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At The Berkeley Academy, we believe that providing engaging, fun and interactive phonics lessons is the key to successful and enthusiastic readers and writers in the early years. We have adopted the Monster Phonics scheme that uses fun characters to help the children engage with their learning, make connections and as a result make rapid progress with both their reading and writing. Nursery, Reception and Year 1 are taught discrete daily phonics lessons. Each lesson focuses on a new phoneme (sound) whilst recapping and revisiting those previously taught. Lessons are based around a variety of games and tasks that help the children to engage and embed new learning into the long-term memory. Learn more about Monster Phonics below.


What is Monster Phonics?

  • The 26 letters of the alphabet and combinations of these letters make 44 speech sounds in English.
  • The 44 sounds (phonemes) are spelt by 144 different letter combinations (graphemes). For example, the sound A is spelt 5 different ways ay (play), ai (train).
  • Traditional ways of learning to spell can be time-consuming and for some children they are ineffective.
  • Monster Phonics categorises sounds into 10 areas and uses the Monsters as a categorisation. Each monster has a different colour. That colour represents that way of spelling the sound.


Why does Monster Phonics improve learning?

  • The children learn through the assignment of colour and the linkage of the sound, as well as seeing the colour, creating more ways of remembering the spelling.
  • The games, songs and activities within the programme continuously reflect this way of learning, so that structure is constantly seen, heard and experienced by the children. This consistency is critical in ensuring that a complicated language is learnt in the most simplistic way.
  • High-frequency words are learnt much faster with Monster Phonics. These words make up 65% of the words used in reading
  • 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 the YouTube videos below to see the actions and how to pronounce each sound correctly. The final video is an example of the many Monster Phonics stories on their YouTube channel, they feature the Monster Phonics characters.

Pure Speech Sounds

Monster Phonics Actions

Monster Phonics Storytime - At The Zoo