For Teachers

For Parents

Night Zookeeper

Inspire a love of writing

Teacher Overview

The Night Zookeeper is an easy to use, child-friendly platform based around a series of magical storybooks. This online platform is designed to inspire and help primary school children (6 to 12 years of age) with their creative writing as well as teaching them about grammar, spelling, vocabulary, writing skills and drawing through a series of lessons and games. 

Teacher Review

Once the teacher/parent has registered they are shown the dashboard. Here they can see the work completed by their student/child. Comments can be added to the work as well as receiving feedback from the platform itself suggesting further challenges and literacy advice. Age levels can be edited and percentages of progress can be seen. Once the teacher/parent has familiarised themselves with the dashboard students and children can now be added. Here is where the fun starts! 

What we love about this platform is the stunning graphics, interaction and storytelling. The introduction video is fantastic and was watched several times by our user. The outline of the story is as follows: 

“Will, the Night Zookeeper and his friend Riya must rescue the animals lost in a night fog that has been created by the evil Lord of Nulth, and his army of robotic spiders, the Voids.” 

The user is now prompted to create an avatar of the night zookeeper. Several tools are available to help draw the avatar. These include line tools, colours, line thickness, enclosed shapes and colour palettes. Our user struggled with this at first, as drawing to draw with a mouse is challenging. The developers have designed an intuitive drawing platform; however, they may benefit from the following extra features: 

  • When the child hoovers the mouse over the function a text prompt for each tool would certainly help. 
  • The ability to draw closed shapes and then filled with a colour. 
  • A series of simple shapes that could be chosen and added to the drawing. 
  • A suitable colour for the face such as a flesh pink. 

Once we had created the Zookeeper avatar we entered the night zoo and were asked to create our first animal. The short video here is wonderful and captures the child’s imagination. 

Again the drawing tools appear to create your first fictional animal. 

The developers may consider using a series of pre-drawn animal parts that can be pieced together to create a fictional animal, like a mix and match wheel. Our users often found that what they were describing was very difficult to draw! 

The programme encourages the user to write a description of the animal by asking a series of questions. We love the fact that the programme highlights spelling and grammar and encourages the user to use other forms of punctuation to enhance their writing. Our users found this incredibly helpful. Any instructions that appear on the screen are easy to read and also provide narration which is ideal for younger users or those who struggle with reading. 

Returning to the main dashboard the user is given several options. These include:

Your Zoo - Here the user can see all the animals they have created in their zoo. All of these animals can be viewed along with their level. Clicking into the animal will enable the user to increase the level of the animal by taking on various challenges.

New animals can be created using the ‘+’ icon. Our users enjoyed showing others their Zoo and the animals they had created. There is also a fantastic option where users can buy animals that have been created by others. The platform is very intuitive, easy to navigate and has clear pictures and text. Menu’s, return buttons and icons are clearly presented and engaging. 

Write - This encourages the user to write using three options; ‘Free write’, ‘Reading light’ and ‘Star writing’. The ‘Star writing’ icons show articles written by others and the ‘Reading light’ monitors books read so far. The ‘Free write’ icon leads the user to a series of templates that they can write from. The options here are varied and each template gives excellent guidance on word count, punctuation, alliteration and so much more. Once again, the learning platform here is really easy to understand and provides constant feedback for literacy ideas and progression. Ideas can be shared with others across the classroom or with siblings. 

Games - This encourages the user to learn using a series of interactive games. A leader board is shown of current scores which could be ideal for a classroom scenario with multiple students engaging in competition. The games include; Sentence dash, Word Jumble, Word Hop, Word climb and Torch type. Each game can be played with any of the animals that the user has created in their zoo and Orbs are awarded for good progress. Gaining ‘Orbs’ is the name of the game but remember they cannot be brought they must be earned! 

Blog - This area includes Blogs that have been created by other users. These include articles, drawings and lessons. We thought that these ‘Lesson’ was particularly useful for parent and teachers looking for trialled and tested content. The content here is quite impressive. 

Leagues - Enabling the user to see how they are performing in a competitive league encourages competition and enthusiasm. Users can also delve into the league tables and explore other users’ portals, their articles, animals and awards. ‘Lessons’ – This area displays the latest lessons and lessons completed by the user. Again this ideal for teachers and parents wishing to set children off independently, working at their own pace and exploring many different activities. 

Messages - This area displays messages from teachers/parents and friends along with awards and updates. 

The dashboard also includes: 

Orb count - Collecting Orbs is the name of the game. Orbs allow the user to purchase items within the shop, other animal creations as well as further content. The more work the student completes the more Orbs they collect. 

Night Zookeeper Progress Page - This is the progress page for the user where they can see several key features and data. These include Avatar, ranking, words, articles, writings, drawings, lessons, leagues, awards, heroes rescued, orbs collected, further content and so much more. 

This application is free from adverts and is a subscription-based package (there is an initial 14-day free trial). The application is ideal for the classroom situation, home learning for single and multiple users. The learning platform has both teacher/parent and student/child dashboards for learning and monitoring. Parents and teachers will be keen to know that all comments and content are moderated.

Overall this program is just wonderful! Our users were engaged with the concept and enjoyed creating their animals as well as writing and learning key concepts of literacy. 

We love that there are many resources already created online from lessons to be used by parents and teachers to animals that have been created by other users. Children will learn and engage with vocabulary, sentences, spelling, punctuation, grammar, storytelling, drawing, competition, blogging and much more. Our users loved the fact that they were in charge and could explore the platform however they wanted. The educational value of this platform is endless and it’s no wonder it has been nominated for a series of awards. ‘The Night Zookeeper’ comes highly recommended by The EducationalAppStore.com

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App Details

Teacher Ratings

Safeguarding

In-App Purchases - No

In-App Advertising - No

Skills

Communication Skills
Organisational and Productivity Skills
Thinking & Reasoning
Reading
Tech Skills

Screenshots for Night Zookeeper

  • Night ZookeeperNight ZookeeperNight ZookeeperNight ZookeeperNight Zookeeper

Publisher's Description

Night Zookeeper makes reading and writing amazingly fun for ages 6-12. The BAFTA-nominated website has thousands of engaging games that increase vocabulary and improve spelling, puzzles and challenges that develop grammar and structure skills and inspiring prompts and story creation lessons that spark imaginations.

Night Zookeeper is your online writing tool, class blog and library of interactive lessons. Night Zookeeper has helped over 1 million children aged 6-12, to develop their writing, reading and creative thinking skills.

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