after school to all the monsters. She is enthusiastic but sometimes lacks coordination! Miss Oh No lives inside a pink-coated doughnut-shaped house.
There are 5 graphemes that make the long U sound. We colour them purple.
U-Hoo is a memory cue for the long U sound because he makes this sound.
U-Hoo lives in the outer universe. He calls ‘Yoo-hoo!’ and waves his U-shaped arms to his friends below him. He visits Monster Phonics Land by sliding down a purple tube that magically appears. U-hoo is a musician, playing the drums in the monsters band.
There are 10 graphemes that make the long oo sound. We colour them blue.
Cool Blue is a memory cue for the long O sound because he makes this sound.
Cool Blue is a cool DJ and he also looks after the zoo. He adores animals especially kangaroos and cockatoos. Cool Blue lives in a blue moon house. His favourite DJ event is the Friday Monsters Disco. He also sings the ‘Ooh’ vocals in the monsters’ band.
There are 2 graphemes that make the ow sound. We colour them brown.
Brown Owl is a memory cue for the ow sound.
Brown Owl is a Mountain Rescue Owl. She lives in a brown treehouse at the top of Monster Mountain with Bounder, her St Bernard. If a monster is lost, she’ll save them. She loves comics and talks like a comic book… POW! WOW! OW! She excels at school.
The sound cue for silent letters is “Put your fingers to your lips. Ghost letters make no sound.” We colour them white. The ghosts help children to remember to write these letters in words, even though they have no sound.
The ghosts enjoy hiding and jumping out to scare the monsters. They make no sound! This is great for pretending that they are not there. They live in Tricky Witch’s house and help to look after the Black Cats. They feed them and play chase games.
Tricky letters show no grapheme-phoneme correspondence. They make a different sound to the one that has been taught. We colour them gold. For example, the ‘a’ in ‘want’ makes an ‘o’ sound. For Tricky letters, the cue is “Tricky Witch has cast a spell to change the sounds you know so well. Can I catch you out”?
Tricky Witch is naughty and casts ‘tricky’ spells in Monster Phonics Land often causing chaos. She lives in the haunted house with the ghosts and the black cats. Her nieces, the Little Witches come to visit. Tricky Witch loves jewellery and gold bling!
The black cats make the phonetic sounds. These are the 26 letters of the alphabetic, 9 consonant digraphs and or and ur. They do not need as sound cue as they are phonetic.
The black cats are happy and playful. They like to line up in a row to make phonetic words. The cats don’t understand Tricky Witch’s magic or how the ghosts can disappear but they are learning how to read simple words using their letter sounds.
Monster Phonics was developed by Ingrid Connors, a primary teacher, phonics specialist and audiological scientist. Ingrid’s experiences within education and her scientific background led her to focus research on the linguistic obstacles to literacy and specifically how these can be overcome through the systematic teaching of phonics. The outcomes of this research form the foundations of Monster Phonics:
Schools that have fully embedded Monster Phonics have seen a 15% increase in the phonics screening pass rate. Local authority studies show a 38% increase in spelling accuracy in 5 weeks and a 23-month improvement in reading age in 5 months. Monster Phonics was voted as one of the top twenty ideas in world education at the BETT show in 2015 and was a BETT finalist in 2017.