FAQ

Click here for phonics FAQs

General FAQs

Who creates the apps and runs this website?

How can I contact you?

Support FAQs

Is the app available on Android?

The app won't start or is doing something strange.

I can't hear any sounds.

Are there any apps available for the other phases?

Who creates the apps and runs this website?

PhonicsPlay Limited is registered in England and Wales as a limited company.

Company Number: 7442997

VAT Number: 117 0926 28

Registered Address: Rose Cottage, Highbridge Lane, East Chiltington, Lewes, BN7 3QY.

PhonicsPlay Limited is run by myself, Rosanna Springham, and my husband, Justin Springham.

I have been a teacher for many years.

Over the course of my career, a series of choices and coincidences put me on a steep phonics learning curve and taught me the incredible impact that it can have on children's learning. A large part of my work has involved developing phonics teaching in schools. In the past I have specialised in teaching phonics to older children who missed out on quality phonics teaching in their early years. I am currently taking a break from teaching to raise my young children and further develop my websites and apps.

Having studied software development with the Open University and combined my passion for phonics with my interest in computing, I developed the PhonicsPlay.co.uk website. The PhonicsPlay website includes interactive games, planning, assessment, printable resources, advice and ideas for supporting the teaching of phonics. It is used in many schools in the UK and around the world. Following requests from teachers, parents and children, I have finally plucked up the courage to try my hand at developing apps that combine some of the most popular games from the PhonicsPlay website plus a few new ones all wrapped up in an easy to use game for mobile devices. I create all the games, resources, art work and text on the PhonicsPlay site and in the apps.

My lovely husband, Justin Springham, takes care of the customer service side of PhonicsPlay. If you ever need to contact us, he will do everything he can to help you out.

How can I contact you?

Email: apps@phonicsplay.co.uk

Fax: 01273 316667

Is the app available on Android?

At present the app is not available on Android. If you wish to see a version of the app for Android then let us know and we will see what we can do.

The app won't start or is doing something strange.

Try stopping the app from running so that you can start it again from scratch. To do this, come out of the app by pressing the home button once to return to the home screen. Then double click on the home button. A row of app icons will appear indicating which apps are currently running in the background on your phone. These apps can now be closed completely however the precise method you will need to use to close the apps will depend on the particular type of iPhone or iPad and which version of the iOS operating system you are using. With older versions of iOS, find the icon for the app you wish to close and carefully touch and hold down that icon. You will see that a small minus sign appears at the top right hand corner of this app icon and the icons of all the other open apps. Click on the minus sign to close the app. If you have a lot of apps open you may wish to close others down as well by clicking on their minus signs as well. When you have closed all the apps that you wish to close at this time, press the home button and the minus signs will all disappear. With newer versions of iOS, a large icon may be shown in the centre of the screen and this can simply be swiped up and off the top of the screen to close the app. Press the home button again to go back to the home screen. Now try starting the app again.

If the problem persists, try shutting your device down completely and then restart it. To do this, press and hold down the button on the edge of the device (not the button on the front near to the screen, that just puts it to sleep). You will then be presented with a message that says "slide to power off". Slide the red arrow in the direction shown and wait for the device to shut down completely. Give it a couple of minutes and then press the power button on the edge of the machine again.

If you continue to have problems, please email us and we will do our best to fix any bugs.

I can't hear any sounds.

This is one of the most common problems that arises with any app. Apps that are used by children are particularly susceptible as children have an uncanny knack of changing settings that you would much rather they didn't. It is usually a simple thing to fix but it can be frustrating going through all the steps to identify just which button they have inadvertently pressed. Confusingly muting sounds is handled slightly differently on ipads and iphones and on different versions of iOS so unfortunately you may need to work through a few options until you solve the problem.

1) Use the volume switches on the side of the device to turn the sound up after the app has started.

2) Check that the mute toggle switch on the side of the device (next to the volume buttons) is turned off.

3) Check whether the mute toggle switch is set to be a mute switch rather than an orientation selector. Click on Settings and choose General from the left hand panel. Find where it says Use Side Switch To and check that this is set to Mute and then check that the toggle switch on the side of the device is turned off.

4) On some iPads - Double click the home button (the one on the front under the screen with a square on it). A row of app icons will appear at the bottom of the screen. These are all the apps that are open. Swipe from left to right to get to the beginning of the app icons. When you have swiped as far as you can you will get to some music player controls including a volume control and a mute button (which looks like a speaker in a square with rounded corners and should be at the far left). Check that the volume control slider is dragged to the right and that the mute button has not been pressed - there should be no diagonal line through it.

5) Try turning the device off and restarting. To do this, press and hold down the button on the edge of the device (not the button on the front near to the screen, that just puts it to sleep). You will then be presented with a message that says "slide to power off". Slide the red arrow in the direction shown and wait for the device to shut down completely. Give it a couple of minutes and then press the power button on the edge of the machine again.

Are there any apps available for the other phases?

At present there is a Phase 2 app and there will soon be a Phase 3 app. These apps have been my first experiments with app development following various requests from users of the PhonicsPlay website. Developing the apps has been a long, challenging process and it has made my head hurt a lot. However, if you have enjoyed the apps, found them useful and you would be interested in having PhonicsPlay apps for the other phases then please let me know and I'll see what I can do.

For anyone unaware of what Phase 1 is, it may seem very strange that the first app is Phase 2. This is not in any way an indication that Phase 1 is not important. In fact, the opposite is true. Phase 1 is probably the most important phase. However, Phase 1 is all about making, listening to and talking about sounds and therefore needs to come from interactions with real human beings. That isn't to say that there aren't ways that an app could be used to support the development of Phase 1 (I've got a few ideas up my sleeve) but quite frankly it will be really challenging and so for my first foray into app development, I decided to go a bit easier on myself and opted for the slightly more straightforward challenge of developing a Phase 2 app.

You can find out more about helping children to develop Phase 1 skills at www.phonicsplay.co.uk.