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  • Clicker 7 success story

    We have a lovely new success story to share with you from Apley Wood Primary School!

    Deputy Head Ellen Smith has been telling us all about the progress her struggling writers have been making since they started using Clicker 7:

    “We initially purchased a 40-computer license to use with our cohort of children with special needs who need some extra help to get started with their writing; children with dyslexia, struggling spellers, and those pupils who can articulate their ideas very well but find it really tricky to get them down on paper.

    The children use Clicker in English and Foundation subjects - the teachers are able to create differentiated learning resources for them based on their lesson content, which enable those pupils to access the curriculum and participate in the same way as their peers. We’ve also found Clicker’s new Word Pool feature really useful for those children who have a specific way of misspelling certain words – the fact that we can add these spellings into Clicker to ensure the word predictor suggests the correct word is making targeting spelling intervention a lot simpler.

    A big success for us has been using Clicker 7 to support the ‘Big Write’ sessions we have every week. Certain pupils were simply unable to access this activity, or were getting very little down. Now they are producing much more substantial pieces of work, which is having a really positive effect on their confidence and attitude to writing.”

    You can read the success story in full on our website.

  • Clicker Apps for Chrome

    Clicker Sentences and Clicker Docs for Chromebook

    We’re excited to have Clicker Sentences and Clicker Docs available for Chrome! Clicker Apps are already extremely successful on iPads in many thousands of schools, and now Chrome users can benefit too.

    We’ve done far more than just version the iPad apps for Chrome – we’ve actually created brand new apps that properly integrate with Chrome and Google Drive, making it quick and easy for schools to implement in their domain. Clicker Apps for Chrome are designed for schools – they are set up using your usual Chrome tools so there’s nothing new to learn.

    Also, we know that wireless networks sometimes struggle to cope with many users, so we’ve made the apps so that they work with or without an Internet connection.

    It’s easy for schools to try out Clicker Sentences and Clicker Docs, with 28-day free subscriptions available from Google Apps Marketplace.

  • A New School Year … Get Set for Science

    Well, here we are again already well into a brand new school year, and ready for all the challenges and fun that a busy autumn term will bring.

    We have been working really hard over the summer holidays creating lots of exciting and engaging activities to help get your pupils off to a flying start this year. We have been particularly focusing on updating our bank of science resources for all ages – so look out for some fantastic resources to support your primary science curriculum (including the latest National Curriculum requirements for Science in England).

    Already on LearningGrids you’ll find topics covered like Animals, Plants, Materials, Forces, Magnetism, Circulation, States of Matter… and many more! Activities range from simple matching to open-ended speaking tasks and demonstrating scientific knowledge.

    Clicker 7 Match the Flowers Two, Talk About Toys and Materials, and Food Chains resources

    From Clicker classics like sentence building, reading books and word banks to alternative activity ideas such as picture prompt discussion resources, sorting activities, charts and investigation writing frames – all designed to help get your pupils thinking and learning scientifically.

    Over the next few months, we will be publishing a fantastic teacher planning resource, giving you a complete overview of the activities available on LearningGrids across science topics and year groups. Visit the Clicker Sets page on the Crick Software website to find useful information and (at the bottom of the page) a link to Curriculum Mapping documents which list our Clicker resources and maps them to statutory science objectives. We have just published our first PDF for ages 5 to 6 (Year 1) – the PDFs for other primary age ranges will be coming soon. The PDF for ages 6 to 7 (Year 2) is due to be published very soon – with lots of fantastic new resources published to support this age group.

    Keep checking the website regularly because, as ever, we’ll be working hard to make sure we continue to bring you inspiring ideas and classroom resources, focusing on curriculum coverage as well as topical and seasonal themes this autumn.

  • We will be sponsoring an exciting CPD Day in London this November for special school staff. Entitled ‘Using technology to transform teaching and learning in special schools’, this whole-day event will enable teachers to pick up valuable hints and tips on using technology to help every pupil access the curriculum and find their voice. 

    The event will run from 9:00am to 3:00pm, and include sessions on the following:

    A voice for all!

    - Enabling every child to communicate and be heard

    Carol Allen – School Improvement Advisor, North Tyneside

    Thinking outside the box

    - Person-shaped practice when designing effective learning technology provision

    Willow Dene Special School, Greenwich

    Making the curriculum more accessible and engaging with Clicker 7

    Jordan Butel, Senior Education Consultant, Crick Software

    Pupil centred planning and technology; bringing learners into focus

    John Galloway, Advisory Teacher for ICT and SEN, Tower Hamlets

    The CPD Day will be taking place at the Hilton London Euston on Thursday 17th November. A three course lunch and refreshments will be provided.  Places are limited and priced at just £99 per delegate – delegates who book places before 21st October will get an early bird discounted rate of £89!

    For further information and details of how to book a place, please contact us on 01604 671691, email your enquiry to or visit

  • Did you know? – Clicker 7 Tips

    Here are some useful Clicker 7 Document tips!

