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What was the impact of Lexonik at The Orchard School in Bristol?

One of OFSTED's key findings was that 'Teachers pay meticulous attention to improving pupils' literacy skills' and that 'development of pupils' key literacy skills, including reading, is impressive. Students rapidly gain the skills needed to be successful in their learning.' Undoubtedly, Sound Training plays an important part in this.'

Ian Jones
Teacher
The Orchard School

Background

Staff were concerned that, in many cases, literacy levels across the school were significantly lower than the chronological ages of the pupils, and that this was having a detrimental effect on both learning and exam results. At the time, literacy was not being addressed consistently across the school, and it was felt that Lexonik, with its innovative approach and whole school application (via teacher access to the website resources) could meet this need.

Literacy programme

Objectives

Raise student literacy levels across the whole school with a focus on KS3.

Strategy

In Spring 2015 two members of Orchard School Bristol (OSB) staff received their initial Lexonik training. These two became literacy mentors for the whole school. The Year 9 cohort was trained up first, with an emphasis on cross-curricular vocabulary links and ways in which this could support learning as they began their GCSE syllabi. In the subsequent two academic years, the Year 9 group was again targeted, along with Year 7s, so by Spring 2017, all year groups from 7 to 11 had been through the programme.

Results

Lexonik has proved a huge success for OSB. Average student reading ages increased by 30 months across the school and for many students their gains were significantly higher. One English teacher commented that the programme worked particularly well for students- often boys-  previously disinterested in language, and that the exact nature of questioning/ responses (eg in prefix activities) encouraged them to consider linguistic/arts subjects in the same way that they’d think of a science.

Whole school CPD, with particular reference to website resources, gave the staff team confidence in bringing the Lexonik methodology to their own subject area, and students became expert in bringing cross-curricular examples of applied learning to their Lexonik sessions.

Following the success of the mainstream product, the school invested in Lexonik Leap and this has proved equally beneficial to students who needed additional literacy support.

During Summer 2017, two new members of staff were trained in delivery, with a focus on the current Year 7 cohort. This means that Lexonik is now into its fourth consecutive academic year at OSB.

One student offered the following feedback, “It has helped me to read and write English because it has taught me all the letter sounds, which I didn’t know before. It has also taught me lots of new words… My favourite step was learning about prefixes, because I liked learning the meanings of them, and I really enjoyed matching all the prefixes with their meanings.”


Next Steps

Do you want to experience this kind of improvement in literacy attainment at your school? Or in your school district?

Call us on (+44) 01642 42 42 98 or email us via enquiries@lexonik.co.uk to arrange our first meeting with you. We look forward to helping you improve student learning outcomes.


* Thanks to Ian Jones of OSB for providing all data and feedback.