Brompton Westbrook Primary School
We began to work with Lexplore in 2019 after our Deputy Headteacher and SpLD Teacher and Assessor were trained in how to administer the assessment programme. The training was excellent and we were able to start working with the assessment immediately. The information it has provided us on reading has been informative, comprehensive and very quick to gather.
The eye tracking recordings have proven particularly interesting, allowing us to see how children read, which words they focus on and spot their difficulties easily. The Rapid Automatised Naming task has also proven valuable in allowing us to identify different reasons why children were experiencing difficulties.
A more enjoyable testing format
Although some did find the assessment challenging, children appeared to thoroughly enjoy sitting the simple, quick and interesting reading activities that form the test. They preferred reading from a screen rather than the traditional, paper-based tests they are used to. Many were intrigued by some of the activities They also remembered the testing process favourably and were keen to take part in follow up assessments to monitor their progress.
Compared to traditional SpLD tests, which often require children to read large tracts of text until they fail, the short and accessible Lexplore texts are a winner for both teachers and pupils.
More than just an assessment
Merely gathering information about literacy and reading difficulties in school is not enough. However, the Lexplore programme offers us much more and provides informed support to help children develop the fluency and language skills that are foundational to literacy and comprehension.
Our Teaching Assistants read with children for a specific amount of time each school day following the guidelines and materials from the Lexplore programme. These materials have dovetailed well into our existing teaching practices, using the same principles of structured, multisensory overlearning as the other support programmes that we are used to.
New insights to inform teaching
It was interesting to note that the children up to the end of Year 4 tended to confuse the letters / c / , / k / and / s /. This has led to whole class work focused around this. As they progressed throughout the programme it became clear that some children needed specific support on syllabification. This was implemented alongside their work with Lexplore.
Although the Lexplore programme has resources for fluent and able readers, our Senior Management Team made the decision to focus resources and Teaching Assistants’ time to the lower ability levels and those children most vulnerable to being left behind by their peers.
“The Lexplore programme offers us much more than just reading information and provides informed support to help develop children’s wider reading skills.”
Progress and improvements
Children working with the Teaching Assistants were pleased to have the one-to-one time and attention. The repetition and overlearning proves successful for most pupils. One or two children found the work challenging, which highlighted their need for more specific
input around individual sounds and blends.
“The majority of children showed improvements when tested after working with Lexplore’s reading programme. A few children made remarkable progress in a over a short period of time.”
The majority of children showed improvements when tested after working with Lexplore’s reading programme. A few children made remarkable progress in a very short period of time.
If children showed little or no progress, teachers were encouraged to analyse results further. Some children had poor attendance, which had impacted their progress. Others had specific difficulties that had already been identified and work was ongoing to support these.
One year 6 child was able to make connections between his Lexplore work and Nessy. This was a breakthrough for him! The Teaching Assistants also noted a definite improvement in children’s reading speed.
The Lexplore Programme has been an investment for our school but has been worth it!
We are looking forward to seeing more benefits of the Lexplore Analytics over time as our Teaching Assistants’ gain a greater understanding of how the programme can support reading development for all pupils.
“Most children fly through the programme and enjoy their success. They enjoy repeating the words and can recognise elements that they have been learning in other lessons. The one-to-one work is really good for the children and their confidence has increased.”