Carter’s Yard Phonics


In April last year I wrote a blog and about 6 months ago I filmed a review video for Carter’s Yard Phonics about their rather brilliant AR phonic flashcards.  It was one of my first videos and not a polished product but appreciated none-the-less.  So much so, that the creators of Carter’s Yard Phonics asked me to become one of their Ambassadors…of course I said yes.  On February 14th, the Carter’s Yard Ambassadors will be let loose on the community and to celebrate I’ve recorded a new review of their cards.


Take a look on the SENSible SENCO channel under the review playlist.


If you didn’t read my first review blog you can find it here: 


Zappar is the free download that is required to make the cards come to life.  It wasn’t an AR program I had used previously so I was wondering if Carter’s Yard had chosen something that might not be supported for long or disappear from the market leaving them with a pile of fancy flash-cards…however, in the Summer I was delighted to discover a Zappar code on the side of a McDonald’s Happy Meal.  It wasn’t mine, honest!  And now I’m seeing them everywhere including in a few newspapers and magazines.


Now, my first experience of AR involved a dragon leaping out of a hole that appeared on the table in front of me.  I nearly broke the iPad I was on at the time as I was so amazed at this phenomenon.  My two-year old is still suitably amazed by the presence of jungle animals and dinosaurs I can summon to occupy him whilst waiting in long queues or travelling through traffic.


Phonics is one of those things that needs to be learned but if you didn’t get it first (or second time around) or if you are an older child or even one with less of a desire for traditional learning then what is available for teaching and learning can be limited.  Jolly Phonics, Toe by Toe, The Butterfly Book, Read Write Inc, Letters and Sounds…at the end of the day they’re all delivering the same thing in a slightly different (although generally the same) order.  And much as me might want to deny it, they’re all doing it the same way.  With an adult model, lots of listening and repetition.


Young children are highly engaged with the world around them and with technology.  Carter’s Yard Phonics fulfils that engagement by bringing the card to life, removing the need to listen to an adult but allowing a child to drive their own learning at their own pace through the exciting animations.


Our eldest children are now 16 and 15 and I am fortunate enough to have taught phonics before they were born so I knew what to expect when they started school.  However, my husband, albeit a fraction younger than me, did not go through school with a phonics education so was quite shocked when our children came home from school muddling up letter names and sounds (as they do when they first start out).  Even now he looks at me for ‘X’.  So, many parents are also faced with wanting to support their children with their learning but struggle to know what is right (or wrong) and fear contradicting what they are learning in school. 

Carter’s Yard Phonics provides that auditory support for parents who are not sure what a ‘pure sound’ actually is…or where little Freddie, aged 4, is telling them his teacher is quite insistent it makes a ‘farting noise’!


Not only this, the cards can be used with young learners, those a little older needing reinforcement, and with EAL learners who need to know the construct of the English language.  In the case of the latter scenario the cards can be used at home with the whole family participating.


With my youngest child about to set on his phonic journey when he starts school (don’t judge, I’m not a pushy parent, he’ll develop at his own speed) I have something that will support him that he already enjoys looking at.  I’m excited to be a Carter’s Yard Ambassador (although I notice it didn’t come with a shiny ribbon sash or diplomatic immunity) and see where this company goes next.    


Have a look at the new video over on SENsible SENCO and let me know what you think.