    Did you know you can see what spellings were corrected in a Document?

    To analyse the current Document, open the View ribbon tab and click Analysis.

    The Statistics tab shows data about words, characters and sentences in the Document.

    The Spelling Corrections tab shows an alphabetical list of misspelled words that were corrected by the Spell Checker. Click a misspelling to see the context in which it was made.

    Did you know you can add a Document to your favourites?

    You can add a Document to a list of favourites for easy access.

    To do this, open the Document ribbon tab, click the Favourites (star) icon and then click Add current Document to favourites.

    From then on, you can easily open that Document by clicking the Favourites (star) icon, or using the Favourites section of the Quick Start window that appears when Clicker 7 starts.

    Each user has their own favourites list.

    Did you know you can save Clicker 7 Documents as Word Documents and PDFs?

    You can save a Clicker 7 Document as a Microsoft Word Document or a PDF file.

    To do this:

    1.    Open the Document ribbon tab.

    2.    Click the V next to the Save icon and choose Save Document As.

    3.    In the Save Document window, click the Save as type box and choose Microsoft Word Document (*.docx) or                                       Portable Document Format (*.pdf).

    4.    Choose where to save your file and then click Save.

    To change how Clicker 7 Documents are saved by default, open the Options ribbon tab and click Preferences. On the Document tab, click the Default filetype box, choose a filetype and then click OK.

  • 6 ways to support struggling spellers with Clicker 7

    Struggling spellers are found in every year group, and it can often be hard to encourage them to work independently. Clicker is a valuable tool to support these children and unlock their writing, so here are 6 ways to steer them to writing success!

    1.    Spell check the document

    Spell checking work is not a new idea, but the valuable addition of Clicker’s speech engine means that children can simply right-click on any word in the spell checker to hear it spoken aloud! This truly gives them the ability to independently investigate the options presented and select the one they wish to use.

    Clicker 7 spell checker

    2.    Use the word predictor

    The word predictor speeds up the writing process for struggling spellers, predicting both the current word and offering a choice of next words that might be useful. As it also uses the speech engine to read any word aloud with a right-click, it is perfect for independent work.

    Clicker 7 Word Pool

    3.    Add words to the Word Pool

    Clicker 7 lets you add any word to the spell checker and predictor by using Word Pool. In the example here the child is trying to write I walk through the park, but the spell checker does not offer through as an alternative.

    Clicker 7 Word Pool

    To support children who make misspellings like this simply add the words to the Word Pool with their misspellings. The next time the spell checker is used here it offers through as an option. Targeted spelling intervention in one easy step!

    Clicker 7 Word Pool and word predictor

    4.    Switch on Instant Pictures

    When Instant Pictures in the document are switched on, an image will appear above a word or phrase when it is spelled correctly, an easy way for children to find out for themselves if they are right.

    Clicker 7 Instant Pictures

    5.    Provide a Word Bank

    Offering banks of topic vocabulary or frequently used words will help children with the more difficult words they need to use. They can check the word by listening to it with a right-click and send it to their document with a left-click, removing the frustration of trying to spell it correctly.

    Clicker 7 Word Bank

    6.    Use a Picture Bank

    For some children the addition of a picture above a word will help them to recognise the one they want to include in their writing. The picture does not have to be sent to the document with the word, it can simply stay in the grid to help with word recognition.

    Clicker 7 Picture Bank

  • Clicker Board and Word Banks

    Clicker Board can be used as a classroom tool to collect and organise vocabulary, with the added advantage that the board can be turned into a word bank for children to use when writing.

    While working on a topic, have Clicker Board open on the whiteboard and use it as the place to add important words. To make it more useful you might have a number of pages within your board. For example if your topic is plants, you might have a Clicker Board that looks something like this:

    Clicker 7 - Clicker Board topic tabs

     If you are developing vocabulary to use when describing characters, Clicker Board might look something like this:

    Clicker 7 - Clicker Board vocabulary tabs

    Add words to each tab, and go back and add more over the course of the lesson or lessons as the children come across them.  

    Clicker 7 - Clicker Board tabs

    When you create your word bank, the words will appear on the same tabs.

    Clicker 7 word bank

    Another way of using this idea is to create a board with alphabetic tabs. This might be useful when you want to create a general word bank, for example about the Romans or Vikings, about rivers, or about interesting adjectives.

    Clicker 7 - Clicker Board alphabetic tabs

    The children then have their bank of words whenever they need it.

     Clicker 7 alphabetic word bank

  • Writing about Hadrian's Wall

    Key Stage 2, History:

    Pupils should be taught about:

    • the Roman Empire and its impact on Britain. This could include the successful invasion by Claudius and conquest, including Hadrian's Wall

    LearningGrids has a lot of fantastic Clicker 7 resources to help pupils write about popular history topics.

    Browsing the History category and looking at Romans shows that there is a ‘Topic’ word bank and also an ‘A-Z’ word bank to support writing about Hadrian’s Wall.

