Sarah

A bit about my background

I was a primary school teacher and Key Stage 1 phase leader in London for 10 years, during which time I taught in Newham, Hackney and Richmond with ages 5-7, the crucial age at which children are learning the skills they need to be able to read. One of the most satisfying parts of my job was receiving new children at the beginning of Year 1, who could read maybe a few simple and short sentences, to leaving Year 1 as confident readers.

I am now a mum to a 4-year-old boy, and with that comes a different perspective. I am now on the other side of the classroom door, eagerly waiting to pick up my son from school. Conversations with other parents at the school gates give me a lot of insight as to what parents want for their children’s learning and in particular, their differing levels of knowledge and confidence in helping their children with phonics and reading.

Sarah teaching her class

Why I developed The Phonics Gamer

In my former days as a teacher, I was always looking for interesting and fun ways to teach phonics. This would often include some type of game with the class or focused group. Sometimes the game or activity was very practical and sometimes I would utilise an online game from a very limited selection of sources. Phonics games were a great way to engage the children and create excitement in what can be quite a dry subject. At one particular school I worked at, over the course of a few months we trialled sending homework in the form of games that were intended to be played with an adult, accompanied by instructions for parents and a list of questions to ask their child. This was very well received and I would be given positive feedback from parents about how much they enjoyed playing the games with their children and how much their child grew in confidence.

It had always been a life goal of mine to create interactive games and resources for children’s education, but my duties as a teacher meant that developing anything would take up much of what little free time I had. But having an extended period away from teaching to look after my young son, combined with significant and humbling world event that started in the early part of 2020, made me question what I was waiting for. All the extra time at home created the perfect conditions to get started!

Many parents now found themselves in a situation where they had to play teacher at home. Parents were struggling to find something both interesting and educational that their children could do at home. Children like playing on a computer so I suddenly thought what if we could create phonics games that are more like the types of games children enjoy playing on a computer or tablet, but with the educational element brought in?  Computers and tablets are here to stay and children naturally gravitate towards them. Why not create something where computer games and phonics meet to create games where children are learning at the same time? And with that, The Phonics Gamer was born…

Sarah teaching her class

Andrew

A bit about my background

I’ve always been interested in technology and I’ve been a long-time gamer ever since I was a child. These passions have grown with me as I’ve got older and into adulthood. Now that Sarah and I have a little boy I find myself looking at life in a different way and my priorities in life have changed. I realised that one of the things I want to do in life is create games and it is also important that what I do contributes something back to society. The many years of experience I have in information technology, training and as an e-learning developer, combined with being a parent allow me to have a unique perspective on how to help kids grow and learn. The world is moving so fast, and kids are on tablets and phones but they are often just playing games with no learning content. I wanted to merge the best of both to create a place where kids can play to their hearts content and learn at the same time. I am hoping that we achieve this with The Phonics Gamer. I am proud what we have achieved so far but there is so much more exciting content and ideas to come.

Andrew at a training event in Birmingham

Why I developed The Phonics Gamer

For me, The Phonics Gamer came about when in the spring of 2020 the world experienced a global crisis that brought much of the world to a standstill. The fact that I couldn’t work and had to take care of my child at home was at first extremely challenging. However, it soon became a time for reflection on what I wanted out of life. I wanted to do something new and share my passion with the world for gaming, whilst also contributing to creating something that both teachers and parents could use to help children learn. If playing games can help children learn, and that changes a child’s life path for the better, I could not be more pleased with that. 

Our promise to you:

  • To bring you the best interactive phonics games your child will love to play.
  • Interactive, online and practical games that grab children’s’ attention and help them learn and consolidate their learning.
  • Two modes of game – adult led games and resources, and those that can be used independently by children.
  • A variety of game themes and styles of game play.
  • Ever- evolving games content available to all subscribers. If a new game is published, you will get access to it too.
  • A selection of free games available to all.