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Night Zookeeper

How can we use technology to inspire and motivate reluctant writers?

A digital learning tool that inspires children to create their own characters who live in a magical digital world. The focus is to improve writing skills through gamified learning.

HundrED 2020


HundrED has selected this innovation to

HundrED 2020

HundrED 2019

HundrED 2018

Web presence






August 2017
My students were able to make a year's worth of progress in their writing in one term, as a result of their involvement and enthusiasm for Night Zookeeper.

About the innovation

What is the Night Zookeeper?

Creativity and literacy skills enable students to lead fuller lives and contribute to society. However, schools have reported that it can be difficult to get children, particularly boys, excited about writing. Lack of motivation can inhibit skills development as students are less likely to practice their writing skills.

Night Zookeeper is anonline platform which inspires children to express themselves and to be creative writers. What started as a simple story about magical animals has grown into an online world where children can learn about anything that sparks their imagination. The website inspires and engages children, nurturing a love of writing as they develop core skills across the curriculum.

Issues of motivation have been approached from the child’s point of view. Writing has been gamified to make it an enjoyable experience. A love for writing is inspired through the story, characters, and game, and children are motivated to produce their best writing.

Teachers choose from thousands of interactive lessons from a broad curriculum range and send it to students to access online. Students write, read and draw their way around the Night Zoo as they become publishers of their own creative ideas.

Curriculum content delivered in this way motivates even reluctant students.Work can also be published on a class blog which gives the students a sense of audience and purpose for their writing for further motivation.

The Night Zookeeper is a tool thatteachers and students can use flexibly to fit whatever their particular philosophy and curriculum is at their school.

Teachers can also benefit from the assessment tools within the Night Zookeeper as the online writing tool automatically assesses children’s writing ability and tracks progress. This makes it easy to compare a piece of writing a child submitted at the start of the school year with one they create towards the end.

The potential for this innovative assessment tool for recognizing dyslexia has been recognized and The Night Zookeeper has received funding to develop this further.

We have made our service half price for all parents to help support during the covid-19 pandemic.

Impact & scalability

Impact & Scalability


Night Zookeeper is the first online learning platform to gamify the writing process. Since the launch of, hundreds of thousands of young authors have been inspired to produce millions of unique stories.


Over the past year, Night Zookeeper has helped over 300,000 children aged 6-11 to develop their writing, reading, and creative thinking skills.
For every teacher that signs up to Night Zookeeper, 25 students are registered and they publish an average of 360 stories over the course of a school year.


Night Zookeeper is already in use throughout the UK and the US. It is also widely adopted in New Zealand and Australia. It has been translated for use in Japan.

Academy review results
Read more about our selection process

Implementation steps

Register for an account
Register a teacher account on and you’ll receive a unique class code.

Now give your unique class code to your students and invite them to register on Ask students to create an avatar for their account and begin to follow the on-screen instructions to complete the registration process.

For teachers who are less confident in their own digital abilities, the Night Zookeeper can provide training and workshops.

Select and send lessons

Now that all your students are active, it’s time to send them a lesson or two!

You can browse through the Lesson Hive andchoose from thousands of interactive lessons from a broad curriculum range, and send it to students to access online.Lessons can be fully customized and personalized them to the needs of yourstudents. You can even create your own lessons and challenges by using our lesson creator tool.

Once the lesson is selected, it's sent to studentswho receive it in their own account and work through it step by step.

Get creative
Children are guided step by step to create their own pieces of writing in response to the Night Zookeeper stories.

The website guides students through a series of literacy lessons and you can set your own for them to complete on a daily or weekly basis. The online writing tool suggests vocabulary and gives helpful tips to students. Writing can be easily shared with classmates and parents.

Publish work

Once your students have completed some lessons and challenges, it’s time to publish their writing to your class blog.

Blogs can then be shared with parents and your school community by simply posting the blog URL to your school website or emailing it directly to parents. You can also send an individual student profile page so that they can only review the work produced by their child.

By accessing Night Zookeeper at homelessons can also be set as homework, as part of a flipped learning strategy.

Students can take part in global writing competitions throughout the year.

These include the ‘International Writing Cup’ in November and ‘World Creative Writing Month’ in March. They can also compete in their own class and school writing leagues throughout the year. Every time you publish a story, this improves their score.

Assessment and reporting
The programme automatically assesses writing abilities and helps you to track student progress.

Students' completed work will automatically be sent to you for simple assessment.There are tools to help teachers assess every piece of writing and match it to curriculum objectives. This auto-assess feature may save teachers hours of marking time.

As students continue to write on Night Zookeeper throughout the year, we build up a report on each individual and outline the progress they have made. Night Zookeeper also supplies you with whole-class reports that help you to spot learning gaps. These reports can be exported at any time and presented to parents or your senior management team.

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