This month our Star School is Crail Primary School, Fife!
We spoke to Gary, who is a teacher at the school. He told us how Crail Primary School has benefitted from rolling Lexia out across whole year groups!
How did you first come across the Lexia program and what led to the school’s final decision to purchase?
Personally, I have previously used it at another school. I was teaching a P7 class there and I noticed that the learners who were on Lexia really enjoyed it and got a lot out of it. When I came to Crail and Lexia was first mooted as a possibility for us, I was quite excited at the potential. Our Headteacher, Natalie, trialled the program and then we were able to purchase 50 licenses to target those with the greatest need in school.
What do you feel makes Lexia stand apart from other reading skills software products on the market?
I liked the fact that it was individually tailored and that students could progress at their own speed. It was very adaptive in terms of flagging up areas that need more reinforcement. I liked the way that it has the recognition built in as well not just in terms of the program itself but the certificates. The students have really responded to these physical aspects of the program as well.
How is Lexia used in your school? Please provide details of your daily routine and how you ensure that you reach recommended usage as well as which pupils use the program in school.
We use it with every pupil in P2, P3 and P4 as well as those in P5 to 7 that would benefit most from it. This is so we can know we are making the most effective use of the licenses. In terms of usage, each class has tailored Lexia time. Some classes have a timetabled system while others have a rota of groups that use Lexia. In the case of P5, 6 and 7, where there are fewer pupils accessing Lexia, they can do a little each day. We have also communicated this with parents and the fact that the children would benefit from accessing it at home. We’ve made sure to let them know that they don’t need to do it in one big chunk. Because Lexia records all usage, we can really leave it up to parents whether they do a 30-minute slot or a few 10-minute slots. Those that have been accessing from home have really seen the benefits.
Describe the impact that Lexia has had on your pupils. Have you noticed a positive change in their motivation to succeed in literacy? Can you give an example of a Lexia success that sticks out to you?
We have definitely seen a positive change and one of the things I have seen develop over time is their attitude towards Lexia itself. There was a bit of a spread in terms of their initial reaction to it when we first started. Some instantly thought it was really good and really enjoyed it but for some it was a bit of a harder sell. I thought the way that the program is set up really helped these students. Once they started finishing some sections and getting that recognition, it gave them the impetus and motivation to keep going. I think the more we are using it and the more it becomes embedded, the more they are responding to it.
How have you used rewards to motivate and celebrate success on the Lexia program?
One of the things we have done within the school is a wall display dedicated to Lexia. As part of that we do things like photographs of pupils that have gotten the star achiever award and we’ve also started including comments from pupils on how they find Lexia.
We have a weekly assembly on a Friday. Lexia certificates are printed off and presented to students there. We are quite a small school so the whole school is together at once so its really nice for students to get that recognition in front of their peers. Their photographs are then taken, and they are put on the board in the hall so there is a record of their achievements visible there.
The individual class teachers have also been great in terms of responding and recognising the work in their Lexia sessions as well. They are keeping the motivation going and helping them recognise that although everyone is working at their own pace, everyone is succeeding in what they are working on.
How useful have you found the myLexia reports in terms of demonstrating progression and informing planning?
In my role, I’ve tried to dig into the reports to support learning where I can. I am a bit of a data geek when it comes to things like that, and I think it is really user friendly. I like the way you can break it down by classes, by stage and by individuals and especially in terms of the mix of infographics available.
As part of my role, I have been able to compile progress reports for the headteacher and for the individual class teachers to help get a sense for how each child is progressing. It can help us establish those pupils that aren’t getting the minutes we were hoping for and helping us to investigate the reasons for that. We are also able to identify pupils that are racing through it and identifying how much use they have had at home to support that, for example.
The fact that the reports also highlight the Lexia Lessons to be delivered has really helped as well. I can use these to meet with the class teachers and decide how we can best deliver each particular lesson. Some will be done in small groups and some will be done on a one-to-one basis.
In terms of the lessons themselves, I have found them really useful in the way that they build on the essence of each topic and distilling it into the key skills that they need to know. I appreciate the fact that the lessons take the teacher through each of the step. From the starter task, main task and the further support that is folded in if needed, I think it is broken down really nicely.
For one of the lessons, we have decided to do as a whole class input as ‘inferencing’ has come up for a few individuals. Looking at the lesson, we found that actually it would benefit the whole class, so it is great having that resource there.
Is there anything else you would like to add? Please provide any personal comments on why you feel Lexia has been successful in your school.
I’ve really appreciated how it’s been able to grow over time. We haven’t used it for too long, it’s probably only since January that we have been able to get really settled into a Lexia routine. In that short time, we are already seeing the benefit of it. As we get more comfortable with what the program can do and sharing best practice amongst ourselves as a staff, I think we can only benefit from that, going forward.
What feedback have you had from your Lexia pupils?
In our Pupil Voice interviews, they have said it was fun. One of the P7’s said it has been good for growth mindset and that they found it relaxing. From what I have seen walking across school is that the pupils are really keen to work on the program. I was really pleased, when I was looking for pupils input that they all seemed to enjoy it and enjoy different aspects of it.
A huge thank you to Gary for speaking with us and for his dedication in championing the Lexia program across the school!