Case Study: Spellodrome in a primary school Caitlin Gordon
Spellodrome Case Studies
We know Spellodrome delivers powerful results wherever it is used, but don’t take our word for it. Take a look at what teachers across the country are saying about how Spellodrome is impacting learning in their schools.
Mill Field Primary School reviewsthe benefits of using Spellodrome.
Given the school’s intake, writing and spelling can frequently be challenging for pupils. But following the introduction of the new curriculum, the school realised there was additional pressure on its pupils and a need to develop its teaching of technical English.
Julie Gill-Hall is currently a Year 5 teacher, with a lot of Year 6 experience, and is responsible for running the school’s new spelling project across KS2. Julie speaks of some of the challenges they face at Mill Field Primary School.
“Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling has an elevated status in our school now and is a key area for development. We found that the new tests meant that the children’s true abilities were not reflected in their results. For example, we found that significant numbers of pupils achieved a very reasonable score in the Grammar and Punctuation sections of the test, but were unable to reach Level 4 because they had specific issues with spelling and were therefore at a disadvantage.”
“As a result, we have had to really take stock of how we teach spelling and use resources such as Spellodrome to help us.”
“The challenges of the new curriculum are particularly stark for our children who frequently struggle to understand the spelling rules. We also recognise that to help their command of English, we need to teach some things which are not in the curriculum, such as double consonants, silent letters and irregular plurals.”
About the School: Mill FieldPrimary School in Leeds is a large school consisting of c400 pupils, high proportions of which speak little or no English when they join, with over 30 different languages spoken at this school.
The school prides itself on giving its pupils opportunities and experiences which enable them to enjoy learning, in addition to making good progress.
“We don’t just want to teach to the test, we want them to be confident with all aspects of their English. We also like to invest in resources which pupils can access at home.”
Julie Gill-Hall, Year 5 Teacher, Mill Field Primary School
Mill Field Primary School uses Spellodrome, an award-winning curriculum mapped digital resource, designed to develop spelling, grammar, writing and communication skills in pupils aged 7-14 (KS2-3) using a fun ‘gaming-style’ challenge and reward system to increase confidence and motivation. Comprising an engaging array of activities, games and challenges, everything is designed to encourage independent learning and the development of critical spelling awareness.
Spellodrome includes pre-populated 2014 curriculum aligned word lists for KS1 and KS2, and these word lists can be customised from more than 10,000 words to specifically meet the needs of each teacher.
“Spellodrome is used extensively during lessons,” Said Julie. “I personally find the word lists useful as it is possible to set up ‘groups’ at different year groups, meaning that I can instantly access word lists from anywhere in the curriculum. In addition to this, if there is a specific rule that children are finding difficult, I am quickly able to find a bank of words that will meet the rule and which children can return to in their own time.”
As well as using Spellodrome in teaching time, the school also runs an after-school spelling club and an in-school booster spelling club, particularly targeted at Years 5 and 6, using a mix of resources and challenges, heavily featuring Spellodrome.
Mill Field Primary School use Spellodrome to plug the gaps ready for new GPS tests.
The school is planning to run a ‘Summer Challenge’ to make sure the children keep up the good work during the long holidays and having them hooked on Spellodrome helps to prevent summer learning loss.
The children are making rapid progress with their spelling across KS2 this year at Mill Field Primary School.
“Spellodrome is having a positive impact on learning and is in effect extending the school day because pupils love it enough to use it before and after school and at home,” Said Julie “Once the children experience Spellodrome, they are hooked. It also helps to remove some of the pressure as they see it as an interactive resource, rather than a test of their spelling knowledge.”
“Day to day I am finding that the children’s general awareness of spelling rules has increased and that they are able to transfer their knowledge of the rules to include a new word, which tells me they have really understood the rule. They will often mention a spelling rule when they are supposed to be doing something else like handwriting!”
“They seem genuinely motivated to improve even further – often asking to use Spellodrome and being very keen to get on the Hall of Fame in the live games.”
“What has been really pleasing has been seeing the children use more interesting words in their writing. We want them to be creative writers and so it’s great to see that their confidence is growing and they are not afraid to try new words.”
“For staff, it has also been useful to use the student reports to help identify words that have been misspelt by the children either in the teacher reports or on the children’s screen. I really like the way that this differentiates between words spelt incorrectly during Play Live (where they are under time pressure) and in the other activities. The children also have the chance to self-correct their spellings using this feature.”
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