    The topic word bank is great for less confident writers as it provides a structure for their writing and vocabulary specific to the topic:

    Romans - topic word bank

    The alphabetic word bank provides a larger list of words suitable for more confident pupils.

    However, some pupils may benefit from a writing frame to provide further structure and whole phrases that they can use in their writing.

    The easiest way to do this is to take an existing writing frame and modify it.

    I based the writing frame below on the History Frame in LearningGrids which I was then able to change by using the Edit Clicker Set button that appears at the top left and bottom left of the Clicker screen.

    In this case I just wanted the structure of the writing frame so I changed all the grid names and content.

    Creating a writing frame on the Romans

    A writing frame on the Romans

    Of course, you can take any of the resources in LearningGrids and use the edit function to modify them easily in the same way. You may want to just make a few adjustments or make more extensive changes. Once you have done that you can save your version of the writing frame and use it whenever you want.

    It might also be helpful to use Clicker Board at the start of the lesson to provide some initial ideas and gather additional ones from the class.

    Hadrian's Wall Clicker Board

    In this way all pupils in a mixed ability class can use Clicker and each pupil will be provided with all the resources they need to complete their writing successfully.

  • Key Stage 2, History, Year 3:

    Pupils should be taught to study Greek life and achievements and their influence on the western world."


    Clicker 7 is such a fantastic support tool to use across all curriculum areas. Due to the range of Clicker Sets available, every type of learner is accommodated for and can achieve success in learning.

    In this post, I will outline how I might plan a lesson on the Ancient Olympics, taking into account the range of abilities in our classrooms today.

    I would begin my lesson by reading The Ancient Olympics – Read a Book with the class, which can be found on LearningGrids.

    Ancient Olympics talking book

    Clicker Books are a superb way of engaging all children in a new topic and generating talk and discussion.

    Throughout our reading of the book, I would use teacher questioning to assess learning and encourage discussion by asking the children to “Think-Pair-Share”, e.g. do you think it was fair that only Greek men were allowed take part in the games?

    The children are now ready to begin some writing. On the interactive whiteboard, I would open The Ancient Olympics Word Bank, also from LearningGrids. This Word Bank is known as a Topic Grid. It contains subject-specific vocabulary to support children in their writing.

    Ancient Olympics Word Bank

    What I love about Clicker is its versatility in the classroom and the many opportunities for differentiation. The children could touch the SoundShift button to listen to each word before using it – this works really well on the interactive whiteboard! It could also be used on a laptop, perhaps by a child working with a TA on a one-to-one basis. Alternatively, I might print this Clicker Set and use it as a table top resource to support group work.

    Printing Clicker Sets

    For children who struggle with writing, the Talk Sets are a fantastic resource to use. I may decide to use Talk About the Ancient Olympics with a small group of struggling writers. Each child gets to share and record what they know by using the Voice Note feature.

    Ancient Olympics Talk Set

    As a plenary, I created a very simple Venn Diagram with Clicker Board to compare and contrast the Ancient Olympics with the Olympics today. As I differentiated throughout my lesson, I would expect all children to participate in this at some level, thereby demonstrating a successful learning experience. 

    Ancient Olympics Venn Diagram resource

  • Clicker 7 lesson plan - animal groups

    Here’s an extract from the KS1, Year 1, Programme of Study: (Science)

    Pupils should be taught to: identify and name a variety of common animals including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals”


    Here is how I might plan a lesson around animal groups using Clicker.

    Firstly, I would always search LearningGrids for ready-made resources. In Clicker Explorer choose ‘LearningGrids’ on the Files tab and enter ‘animal groups’ in the search box.

    Searching for resources on LearningGrids

    We've found 59 resources! You could narrow these down using the age-slider and/or by selecting specific activity types from the top right.

    To introduce the topic the very first resource in the list is ideal – ‘Find Out About Animal Groups’.

    Find Out About Animal Groups resource

    This set is a great way to introduce the concept of animal groups to the class. I might start by asking if anyone knows which group an animal belongs to and then clicking on the information buttons to get more detail. Depending on the level of the group you can always edit the activity to simplify the description.

    Next we have two Clicker Connect activities. As part of my differentiation I might choose which one to assign on a group basis.

    The first one is called ‘Animal Sorting’. The pupil selects a cell from the first grid and then clicks on each tab in turn to add in animals that belong in that group:

    Animal Sorting resource

    For more confident individuals I would use the ‘Animal Groups’ Connect Set where the pupils can write full sentences about different species.

    Animal Groups Connect Set

    As a plenary I might finish with a Clicker Board to visually sort some animals. I created this by using the paint tool to draw crossed lines on the background and then added cells for the groups and the individual animals.

    Clicker Board - animal sorting activity

    Tip: To align the cells on the board, CTRL and left-click on each box to select multiple cells and then CTRL and right-click to access the alignment options:

    Aligning cells in Clicker Board

    Please get in touch if you would like more information on how you can use Clicker 7 in your lessons.

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