Published in September 2018
This month our Lexia Star User is Alma Park Primary School, Manchester. We spoke with Denise Samuels, Assistant Head Teacher, about how they use Lexia in school and why they value the program.
What do you feel makes Lexia stand apart from other reading skills software products on the market?
The difference between Lexia and other reading skills software is that Lexia covers all areas of reading i.e. reading comprehension, phonological awareness, phonics, spelling etc whereas other programs tend to focus on a single area. It adjusts according to the needs of the individual child thereby giving them a bespoke programme. There are clear signs for staff delivering sessions if a child is struggling so that support can be offered. The skill builders also offer the opportunity of consolidation of learning. Also, it can be accessed and monitored in school, at home and even whilst children are on holidays!
Can you provide a general overview of how you use Lexia?
We use Lexia before school in our Breakfast Reading Club where children attend on a voluntary basis; during lessons (it is particularly great here for international new arrivals); and during a daily allocated ‘Lexia’ slot on the timetable. We also have children who access Lexia at home. The skill builders are used within classrooms to consolidate learning. Packs are also sent home for families to support their children’s learning. We target children from years 1 – 6 for a variety of different reasons i.e. children with SEND; EAL; international new arrivals; children who have not made the expected progress; more able children. Weekly ‘catch-up’ sessions are delivered to children who have struggled during the week. During the school holidays reminders are sent out regularly reminding children to use the program.
In the new academic year, we hope to use Lexia in a similar way. Whilst final decisions have not been decided, one of our focused group of users will be our international new arrivals who make exceptional progress through the program. As this has been our first year, we have allowed children to work through to the end of the program (L18). However, we are considering changing children once they have reached their year group target; this will enable more children to access the program.
Have you implemented any special sort of rewards system in school when pupils progress on Lexia?
As this is the first year that we have used the program the children who have completed the program have been awarded a £5 book token. All certificates gained are awarded in the Key Stage assemblies.
How useful have you found the Lexia reports in terms of demonstrating progression and informing planning?
The reports help us to feedback to class teachers on gaps to fill. They have also been useful when providing feedback on student progress to the governors.
The program continues to be successful at our school for a number of reasons. There is very strong communication between the SLT and the TAs who delivery Lexia daily. Our ‘Lexia team’ are extremely dedicated. They monitor the usage and progression of the children and will at times give up their own time to give extra sessions or support to children. As with any primary school, we have children with a variety of needs and the beauty of the Lexia program is that it is able to meet the needs of all of the children.