Giving kids powerful building blocks to better reading

What is the DigiSmart App?

The DigiSmart app is a motivating and progressional programme helping children to connect with reading. It has been developed to help struggling or reluctant readers who have missed some vital steps along the way.

Building simple yet powerful strategies, the app enables children to catch up and establish a firmer footing.

The app focuses on 3 fundamental reading skills — without these core techniques, children are unable to make sense of pages of words, find information or improve their comprehension skills.

DigiSmart is designed to be used with whole classes, small groups or individuals. Children can also work through the programme independently and receive immediate feedback on progress.

  • Skimming

    Skimming pictures and headings

  • Scanning

    Scanning pages for clues

  • Keywords

    Finding and using keywords

“As a previous user and champion of DigiSmart I am so pleased to see the important focus on skimming, scanning and keywords in the app.”

Louise Sage, Y6 teacher, English Leader and Specialist Leader in Education, Essex

Who needs DigiSmart?

“I have no hesitation in recommending DigiSmart for use in schools and would run it with as many pupils as you possibly can.

Anne Puddephatt, Head Teacher, The Duke’s Middle School, Alnwick, Northumberland

Why reading matters

The ability to read well and confidently is a life-changing skill.

  • Reading helps children to learn and keep on learning
  • Increases their brain power
  • Transports their imaginations to other worlds
  • Builds self-esteem and confidence
  • Develops empathy with the lives and experiences of others
  • Stimulates their critical thinking and curiosity

Why DigiSmart?

Far too many children fall behind with their reading, or switch off from wanting to read. They face enormous challenges because the digital age demands a much wider range of reading and literacy skills than ever before. Reading can be a daunting experience. Imagine the biggest library in the world, growing every minute and coming at you like an avalanche!

This is why DigiSmart was created — it uses the appeal of digital technology to excite children and improve their reading.

“I am passionate about DigiSmart. With new skills under their belts so much more has been possible for these children.”

Janet Marshall, Pupil Premium Champion, All Saints CE Primary, Chatham, Medway

Core skills

to improve


Skimming X

Most capable readers take the technique of skimming for granted. It means quickly processing information, looking over a page or screen to get a general view and sense of what it's about.

Does this information interest me? Is it useful? Could it help me find the answer to a question?

When skimming, important signs like headings and pictures give an overview and help readers decide quickly whether to stay looking at a page or move on to another.

Scanning X

The technique of scanning can be under-estimated by many confident readers. It means looking closely for specific information on a page or screen. Having skimmed and decided that a page is useful, scanning involves looking through the content, not reading every word but hunting for specific words, phrases or headings.

What specific information do I need to answer a question? Can I find out exactly what I want to know?

Successful scanning means that readers don't get lost in a mass of information.

Keywords X

Being able to identify and use the best keywords is an important reading skill closely connected to scanning but also an essential technique in its own right.

Scanning a page closely for information is one thing, but a reader needs some accurate clues to scan for otherwise it will take them a very long time and possibly lead nowhere.

What word in a question is the best clue to help me to find the answer? What word should I scan for on this page?

Being able to identify and use the best keyword gives a reader power. It means that, when they scan, they can quickly find the information or answer they need. That makes a skilled and confident reader.