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Explore Learning Tuition Centres
Carey Ann Dodah - Head of Curriculum
Explore Learning provides personalised Maths and English tuition for children aged 5-14. We have over 100 tuition centres across the UK; children become members and attend once or twice a week for sessions lasting approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Our tutors work to ensure that every child they meet has their own programme of work which adapts to their unique strengths and weaknesses, ensuring that children are stretched and challenged in exactly the right areas.
One of the core tools that we use to develop the literacy skills of our primary-aged children is Clicker; in particular the add-on curriculum resources Clicker Phonics, Trackers and Oxford Reading Tree.
We first looked into Clicker years ago to find something to support phonics teaching, which was at the time just starting to be introduced into schools in a big way to build reading skills. We found, and still find today, that Clicker Phonics is the perfect solution for supporting the phonics development of the varied individuals we work with.
Most of the phonics resources we have come across are designed to be whole-class teaching tools. Whilst Clicker Phonics works well in this situation, it’s also fantastic for individual use – children can have their headphones on and independently listen to sounds, practise using them and work their way through the related activities. I love that we can have all our children using the same program, developing these really key skills, but all working at the different levels appropriate to them and their needs. It enables us to target our teaching very effectively.
Another useful aspect of this resource is that it’s engaging, but not childish. For example, we work with children in Years 3 and 4 who are struggling writers or are learning English as an additional language; they are equally as happy, comfortable and confident using this product as our younger learners.
As a matter of fact, my own daughter started at Explore Learning aged 4, and learnt to read using Clicker Phonics – so I have a strong personal belief in the power of this software!
I would have to say that the most popular of all our Clicker resources is the Trackers series, which includes on-screen books and activities designed to build the skills and confidence of struggling upper primary pupils. Those Year 3 – 5 pupils that we have who don’t usually enjoy reading are always very excited to use this. The enthusiastic narration that accompanies each story makes them accessible to everyone, and they really help to enhance reading confidence.
Our younger children use the Oxford Reading Tree series. The fact that the children are already familiar with Biff, Chip and Kipper from school really helps with the transition to a new learning environment like our centre, and it provides a comfort level that makes them feel more confident about having a go at all the activities. They particularly love being able to create their own talking books!
In summary, Clicker is flexible, engaging, inclusive and incredibly popular with our children. We have seen for ourselves the positive impact it has on learning outcomes. We see lots of scope for using the tool with an even wider range of our learners in the future, particularly older children struggling with dyslexia. There’s so much more we can do with it, which is an exciting prospect.
Clicker is a really important component of the personalised learning service we offer to our children, and I can see this being the case for a long time to come!