I come from Singapore and we did not use phonics during my school time. So I had absolutely no idea what phonics was, let alone teach Mr K. Having apps on the iPad is always so handy as they can learn phonics if they are not playing outdoor or in a car journey. This app that I had downloaded is called Twinkle Phonics Suite where you learn British Phonics – Reading, Writing & Spelling.
Early this year, I had reviewed the Twinkl website. Twinkle is the one-stop shop for primary school teachers, providing the largest and loveliest collection of free and premium downloadable and printable primary teaching resources. It is an online educational resource, which focuses on EY, KS1 and KS2. There are over 100,000 beautiful hand drawn resources that are used in educational settings not only in the UK but around the world.
Now I am reviewing this Twinkl Phonic Suite app which is one of their many apps in iTunes shop. So when you purchase, please be careful. It is best to buy this suite app than the individual app. It works out cheaper to buy this suite app at £4.99 than individual apps at £2.49 each if you intend to buy more than one. The app is designed to support children in developing some of the key skills taught in Phases 1 – 5 of the DfES Letters and Sounds Document. Activities are presented in a fun, child friendly way (with lovely Twinkl artwork) and covers the following:
- The sounds and names of each letter of the alphabet
- Letter formation
- Blending sounds in CVC words
- The graphemes taught in phases 2-3 (including digraphs and trigraphs)
- Initial and final blends
- Alternative spellings for phonemes
- High frequency and tricky words for each phase
In each phase, there are a lot of activities to do like listening to the sound, writing and learning. My son (aged 6) finds some activities too basic for him and went to phase 5 for the challenge. But in fact there are so many more activities he needs to know before he skips to phase 5. On the other hand, my daughter (aged 4) has only started to learn about phonics finds it useful to go through each phase at her own pace. They both love Phoneme Matching Game. I think this is quite fun for them and they both enjoy opening the card to reveal the letter. The Balloon Pop game also got their attention! Popping the right letter balloon and see who can score the most.
Also there are mini games in each phases in a pirate theme! Finding the buried treasure game sounds fun to both of my children. But I am not keen on the funny pirate noise. We only managed to complete 10% of the whole app. I do find that this app requires parent supervision as some activities can be quite hard for them.
Overall, I think it is a great app as there are so many activities to help your child to learn and practice writing (able to change to write non cursive). It is very clearly divided into phases that help your child to move on slowly. The way they pronounce the sounds is very clear and easy to follow. I believe this app is great value for learning phonics with plenty of parenting help.
Disclosure: We received the sample for the purposes of writing this review, however, all thoughts and opinions remain our own.