Crick Software blog

catherine jell

Clicker 7 research - Wensum Junior School

3rd October 2018

Wensum Junior School in Norwich have been using Clicker software over the past few years, and have recently investigated the level of impact the program has on literacy success at their school.

The school sits in an area of significant social and economic disadvantage – one of six ‘opportunity areas’ in the country – with 25% of children on the special educational needs register. Provision at Wensum is well placed, and the needs of disadvantaged pupils are being met through a dynamic curriculum and targeted provision. They were pleased to receive the following comments from their Ofsted inspection in January (2018):

"Leaders identify pupils’ needs quickly and precisely and then put in place appropriate support and monitor its impact. As a result, pupils who have SEN and/or disabilities make good progress and are developing greater confidence in their learning."

One way in which Wensum are supporting pupils with additional needs is through the use of Clicker 7. Many of the staff have reported significant benefits of using Clicker’s support features, such as the differentiated and easy-to-personalise Word Banks. They have also found the mind map tool (Clicker Board) excellent for whole class work, and for helping those children with working memory problems to make connections and plan their writing.

This investigation was carried out in order to gain a quantitative report on Clicker 7’s effectiveness in supporting pupils who find the writing process challenging. Teachers at Wensum Junior School gathered and analysed work samples from ten children across two classes in year 5; both children with additional needs and those without were included in the study.


The study had fantastic results; the positive effect of Clicker 7 was evident in every sample (this was consistent across gender and ability).


No. multi-syllabic words

No. legible sentences

No. grammatical/ spelling mistakes

No. words written in one writing session

Average without using Clicker





Average using Clicker






2.9 times

2 times

-2.39 times

2.41 times


As the above table shows, the children’s work samples revealed the following key findings:

  • Pupils using Clicker 7 saw the amount of words they could write in one writing session increase by 2.4 times, with almost three times the number of multi-syllabic words being used.
  • Use of Clicker 7 resulted in a huge drop in grammar and spelling errors in pupils' work; almost three times fewer mistakes were made.
  • Pupils were able to produce a much higher level of writing, doubling the amount of legible sentences in their work when using Clicker 7.

It was also reported by teachers that there has been a significant decline in incidents of help being requested by the children, and pupils were able to spend longer working alone than before the introduction of Clicker. This was documented during monitoring of exercise books; for example, six of the books analysed had three times the amount of independent work recorded during the spring term than at the start of the autumn term.

The impact Clicker had on the pupils’ behaviour was also noted during learning walks; children had longer concentration time and were on task, talking about their work. Teachers were pleased to see calmer classrooms whereby they were able to access more children; pupils using Clicker were not needing to rely as much on additional teacher support.

This difference impacted positively on children with and without additional needs. Children who were able writers had more access to teacher support for challenge - which was reportedly difficult previously, as the less able writers were more reliant on the teacher for guidance and supervision. Instead of waiting for prompts, children could use a Word Bank and other writing support tools to start creating their own sentences quickly. The volume of work produced in the time allowed began to improve, and with it came an extra layer of writing confidence.

Teachers and children both expressed extremely positive feedback about Clicker, for example:

“It has made lesson materials easy to differentiate, and with 20% of the class being EAL, the read back facility has made the lesson more accessible for all children.”

“The level of independent work in the classroom now is really inspiring.”

“I enjoy writing using Clicker, without it I find it too hard.”

“Clicker is good fun because it helps you with words, and I love to listen to what I have written.”

It was fantastic to find out the real impact Clicker 7 has had on literacy success at Wensum Junior School! If you’d like to learn more about this study, or alternatively read more Clicker research, click here.

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