Garnock Community Campus were looking for a literacy support tool that could used across the whole campus.
Garnock Community Campus caters for students aged 2-18 years, which is quite unusual! We were looking for a tool that could be used across the campus to support children who find literacy challenging. We were making the purchase using our Pupil Equity Funding (PEF), and it’s vital to be able to maximise impact and demonstrate how this money has been used to help close the attainment gap. We did a lot of research on different products and watched a fair few demonstrations, but Clicker came out on top.
In our opinion it was the most user-friendly, had a lot of good training options attached to it, and supports a wide range of learning needs. We’d also seen it being used very effectively in another primary school in our cluster and even had parents write in to us to tell us about this amazing tool called Clicker that they had heard about, so there were a lot of reasons to say yes!
In this first phase of our Clicker integration, we’re using the software with a few targeted groups of learners. Our English teachers have also started to use Clicker more widely to support extended pieces of writing in their classes. They’ve had particular success with the Clicker Board tool, helping children to make critical links within their learning at the planning stage.
Our first ‘Clicker group’ is a group of very able S1 students (aged 11/12) who, due to dyslexia or other literacy challenges, really struggled in English. With Clicker we were able to remove the barriers to writing that they were experiencing, and I am delighted to say that they are now back in English lessons with the rest of the class, just using Clicker rather than a pen and paper. They are also using it to support their writing in other curriculum areas, particularly social subjects like modern studies and history.
The second group that we’ve introduced Clicker to are S1/S2 learners who are challenged in a variety of ways. We’ve needed to be very creative with our teaching approach to make learning accessible and engaging for them. For example, we’ve been using Clicker to assess these pupils’ listening skills. We are able to quickly create picture-prompt activities where the children, guided by the images in front of them, use Clicker’s writing support tools (such as text prediction and word banks) to record what they have learnt about each element. They can then show us how much information they have retained from the lesson. It’s extremely helpful for our literacy staff to have such an engaging way to assess the listening component of the curriculum, and in fact all four strands of literacy.
Another success story that springs to mind involves a 12-year-old pupil. She was a very reluctant writer. We’d tried lots of different approaches and tools to encourage writing, and for the most part this ended up with us scribing for her, always coming up against a lack of motivation or engagement. But that’s all changed… in front of me now I have a complete, extended piece of writing from her, a whole side of A4, all because of Clicker and the motivation it gave her! Yes, she needed a lot of support to complete it, but her progress is so impressive given the difficulties she faces.
The writing she is producing now is already a level higher than previously recorded. At this early stage we don’t have any data about the wider impact of Clicker on the writing levels of our students, but I’m confident that it will prove to not only be attitude-changing, but level and attainment-changing, too!
The real success of Clicker has been the way that it gives our young people who struggle to access the curriculum due to literacy challenges the confidence that they really can produce extended pieces of writing. It’s such a motivational tool, and it’s really helping pupils to reach their potential.
From a teaching perspective, Clicker is also reducing the time needed to create resources. We don’t have to go hunting for pictures or curriculum topic words, or information books; it’s all here in Clicker and quick to use.
We’ve also had some very positive initial feedback from parents whose children are using Clicker at home (the Site License of Clicker includes home access for teachers and pupils). They’ve been telling us that they’re not having the same old battles and frustrations over doing homework anymore and that their children seem a lot more settled, more able to just get on and focus with Clicker’s support.
I also have to say that I’ve been really impressed by the level of support that Crick Software has provided. Jordan delivered a great training session and Bryan has been more than helpful, happy to come in and show us how it all worked and answer all our questions. Our staff felt very confident and supported both pre and post-purchase.
Clicker is accessible across the campus to anyone who wants to use it, and we have big plans to widen its use over the coming school year – it’s incredibly motivational and so many pupils will benefit from it. I’ve been recommending it far and wide and would definitely advise other schools to arrange a demonstration of their own to find out how it could help their learners.