Creating success and a love of writing at Micklehurst

MICKLEHURST All Saints C of E Primary School is extremely proud of the progress and achievement their children make in writing – helped by the exciting software Clicker 7.

For a number of years, the school’s Year 6 SATs results in writing have been above the reported national average and also above the local authority’s results.

Results and progress are crucial but more importantly Micklehurst aims to inspire children to be successful writers and create a love of writing which will last a lifetime.

Teachers base work around a language rich quality text and carefully plan ‘creating interest’ moments, which inspire awe and wonder in the children.

Year 2 recently made gingerbread men and when the gingerbread men ran away, they searched for them, locating clues and gingerbread crumbs around the school.

Year 4 were inspired by Jack Prelutsky’s ‘The Wizard’ to make their own wands and an invisibility potion and used gruesome ingredients such as toe of frog, Black Widow spider webs, troll ear wax and adder spit. They even developed cross-curricular links when their potion had a chemical reaction and bubbled.

In Year 6 they found a six-fingered glove and happy endings hanging from the ceiling when they studied the haunting tale of ‘The Tear Thief’ by Carol Duffy, inspiring them to create the most beautiful narrative with outstanding use of figurative language.

Miss Laura Trelfa, headteacher, said: “It is great to see the excitement the ‘creating interest’ moments generate and the motivation and engagement of all our pupils throughout their writing tasks.”

However, not all children find writing easy. Barriers can come in the form of spelling or handwriting, learning difficulties such as dyslexia, dyspraxia (DCD) or hypermobility, or early speech and language difficulties while some children are reluctant writers.

Emma Gorton, Year 4 Teacher and the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator and SLF Specialist Leader of Education, has introduced the assistive technology software Clicker 7.

She explained: “This software has revolutionised how our children with special educational needs, specific weaknesses or reluctant writers feel about their writing.

“Clicker is a complete literacy support software package which helps children of all abilities develop their reading and writing skills by providing each with just the right level of support and challenge.

“They now really enjoy using Clicker to create narratives, reports, explanations and instructions and love the features that input instant pictures and that reads their work back to them.

“This technology has raised the self-esteem of some of my writers beyond words.

“One of my Year 4 children used to hide his work with his hand when he was writing and barely produced more than a paragraph.

“He is now so excited about writing and is producing long extended pieces of work and challenging himself to include greater depth punctuation, vocabulary and sentence structure.”

Clicker 7 has been used right across the school, even supporting Nursery and Reception children.
Emma Swallow, a one-to-one SEN Teaching Assistant in Reception uses it to support a child with ASD.

She said: “When Clicker speaks, we get lots of giggles and being able to record their own voices is really popular with the children. It’s really helping them to develop their own speech and language.”

The school is now upgrading to launch version 8 to allow more pupil access as it can be used on IPADs, laptops and PCs and can also be accessed by pupils at home.

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