We're making Bug Club Phonics even better!

We have taken on board teacher feedback to make key improvements to Bug Club Phonics. Learners and teachers are at the heart of everything we do at Pearson, and we are committed to helping and supporting schools. 

Please check out our roadmap below to find out everything you need to know about our plans for Bug Club Phonics!

Last updated 10 January 2024.

Autumn term 2023

Improved functionality for all teaching screens includes:

Responsive Design

You will be able to see lessons screens and games now scale better on different devices, so you get a great experience whether you are viewing on a computer or a whiteboard.

Better experience for young learners

We have improved accessibility for the whole class, including:

  • Making sure the size and spacing of words and letters is clear and readable for all children.
  • Teachers now have the ability to expand videos for better viewing.
  • Teachers told us that children sometimes found it difficult to ‘drag and drop’ letters on the teaching screens. We’ve made improvements so users can simply tap the item them want to select, then tap where they want the item to drop.
  • We’ve also made sure any part of the lesson screen children might interact with is big enough to make it easy to manipulate, and in an area of the screen children can reach!

Addition of a writing Tool

Teachers let us know it would be useful to have a writing tool in the lesson screens, so we’ve added this tool into the lesson menu.

We’re updating our lesson videos with new content! Older videos will be replaced with new, engaging pupil videos, starting in September. Phase 2 and the first part of Phase 5 are now live, with the remaining videos being updated through October.

We’ve created flexible weekly and termly plans to help save on teacher planning time. These documents are editable, so you can easily adapt them to suit the needs of your class.

We’ve also provided guidance on running a successful reading session using Bug Club Phonics readers.

These documents can be found now in the Planning Area.

We’ve added more detailed guidance for catch-up work when your children need extra support.

We’ve also added detail to the Assessment Trackers, to make it easier to track children’s progress and identify when children need extra support.

These documents can be found now in the Planning Area under ‘Catch-Up’ and ‘Assessment Trackers’.

Summer term 2023

We’ve updated our grapheme charts and sounds mats in line with customer feedback!

Improvements include:

  • All mats and charts are now available as part of your subscription, so you can print the resources at the size that works best for your class.
  • For each mat and poster, you can access a full colour version that’s beautiful to display or laminate, as well as a simpler B&W version that’s easier to print and can be a better option for those children who found the full colour version with decorations too distracting.
  • Images to help children identify the phoneme, as well as a picture key to avoid any confusion.
  • On the sound mats, graphemes that represent the same phoneme are now grouped, to help make the mat easier to use.
  • We’ve provided 3 versions of the mat for Phase 5:
    • Phase 5 sound mat shows all of Phase 5 GPCs
    • To prepare the children adequately for the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check, Units 13–21 should be completed by half term of the summer term. So we’ve provided a version of the sound mat that just shows Phase 5, Units 13–21, and another that just shows Units 22–27.

These videos match our sound mats and other resources. They contain an action for each GPC based on Bug Club Phonics imagery and are a great way to help children remember new learning.

We’ve filmed our new actions videos with the help of one our fantastic Bug Club Phonics schools. The videos star two incredible ECTs, who have helped create and trial these actions with their own classes!

We’ve included the videos in two formats – individual, short videos for each GPC, and a longer video containing all the GPCs in a Phase.

  • The videos are allocatable, so they can be used for practice at home too!

Phase 2, 3 and 5 videos are now live, with the final Phase 5 videos to come in the following weeks.

We’ve also included a document listing the GPC, the image and the action as a handy reference for teachers, TAs or even parents.

Videos are searchable in the resources area and appear as linked resource in the lesson plans. 

Updates are being published to the online content to ensure clearer alignment with our existing Bug Club Phonics progression and rationale.

Publishing has already started and will continue throughout May.  

You will also see improved functionality of the assessment games​ so that they scale better on different devices.

7 Live-action videos showing a Bug Club Phonics lesson are now available within your ActiveLearn Primary subscription.

9 units of PD materials have also been added to your subscription. This includes PowerPoints, facilitator notes and handouts to enable you to deliver your own in-school PD sessions.

The units are:

  • Unit 1: Phonic Knowledge: The Essentials
  • Unit 2: Best Practice
  • Unit 3: Assessment
  • Unit 4: Phase 1
  • Unit 5: Phonics for Parents and Carers
  • Unit 6: Early Reading
  • Unit 7: Beyond Phonics
  • Unit 8: Phase 4
  • Unit 9: Intervention

For schools using Little Wandle as their SSP but who would like to expand their available selection of decodable readers, we have created matched packs of our 180 decodable Bug Club Phonics readers to Little Wandle phases. 

Order your Little Wandle matching packs

Teachers let us know it was difficult to find what they needed when using these magnetic boards. We’ve improved the design so you can quickly select exactly the Phase and Unit(s) you want to choose from.

Updated versions of the Magnetic Boards are now live in the Planning Area.