Product Review – Reading Bug Club

  • Product Review – Reading Bug Club

An award-winning, inclusive whole-school programme for KS1 and KS2, suitable for independent and guided reading

The UCL Institute of Education and the Pearson UK Research and Efficacy team conducted a longitudinal study to explore the impact and implementation of Bug Club in Key Stage 1.

The findings were impressive, showing that pupils using Bug Club made 30 months of progress in 18 months. It found that children were especially excited about non-fiction topics, relevant and interesting story content, humour and the quality of illustration.

In a nutshell, Bug Club is a fully integrated, interactive print and digital literacy programme to develop reading for meaning, non-fiction skills and word reading skills.

It marries meticulous pedagogy with first-rate design and trailblazing technology and is a contemporary take on traditional reading programmes.

An effective and functional reading programme only works if it’s stocked with truly tip-top books, which is why walking into Bug Club is like stepping into your favourite bookshop.

Bug Club provides titles that children would choose themselves, with a library of over 400 books for independent reading, 150 of which are phonically decodable, and targeted resources for guided reading in KS1 and KS2.

The books are pitched perfectly at the right level of challenge, with supplementary games and quizzes in the online editions that make reading fun and purposeful, giving children instant feedback and allowing you to track and report on their reading progress.

This ensures that children can be allocated a book at just the right level for their ability.

The colourful page-flipping ebooks match the printed versions and are ideal for those who prefer an online experience. These come with a ‘Read to me’ feature for KS1 titles and are voiced with clarity and aplomb.

The fact that children all get a personalised website for accessing their reading makes this programme particularly attractive.

For guided reading at KS1, Bug Club offers banded print and digital texts, with comprehensive guided reading notes to deliver effective small-group teaching for phonics, word reading, fluency and comprehension.

At KS2 Bug Club offers a dialogic, talk-based approach to guided reading, with rich texts accompanied by pre- and follow-up work for children, and comprehensive teaching notes for teachers to promote comprehensive strategies.

Bug Club has grown in stature considerably since it was first published and offers schools lots of awesome resources that cannot fail to inspire children. It’s worth noting that delivering it requires some degree of professional and technological expertise, but a suite of professional development courses ensure that you will get off to a flying start.

A consistent commitment will bring about the best outcomes.

At a glance

  • Flexible independent and guided reading packages with outstanding assessment features
  • Proven to raise literacy attainment
  • Superbly integrates books and an online reading world for comprehension mastery
  • Takes diversity very seriously, promoting many female leads


  • The best blended literacy programme on the market
  • Supports a range of needs, regardless of gender, ability or age
  • Superb assessment detail with pin-point progression maps and quality comprehension tests
  • Promotes healthy reading habits and inspires children
  • Delivers a dynamic mix of challenge, creativity and stimulus

Upgrade if…

You are looking for a solution for independent and guided reading which inspires positive reading behaviours, transforms reluctant readers and helps children reach age-related expectations.

Bug Club Ultimate subscription is priced at £1,399 per annum, subscriptions available from £349 per annum. Call 0845 313 8888, or go to to find out more.

Reviewed by: John Dabell

Pie Corbett