We started using Wordblaze in the Spring term. We wanted to address spelling issues mainly, with selected pupils. Although we have a rigorous scheme in place for Literacy we felt that it wasn’t working for some of our children. As it was multi-sensory and had elements of precision teaching we felt that it was a good start and decided to trial it for 6 weeks with 2 groups of 6 children.
I tested children who were causing concerns and from that selected 12 children; 6 in Year 4 and 6 in Year 6. I then taught them for 30 minutes a day every day for 6 weeks.I liked the simplicity and the repetition of the programme. The visual and auditory memory hooks really helped the children and weeks later can still recall them. The children loved doing the programme.
The resource is a high quality and simple programme to follow. The elements of Precision Teaching and the use of repetition are the key factors in why this works. This along with the multi-sensory elements; the memory hook; drawing a picture; acting out; saying words in a funny way, and so on, have really contributed to the rapid progress for the children.
The repetition for the children, so they know what is coming is actually a really useful aspect of the programme; the children do not get fed up with it, but find it reassuring and they all know they can succeed at elements of each of the daily lessons. The children particularly liked the One Minute Wonder and enjoyed the competitiveness of beating themselves (and were so impressed with the improvement over the week!).
The Year 4 group made an average:
- 5 ½ months progress in Reading in the 6 weeks of the programme
- 8 months progress in Spelling in the 6 weeks of the programme
The Year 6 group made an average:
- 12 months progress in Reading in the 6 weeks of the programme
- 2 ¼ months progress in Spelling in the 6 weeks of the programme
I would recommend WordBlaze to other schools. I think it is a perfect use of Pupil Premium money to tackle underachievement as a targeted intervention.