Monster Phonics

Here at Castlewood School, for our Year 1 and Year 2 pupils, we use a programme of learning which supports all of them on their individual learning journey which is called Monster Phonics.

Many of our pupils join us and have missed large chunks of learning for various reasons and still require Phonics teaching in order to improve their reading skills and close the gap between their reading age and their actual age. Monster Phonics engages our older pupils and they find the visual colours very helpful.

Monster Phonics is the DfE validated child-centred phonics programme suitable for SEN schools as well as mainstream.  The innovative and multisensory approach supports our SEN pupils, by learning phonics in a memorable, fun and engaging way.

Monster Phonics teaches children to read by using systematic colour-coding, enabling them to identify the individual Monster graphemes (letter combinations) and blend the sounds (phonemes) together to read the word. These are then linked to a sound “monster”.  Children love the monsters, who bring phonics to life. The activities are multisensory requiring reading, writing, singing and actions.

Sounds are categorised into ten colour groups, and each colour has a corresponding monster character. Monster Phonics is a highly advanced multisensory scheme. This creates interest and engagement from the children.


Illustrations copied from the MONSTER PHONICS website shown below as examples

Miss Oh No

o, o-e, oa, ow, oe

There are 5 graphemes that make the long O sound. We colour them pink.
Miss Oh No is a memory cue for the long O sound because she says ‘Oh No!’ when she bumps into things.

Miss Oh No loves to dance more than anything else in the world. She is a disco dance teacher giving lessons after school to all the monsters. She is enthusiastic but sometimes lacks coordination! Miss Oh No lives inside a pink-coated doughnut-shaped house.

Cool Blue

u, o, u-e, oo, ew, ue, ou, ui, o-e, eu

There are 10 graphemes that make the long oo sound. We colour them blue.
Cool Blue is a memory cue for the long O sound because he makes this sound.

Cool Blue is a cool DJ and he also looks after the zoo. He adores animals especially kangaroos and cockatoos. Cool Blue lives in a blue moon house. His favourite DJ event is the Friday Monsters Disco. He also sings the ‘Ooh’ vocals in the monsters’ band.


The sound cue for silent letters is “Put your fingers to your lips. Ghost letters make no sound.” We colour them white. The ghosts help children to remember to write these letters in words, even though they have no sound.

The ghosts enjoy hiding and jumping out to scare the monsters. They make no sound! This is great for pretending that they are not there. They live in Tricky Witch’s house and help to look after the Black Cats. They feed them and play chase games.

Tricky Witch

Tricky letters show no grapheme-phoneme correspondence. They make a different sound to the one that has been taught. We colour them gold. For example, the ‘a’ in ‘want’ makes an ‘o’ sound. For Tricky letters, the cue is “Tricky Witch has cast a spell to change the sounds you know so well. Can I catch you out”?

Tricky Witch is naughty and casts ‘tricky’ spells in Monster Phonics Land often causing chaos. She lives in the haunted house with the ghosts and the black cats. Her nieces, the Little Witches come to visit. Tricky Witch loves jewellery and gold bling!

Please take a look at the Monster Phonics’ website to see how our curriculum is taught to your child(ren).  There are plenty of free downloadable resources.

Examples of the Monster Phonics reading can be accessed via the below link.