One of the chief needs we identified when putting together our Pupil Premium allocation plan was for something that would help us support and motivate those children who find reading and writing particularly difficult. We spoke to our SpLD base and they recommended Clicker.
What we really liked about Clicker when we looked into it was the flexibility it offers; the fact that it can grow with the children as they move up the school and provide different levels of support depending on their learning needs and ability levels. We first started using it at the beginning of the summer term, and have had particular success with our reluctant writers and pupils with dyslexia and autism.
Initially we used Clicker purely to support certain pupils during the school’s ‘Big Writing’ sessions. It’s great to be able to provide learners who usually struggle with this task with extra scaffolding that ultimately enables them to put a piece of writing together more independently.
Now, Clicker is being used to support writing tasks across the curriculum whenever the teachers feel that the children would benefit from it.
They incorporate more relevant and interesting vocabulary in their written work, and use punctuation much more consistently than when using a pencil and paper.
The key outcomes I have witnessed since the pupils have been using Clicker are that they seem to be much more engaged, focussed and willing to persevere even if they find the task difficult. They incorporate more relevant and interesting vocabulary in their written work, and use punctuation much more consistently than when using a pencil and paper. A number of children are also producing longer pieces of text in the time given than they were ordinarily able to.
The Clicker feature that I find most useful is the speech-supported word prediction tool; it really helps pupils to maintain their train of thought, overcome the spelling difficulties they struggle with and write more fluently. I am aware, however, that there is so much more to Clicker than we currently use it for, so I am really looking forward to the in-school training session we have organised with Crick to help us get even more out of the software.
The words that really spring to mind when I think about how Clicker helps our struggling readers and writers are ‘independence,’ ‘confidence’ and ‘motivation’. It gives these children an alternative way to record their ideas and they demonstrate real enthusiasm when embarking on tasks that they would normally find hard and demotivating without it. I would definitely recommend it!