How to be a good reader

howtobe reader_zippyshinelogo

There has been huge emphasis recently on the importance of reading with your child. But what does good reading look like and how can you best support your child to both enjoy reading and develop the skills that will help them become confident, motivated, fluent readers?


booksWhy is it important that children enjoy reading?

Children who read for pleasure achieve better not only in English but also across a wide range of subjects including maths.


open-bookWhat is good reading?

Reading is about so much more than simply decoding print, it is a multifaceted process involving word recognition, comprehension, fluency, and motivation.


We tend to think that reading is a purely visual skill involving the ability to link letters to sounds. However, learning to read can also rely on a more complex set of underlying cognitive skills such as memory, attention and sequencing.

Zippy Shine is a reading performance app that gives children the opportunity reach their potential in reading in a fun, enjoyable and safe way. It helps children develop the complex set of skills required to become a ‘good’ reader, placing them in control of their learning.

Children learn to read so they can read to learn!

You can download Zippy Shine for 50% off on iTunes or the Google Play Store.




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Zippy Shine is developed by Skoolbo.

Summer Learning on the go!

Of course summer is a time for children to take a break from their usual routine and re-charge their batteries. Many of us associate the summer with days at the beach, ice-creams and catching up with friends and family. All wonderful and valuable experiences, so where does Skoolbo fit in?

Starfish at the Beach

With most of the UK schools now open and ready for the new school year we wanted to take time to reflect on a fantastic summer of home learning. The leaderboards have revealed that there has been some fabulous learning taking place over the holidays. It seems that children throughout the UK have been engaging with Skoolbo with enormous enthusiasm, perhaps taking advantage of those long car journeys or rainy days to get in some multiplication or spelling practise. There have been some commendable high scores appearing in the Language Dragons games as well – bravo!

So just who were the stars of the summer?

The roots to grow and the wings to fly…


Well our first mention must go to the the amazing students of Year 2 – Maple class from Western Downland CofE (VA) Primary School in Fordingbridge, Hampshire (you can see their wonderful school motto in the heading above). We received this lovely message from their new teacher Miss Reffell –

“I just want to say a massive THANK YOU for the wonderful thing that is Skoolbo. I wrote to my new class in the summer holidays and reminded them about it, and was so thrilled to see they are number 2 in the UK at the moment – there’s only 20 of them! Thank you so much for engaging my new lovely pupils!”

Congratulations to these children and to their teacher who has obviously worked so hard through the summer to ensure they have the best start to the new school year.

This is what the school leaderboard looked like at the end of July. London schools were clearly building on their London vs NYC Challenge success to dominate this early summer table but it was Meadowbrook Primary School from the south west of England who claimed an early top spot –

School Leaderboard 27.07.15

It was ‘all change’ by August however with more of the United Kingdom represented. Radstock Primary School from the south east of England were sitting comfortably in first poistion and we’d like to say a belated ‘welcome’ to  Millquarter Primary School from Northern Ireland and Breasclete Primary School from Scotland who made their first appearances on the leaderboard –

School leaderboard 03.08.15

The end of August demonstrated how quickly Scottish schools got back into the swing of things. Their earlier start to the school term saw them dominate all leaderboards with English schools coming back into view on the 1st September but it is yesterday’s featured school, Repton, Abu Dhabi who stole top place once more –

Schools 02.09.15

It has been amazing to see children racking up new personal bests with Skoolbo, we’ll be mentioning some of the star students and classes in our next blogs so please keep checking back with us.

Summer learning loss – what summer learning loss?

Language Dragons – A free language learning game for children within Skoolbo!

The Language Dragons have arrived!


  • Teach children French, Mandarin and Spanish for FREE
  • Help ESOL students improve their English
  • Covers a wide range of topics
  • Develop children’s cultural awareness
  • Increase child’s creative and cognitive abilities

Teach your child another language through Skoolbo

We are excited to announce the release of Language Dragons, a free language learning game within Skoolbo core skills.This new feature teaches children French, Mandarin and Spanish, with more languages set to be released in the future. Fly on magnificent dragons through the stunning in-game worlds, and play reading and listening games to improve language skills across a range of topics.

The gamification of language learning is a fun and captivating way to teach a child a new language. While textbook learning is a tried and true method, using game based learning is proven to be effective for engagement and motivation.

Help ESOL students with their English language skills

By switching the audio in settings, ESOL students (English as a second language) can select English as the target language. This feature has far reaching benefits for ESOL students, helping to promote improvement across their wider core skills.

Topics covered in Language Dragons

Language Dragons doesn’t just teach children how to say ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’ in another language. The in-game learning experience has been designed to cover a wide range of topics.

Language Dragons topics

kid on ipad

The benefits of teaching a child a foreign language

Learning a language at an early age has long term benefits, which is why more elementary/primary schools are implementing these skills into their current class curriculum.

  • Language-learning in education promotes global citizenship, and forms an essential part of pupils’ developing cultural awareness and concern for others.
  • Languages in education is a leveller that helps all children feel included. Children who may not speak much English can be as good as everyone else in Spanish.
  • Learning another language at an early age also helps a child with their creative output as well as an increase in their cognitive abilities.

To play Language Dragons on the desktop version, please uninstall Skoolbo then reinstall to update to the latest version

Download Free

New to Skoolbo? Register for FREE here to get your child or class started