Bug Club and Phonics Bug FAQs

We have put together the most popular questions and answers that will help you make the most of Bug Club in your classroom and give you a bit more information on the programme. If you have a query that isn't answered below, get in touch| and we'll do our best to help.

Join Bug Club today for 3 months' free online access| Is there any help for getting started?|

Join Bug Club today for 3 months' free online access How should I use Bug Club in the classroom?|

Join Bug Club today for 3 months' free online access What is the Clackmannanshire study into synthetic phonics?|

Join Bug Club today for 3 months' free online access What is the Government's position on synthetic phonics?|

Join Bug Club today for 3 months' free online access What can you do to prepare for the Year 1 Phonics Screening check?|

Join Bug Club today for 3 months' free online access What do teachers and pupils think of Bug Club?|

Join Bug Club today for 3 months' free online access Where can I find technical FAQs for Bug Club and Phonics Bug?|


How do I get started?

Every care has been taken to ensure that the online resources are simple to use and take very little time to set up - but we know it can be daunting starting with a new programme and busy teachers often don't have time to read a manual. If that’s you, download our short Getting Started Guide|, or try one of our regular online training sessions to help you get up and running with your online resources quickly and effortlessly. The sessions run as twilight webinars, which means all you have to do is log in on your school or home computer after school, put your headphones on and access the session online. You can register individually, or if a whole group of colleagues want to join you, you can register as a group and access the training via your whiteboard or projector too.

Sign up for a free getting started webinar for Bug Club|


Topics covered in our Bug Club webinars include getting started with the resources, how to allocated eBooks and finding your way around the teaching and planning tools. It's easy to sign up and it's free!

Book your place on our Bug Club Getting Started Webinar today|.


  How should I use Bug Club in the classroom?

Bug Club is a whole-school reading programme designed for use at Foundation, KS1 and KS2. It is the first phonics-based reading programme to join books with an online reading world to teach today's children to read.

  • Use Phonics Bug's whole class teaching software and 100% decodable books as your starting point to teach your youngest children about letters and sounds and how they blend to make words
  • Inspire a love of reading with Phonics Bug and Bug Club's exciting books, cool characters and range of genres, then enter Bug Club's online reading world to make their reading journey even more rewarding
  • Consolidate your children's learning with Bug Club's games, worksheets and eBook quizzes, in whole-class sessions or as independent reading practice at school or at home
  • Assess pupils' progress with Bug Club's comprehensive range of tools for formative and summative assessment.
  • Continue their reading journey at home, by assigning eBooks to children's personal homepage in Bug Club's online reading world and create that all important the joined-up learning between school and home.

Bug Club Teach Inspire diagram 300 pixels

   What is the Clackmannanshire study into synthetic phonics?

Phonics Bug is based on a systematic phonics teaching method that was trialled as part of a successful seven-year research project conducted by Rhona Johnston and Joyce Watson in Clackmannanshire, Scotland, published in February 2005.

This project ('The Effects of Synthetic Phonics Teaching on Reading and Spelling Attainment') has been instrumental in shaping Government advice on the use of systematic phonics as the foundation for teaching children to read at primary school and this proven methodology forms the basis of the Phonics Bug whole-class teaching software.

Read the full Clackmannanshire research report| or find out more about the authors|.


  What is the Government's position on synthetic phonics?

The Government has outlined its vision for the teaching of reading using systematic synthetic phonics, in order to get every child reading by the age of six. Drawing heavily on the evidence gathered in the Clackmannanshire research project into the effects of synthetic phonics teaching on reading and spelling attainment, Michael Gove's White Paper| ('The Importance of Teaching: Schools White Paper', 6th December 2010) proposes:

  • the introduction of a reading check for six year olds to make sure that all children are kept on track
  • the provision of funding to help schools implement the synthetic phonics approach, through the adoption of a high-quality synthetic phonics scheme and training for staff
  • reform of teacher training to include synthetic phonics, and training of Ofsted inspectors to recognise features of phonics teaching
  • sharing results of the new reading check though the RAISE online database.


Read our summary of what the White Paper means for schools|.

Check out our Policy Watch pages| to receive more summaries like these and for updates on important developments in the world of education and funding.


  What can you do to prepare for the Year 1 Phonics Screening check?

We've put together a free Poster and Guide ('A Practical Guide to Synthetic Phonics: Every Child Reading by Six') to give you some useful advice on how to increase your phonics focus in school. This guide will give you the low-down on the synthetic phonics debate and provide practical tips and advice to help you put synthetic phonics into practice in the classroom.

Get your free synthetic phonics guide and poster today|.

If you're looking for additional training, Pearson Professional Development's online synthetic phonics course will help you re-visit and hone your synthetic phonics practice. Delivered by renowned phonics expert Elizabeth Nonweiler, this ninety-minute online session is great value for you and your colleagues. 

 Find out more and book your place today|.


  What do teachers and pupils think of Bug Club?

Lots of schools are already using Bug Club in their classrooms to great effect. They tell us they love the flexibility of the readers and eBooks and children are really motivated to pick up and read the Phonics Bug and Bug Club books, and more importantly, take them home to re-read or access them via Bug Club's online reading world.

You can find out more about what teachers and pupils think of Bug Club by reading some of our Bug Club case studies and quotes|, where you'll also find a video of Brookfield Infant School talking about how they use Bug Club in their classrooms and at home.


  Where can I find technical FAQs for Bug Club and Phonics Bug?

If you already use Bug Club in your classroom, you can access a whole range of technical support to help you make best use of the programme with your children. These FAQs include topics on logging in, administration, searching for and allocating eBooks, using eBooks, reporting and general technical queries.

Check out our Bug Club and Phonics Bug technical FAQs|.


Next steps? 

Find out more about what's in Bug Club| or download the Bug Club structure chart|.

For a closer look at the programme, try it before you buy with our free Bug Club trial| - you can use all of the online resources for free for 60 days.



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