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Are there any phonics websites for a Reception child?

(63 Posts)
noseynoonoo Mon 17-Dec-12 14:28:43

My son has started doing phonics this year and loves it. Are there any fun websites, preferably free, he can look at over the school holidays?

LaTrucha Sun 23-Dec-12 12:57:59

What age are these for? DD has had one term in reception.

mrz Sun 23-Dec-12 13:16:42

My health warning for starfall would be that it is an American site that doesn't follow the same methods as the UK so some activities are in conflict with methods used by schools

Feenie Sun 23-Dec-12 13:26:11

As a parent - given you're a TES expert, I find it really confusing to have teachers come on here and trash something that the Times Education Supplement is promoting.

But the TES forums are just forums like MN, and the Times Ed is just a newspaper -neither have the godlike status you seem to be affording them, PastSellByDate. They're just people's opinions at the end of the day.

Feenie Sun 23-Dec-12 13:27:04

Mr Thorne, you can't spam on MN - unless you pay to have your post in Small Business Ads.

ButHeNeverDid Sun 23-Dec-12 14:37:09

Feenie, Mr Thorne was not spamming - he responded to someone else's post.

And this is a thread about recommending websites is it not?

And I for one think his app is just brilliant and recomend it highly.

My DTs have made great progress with their reading and I think some of the credit goes to Mr Thorne does phonics.

mrz Sun 23-Dec-12 14:40:41

Lots of people think it's brilliant ButHeNeverDid unfortunately that doesn't guarantee it's error free

Feenie Sun 23-Dec-12 14:49:06

He is still not allowed to advertise his wares, unless he pays MN first - you have to pay for the apps.

ButHeNeverDid Sun 23-Dec-12 14:54:55

mrz - it may have errors. But overall, I have found it to be very useful tool to help my DTs read.

Feenie - we was not advertising his wares - someone else was and he responded with another recommendation.

And .... you can access it for free on the website and youtube. You don't have to pay for the app.

mrz Sun 23-Dec-12 15:11:53

If you are happy for them to learn things that may be incorrect that is your choice ...I'm suggesting caution that is all.

WeeWeeWeeAllTheWayHome Sun 23-Dec-12 15:15:10

mrz Any thoughts on "Teach your monster to read"? I know it was developed by Roehampton University and wondered what your take on it was.

lougle Sun 23-Dec-12 15:20:01

He certainly was advertising his wares -3 out of 4 recommendations in his post were for his own materials.

Feenie Sun 23-Dec-12 15:25:28

ButHeNeverDid - it doesn't matter what you or I think, he can't do that, and that's it.

mrz Sun 23-Dec-12 15:29:11

I've not spent any length of time exploring it WeeWeeWee but it seems to focus on matching sound to letters not sure if it will do more in the future but it's colourful and fun just a bit limited

lljkk Sun 23-Dec-12 17:02:06

I only watched one of the Mr. Thorne videos... I thought he was very creepy, tbh.

Feenie Sun 23-Dec-12 17:19:45

And there he goes.....

PastSellByDate Mon 24-Dec-12 05:27:25

Dear mrz & Pearson (who monitor this feed)

Can we please have an official verdict from Mumsnet on Mr. Thorne's website/ apps/ etc...

Very confusing that TES is promoting it yet an anonymous teacher (who may or may not be qualified to judge) is saying it's more or less pants.

Can someone out there openly (with names & credentials - so we parents can transparently see they are in a position to judge) let us know yeah or nay on Mr. Thorne Phonics.

Many thanks.

PS mrz I just conveyed a website recommended by TES. I totally take your point that TES is a newspaper and doesn't or won't always get their facts right but they are rolling out 'experts' (called subject advisers) in various areas and promoting them (e.g. Colin Hill on primary maths - list here:

As you are a teacher mrz and a self-proclaimed literacy expert could you (and any other teachers posting here who feel the same) please contact TES or Mr Thorne and work through these errors for the benefit of parents and pupils out there.

mrz Mon 24-Dec-12 06:54:22

PastSellByDate where have I said it's pants? I have said I wouldn't recommend it as it contains a number of errors. You are of course free to ignore an anonymous teacher as is anyone.

I am a teacher PastSellByDate and have never claimed to be a literacy expert.
I have contacted Mr Thorne in the past about an error which he corrected but don't feel it is my role to monitor it, do you?

CheerfulYank Mon 24-Dec-12 07:00:10

Marking my place for DS. smile Good to know about starfall as we are American, so it might be more helpful.

Feenie Mon 24-Dec-12 09:32:28

PastSellByDate - oh fgs, you did exactly this with MathsWhizz, demanding that it was teachers' duty to review it. How on earth do you think teachers have time to go through someone else's products and sort them out? Have you any idea how many resources like Mr Thorne and MathsWhizz there are out there?

And as for asking MN/Pearson to give an 'official view' - there are no official views, it's just different people's opinions.

Oh, and lay off mrz - it's Christmas.

maverick Mon 24-Dec-12 09:38:06

Several phonics games to play online.

lljkk Mon 24-Dec-12 10:28:42

Starfall is great for us, DS only does the most basic games on there, haven't found anything too incompatible yet with what DS is learning using RWI.

mrz Mon 24-Dec-12 12:22:15

I think as long as you are aware you can check for accuracy and compatibility lljkk (which is what I mean by "health warning").

I use some things on phonics play but not others, the same with the Kent web site and Alphablocks and the British Council etc.

PastSellByDate Fri 28-Dec-12 02:05:38

mrz & Feenie:

Absolutely take the point that there are tons of resources out there and there's no way teachers have the time to review these things. Fair enough.

I think my issues Feenie/ mrz is that in the absence of good support/ progress with aspects of phonics/ maths/ etc... from our own schools, parents turn to these things (cast about really) to try and find something to help. My frustration is that both of you have a tendency to say any resource people suggest 'has to be used with caution' without being particularly specific (i.e. X is good for calculation skills, but doesn't cover geometry at all).

Is reviewing resources something that teachers should consider pressuring the NUT* or TES to produce - it seems an obvious gap. A Which? style review of educational resources (web pages, apps, etc...) just isn't out there. You both seem to be on here a lot - if you're interested yourselves, would this be a better use of your expertise?

Parents really do need a reliable review of these primary educational resources.

*I suggest the NUT because elsewhere mrz commented that TES really aren't that good/ reliable on educational value of resources, so wonder if this wouldn't be better coming from teachers themselves.

mrz Fri 28-Dec-12 08:57:35

^ My frustration is that both of you have a tendency to say any resource people suggest 'has to be used with caution' without being particularly specific^

OK in order to be specific I would need to review all of Mr Thorne's resources ... I neither have time or inclination to do do so.

Teachers are in the same position ...they are constantly looking for resources to use in the classroom but IMHO there isn't one site that offers the full package so we need to be selective and use with caution. The only way to tell if something is worth using is to look at it carefully.

Is reviewing resources something that teachers should consider pressuring the NUT* or TES to produce

as I'm not a member of the NUT and I wouldn't personally be inclined to blindly follow recommendations made by my own union given some of the views on phonics expressed by the leadership (it's pretty clear they don't have the knowledge to make such recommendations).

TES likewise has some very knowledgeable posters contributing to the online forums but that doesn't mean everything they recommend has been tried and tested by them.

Feenie Fri 28-Dec-12 11:48:47

What mrz said.

You both seem to be on here a lot - if you're interested yourselves, would this be a better use of your expertise?

You appear to be attempting trying to dictate how I should spend my time online, PastBy.

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