Pupils at William Morris Primary School in Banbury will be getting their breath back over the Christmas holidays following a term of life in the educational fast lane through the school’s use of the Read Write Inc. scheme.
The project and its sister scheme Fresh Start, which deals with Years Five and Six, was put into action at the start of term to improve reading across the school. The programme is a way of teaching phonics to children by sounding out words and spelling in an intense but also fun and interactive way. Pupils marshmallow clap, do punctuation kung fu and take part in popcorning words amongst other fun activities.
In just a few short months, the transformation has been impressive, with some students making spectacular progress – dozens have already been taken off the programme because of their levels of improvement, and one child was even assessed to have made nine months’ worth of progress in just two months.
“We had high hopes for the difference this could make but the impact has been amazing,“ said the school’s deputy head Louise Price.
“All staff have received training in it, and at the start of term, we introduced special daily phonics lessons using the technique – at the end of the first review period, dozens of them had improved so much that they were assessed as not needing the special lessons any more. Progress has been achieved because of the rigour of the programme and our staff’s hard work.”
The use of Read Write Inc and Fresh Start have transformed teaching at William Morris, which, since spring 2016, has been a member of the Surrey-based GLF Schools multi-academy trust.
“These are schemes which really incentivise children because they can see the progress they are making so clearly in front of them, and when they leave the programmes, it’s because they know how well it has worked and how much it has helped them,” added Miss Price.
“This in turn makes learning less challenging and more enjoyable, which has a major impact on their overall performance at school. We’re taking nothing for granted, but the difference that has been made in just one term is hugely encouraging, so we look forward to keeping up that progress next term.”
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