Making learning fun for 21st century kids

Five reasons to choose PocketPhonics Stories for your school

PocketPhonics Stories is the new and expanded version of PocketPhonics that incorporates a reading scheme of 42 storybooks. It has been rated A+ by Balefire Labs who are perhaps the most rigorous education review website. Out of the 4400 education apps they’ve reviewed, only five other apps have achieved that top A+ rating.

The original PocketPhonics is used in thousands of schools, and its big brother is now well on its way to become another classroom favourite.

[1] Easy for young kids to use independently

PocketPhonics Stories is used in hundreds of schools and pre-schools worldwide. In these classrooms, children learn independently with PocketPhonics Stories as the app leads them through learning their current group of letter sounds. The children learn how to write each letter, recognise the letter sounds, spell words and read storybooks using the letter sounds they've learnt so far. We’ve spent more than six years improving the app based on teachers’ and parents’ feedback to accelerate kids’ learning. Every design decision in PocketPhonics Stories is based on research and has been tested and optimised.

At the end of this document, it details the letter sounds and words in PocketPhonics Stories.

[2] Educationally sound

“A lot of research and thought has gone into producing PocketPhonics”, Focus on Phonics.

The app is rigorously based on the approach to teaching reading widely accepted as the best: synthetic phonics. Kids are motivated through play but it’s play that engages their brains - they have to think to achieve, and are therefore more likely to remember. PocketPhonics Stories is rigorous and fast-paced. Kids are taught specific, measurable skills and their progress is tracked.

Independent research found kids learnt nine times as fast using the original PocketPhonics compared to a lesson in a classroom. You’ll be aware that many educators doubt the value of using technology like iPads because they doubt the educational value of the apps. The researcher chose PocketPhonics precisely because it stood out from the crowd as having a genuine educational basis. The results demonstrated that with the right app the technology can deliver.

We don’t make the claim of being the prettiest app, or the one with the best sound effects or animations. That’s not to say that we don’t believe they are important. We believe that they should support the learning not overwhelm it.

We do make the claim of being the only app that independent, and unsolicited, research found accelerated kids’ learning nine-fold. We put learning first.

[3] Individual, personalised learning

Here’s some of the praise for the original PocketPhonics:

“This app feels much like a private tutoring session for early readers”,

“This app feels like you have a teacher or a tutor working with your child one on one”,

Each child using PocketPhonics Stories does so under their own name, and this works across multiple devices. Each child is treated as an individual and treated the same on each device, so that:

  • the app can track each student’s progress
  • you can customise settings for each student
  • each student works at their level
  • the app remembers what they are working on, and what they have already learnt

When the app is re-started, it checks that this is the same player as last time. Ensuring that each child uses the right profile.

[4] Supports how you teach in school

PocketPhonics Stories follows the synthetic phonics teaching method complying with both the “Reading First” part of the “No Child Left Behind Act” in the US, and the UK’s national curriculum. This document details how PocketPhonics aligns with the USA's Core Curriculum.

PocketPhonics Stories supports two popular handwriting styles like those taught in most US schools. It also supports lowercase, uppercase, or cursive letters. Kids are shown how to correctly form letters by our unique follow-me arrow.

PocketPhonics Stories is set-up so you demonstrate it on an interactive whiteboard by using the appropriate lead from your iPad to interactive whiteboard (tested with Apple Composite AV Cable).

Our free guide to teaching kids to read brings you and your parents best practice.

[5] Easy-to-manage

If you have any problems, you can raise them from within the app and we get a full set of diagnostics to help us solve the issue. The app’s adult test protects settings and other non-children areas from kids.

You can set your class up as a group in your school by logging onto our secure website:, and then select that group when you log into the app on each of your iPads. The players in your class (group) will then appear on each iPad. Automatically, a child can continue on from where they were last time even if they are using a different iPad. Thus a teacher does not have to remember to hand out to a child the iPad they used yesterday, they can give them any iPad in the class.

What does PocketPhonics Stories cost for schools?

PocketPhonics Stories is available at a discount for schools when you buy at the App Store as a school.
Getting the most out of our apps - a guide for schools