We decided to put some of our Pupil Premium money towards Clicker after attending one of Crick’s regional breakfast seminars. We already had the previous version of Clicker in school, which a member of my special needs team had been using to support her KS2 learners. She had tried a lot of different things to help them make progress, but they didn’t seem to be working. However, she was having a lot of success with Clicker.
Watching the demonstration at the seminar, I became aware that there was so much more to Clicker than any of us has previously realised – it had the potential to help address such a wide range of needs. At first, we only had the software on a few computers to try it out, but we’ve now got it on every machine in school.
At the beginning, we were just using Clicker to support those pupils with special educational needs, but we plan to roll it out across the school and get all our staff using it now that we know what it can do. Our LSAs are by far the most experienced Clicker users in our school at the moment – they have been using the program for a number of months as part of their 1:1 sessions.
Here are some of their thoughts on the impact Clicker
has had on learning at Cheddar Grove so far:
Clicker has been a very useful tool to support my literacy lessons. I work with two children on a daily basis and use Clicker as part of the school’s literacy intervention programme. I have found that Clicker has really helped aid the lower ability and EAL children I support in particular in becoming more independent writers.
The speech feedback, word banks and writing frames are really beneficial for helping children to structure their own work. What I really love though, is the book-making aspect of Clicker.
The children really look forward to creating books about their own ideas, which I then print off and laminate for them to take home. One of the features that I really applaud is the ability for children to take photos via their webcams and actually feature in their own stories, using their own words. They get genuinely excited by this.
One of the children that I work with is visually impaired. It’s so useful to be able to adapt the settings of Clicker and optimise the interface for his needs. He has produced such amazing books using Clicker, books that he can be the star of. The books look really professional after we’ve printed them out and I know they are very special to him.
Clicker is such a versatile resource, and the free LearningGrids website that comes with it makes it easy to find information and activities on any subject. Importantly, the children are very enthusiastic about using it, and I have certainly noticed an improvement in their reading.
I support a number of children with dyslexia. Clicker is used to teach patterns that aid reading and help with spelling. When Clicker reads their work back to them, it’s much easier for them to understand where the punctuation should go. Clicker also includes a word predictor and suggests alternatives when a word is spelt incorrectly, which has had a positive impact on their writing.
As Clicker can do so much, and the IT skill range of staff can be quite diverse, I would recommend that schools getting Clicker arrange a regular get-together to trade expertise, which has been very successful for us. We currently run a fortnightly drop-in session for our LSAs, where they discuss the new things they have learnt to do in Clicker, the successes they have had with it and help everyone else learn how to do it too. It really helps to keep everyone up to speed and get the best out of the program.
We will also be signing up for one of the free training webinars Crick Software runs and getting the entire staff to watch it. The LSAs will also be on hand to help staff who are new to the software to start getting to grips with it, so that everyone can start benefiting from it.
I would say to any teacher reading this, particularly if you are focusing on inclusion, that you really need to go along to one of Crick’s seminars or events and see Clicker for yourself. Ultimately, Clicker makes it possible for a class of children with a really wide variety of needs to be working on the same content, at a level appropriate to each individual. And, they all really love using it!