Craig Liddle, Assistant Head
Why did you introduce First News Education into your school, what were you looking to achieve?
Our English lead showed us Engage pro and it instantly struck me that my year 6 class would possibly engage with this resource as a way to actively participate in reading more freely. Many of my boys have a strong dislike of reading so this seemed like a promising alternative.
The children like the different range of activities on offer, how it can link to current events and that the children can take part in votes. The way articles link to crosswords, definitions; the children really engage with them, also being able to make tasks harder or easier.
Which First News Education tools do you use and how do you use them with your classes?
I use Engage Pro with year 6, I vary tasks and assess, feed back and use some of the texts with the class in our guided reading lessons. It enables the children to work independently, at school and at home; parents are very positive on this.
“We have had an improvement in children’s weekly reading scores 48% to 76% and we hope this will continue to improve”
How did your pupils respond to the tools?
The boys in the class have said that they don’t mind reading using Engage Pro, which, for the children I have, is a massive compliment. All children can access this facility at a level appropriate for them; many of my reluctant readers see it as a computer based task and do not think they are reading and comprehending, this is a huge positive for me and them.
What results did you see?
We have had an improvement in children’s weekly reading scores, 48% to 76%, and we hope this will continue to improve.
Did you meet the goals you were aiming to achieve?
Completely. The hardest to reach children and disadvantaged children are all engaging in the task in class so it is valuable in that respect.
What, in your opinion, is the most valuable feature of First News Education or of a particular tool you have been using?
Being able to interact with the children, they will read feedback online more than in the usual books. Seeing how they understand so quickly helps me to identify any misconceptions and target sessions to those children.