The school’s performance and prospects for improvement were rated ‘Excellent’. In September 2016, St Philip Evans R.C. Primary School set out to secure the very best practice in reading. The school leaders and staff embraced Giglets following the recommendation of a leading literacy expert in Welsh education, Helen Bowen.
The staff at St Philip Evans R.C. Primary School wanted to raise attainment through improving pupil engagement and encouraging independence in reading. To accomplish those goals, pupils needed easy access to engaging, relevant and meaningful texts that offered a suitable level of challenge. In a very busy school, staff also hoped to save time and ensure consistent questioning around texts, all while keeping their budget in mind. This was to be done through using the interactive reading test questions and higher-order thinking questions that support each book on Giglets, which fit the school’s budget well. The school adopted a two-year rolling programme to get to grips with Giglets:
- 2016/17 - To get started, the staff chose first to focus on Giglets during Guided Group Reading and whole-class reading sessions, and also assigned books to read at home. The Giglets library is unlimited, and teachers can share as many copies as they need for reading in class and at home.
- 2017/18 - In the second year, staff introduced whole-class texts and tackled the rich, cross-curricular learning tasks.
Since Giglets works across all major browsers and devices, no directly associated hardware expenditure nor other software expenditure was required from a budget point of view. The staff took a brilliant approach to implementing Giglets. They took time to select books with associated higher-order thinking skills questions, reading test question sets and rich literacy tasks for each year group. They then set those in a schedule to be followed throughout the year. In applying a consistent approach to planning, the staff ensured that pupils would build on previous learning as they moved through the school and developed their skills.
One year on, did things go as planned?
Read the concluding part here.
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