Brookdale Primary wanted to put a focus on reading at their school, both to raise standards and encourage children to read more often and widely.
About the school
Brookdale is a small, one-form entry community primary school in Greasby on the Wirral in the North West of England. Rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted, its motto is ‘Believe, Progress, Succeed’ and it prides itself on its friendly, welcoming atmosphere. Pupils come from a mixed catchment area and all achieve well and make good progress. .
The challenges faced
“We wanted to put a real focus on reading in our school – both to raise standards and to encourage our children to read more often and widely,” said Year 2 class teacher Diane Kenny. “When we discovered Reading Eggs from 3P Learning – we thought that the interactive world and the element of competition involved would really engage our children with reading”.
Reading Eggs is aimed at children aged 4-11 and includes a host of fun, online lessons, a library of 2,000 eBooks and a range of engaging and motivational activities. The activities take place in a colourful online world including a shop, a bank and a cafe. Covering core literacy skills including spelling, composition and comprehension, the resource helps learners to develop their reading and comprehension skills and to progress eventually onto reading whole books.
“I like the library, it’s a great resource,” said Diane. “From the children’s point of view, they especially love creating their own ‘Eggsplorer’ – an avatar who represents them in lessons and games. As the children learn to read and then progress through the lessons they win points to spend online on clothes for their avatar and furniture for their ‘houses’. It really motivates them and they don’t realise they are mastering vocabulary and spelling at the same time.
“We use it throughout the school from Year 1 – the phonics are very good – right up to year 6. We often set assignments for the children to complete at home, but we also use it in school and recently have had good results from the app which we’ve used on our iPads to help any children who are off-track.”
As well as appealing to children, the resource includes many teaching tools. Teachers can monitor students individually – checking for example how many games they have played, their vocabulary and the last three books they have read.
“My favourite feature is the ‘placement test’, said Diane. “This shows exactly where the children are and where they should be working, linking them to lessons which are right for their level – it’s a really good tool.
“I’d say the biggest benefit is that the children like it enough to actually use it! You never hear a grumble when we ask them to work in Reading Eggs. It’s really child-friendly and they love winning the ‘eggs’ and hatching ‘critters’.
“Spelling has really come on in our school. Children like the structure of the spelling activities on Reading Eggs – there’s an introduction and then lots of repetition. The repetition is what helps with spelling, for example just today the ‘igh’ sound letter string came up in a sentence about six different ways. This really helps to get the spellings embedded in their brains.
“Overall our results for reading put us in the top percentile and I’m sure some of that success is down to the Reading Eggs resource.
“We are real fans and are always recommending it at meetings and other school gatherings.
“We are very keen to get it for Foundation pupils too, now that’s available.”