Theale Green School achieves Star status for literacy

Theale Green School is proud to have been chosen as a Star School by Lexia, a software company aiming to boost literacy progress in secondary students.

The school’s success has been recognised by Lexia, who commended it for its approach to boosting literacy.

The computer-based program – PowerUp – adapts instruction to the needs of the individual student, focusing on developing reading skills in three areas: word study, grammar and comprehension.

Each week, students get a weekly goal of 75–135 minutes, which decreases over time as they make progress.

Rebecca Wilson, a higher-level learning mentor at the school, is responsible for running Lexia sessions and explains how the program is helping: “With the ‘Covid hangover’ we are experiencing, the number of students needing support with literacy has increased, with more students starting secondary school needing support with their phonics.

“The Lexia program can support our lowest ability students as well as our higher ability students, who perhaps needed a boost to their self-esteem and confidence. It can also support pupils who have difficulties engaging with their work, as opposed to those that have a big gap in knowledge, so it is something that works at both ends of the scale.”

Claire Lloyd (Assistant Head SENCO) has also noticed the benefits. “We are seeing improvements not just in literacy but with higher self-esteem of students – they go into lessons feeling more positive, no longer seeing unfamiliar text as a barrier to their learning.”

Rebecca said: “I think the main reason for our success with Lexia is because we have had support from the whole staff at all levels – everyone has been on board and working towards the same goal.

“I also think it’s been a success because we have worked hard to integrate it into school life. It’s become part of the way we do things, not just an add-on. Teachers now know that if they have a student in their class who is struggling due to literacy skills, that we have something in place to support them. It’s very much a team effort.”

And what do the students think?

“I like Lexia because I get to do something I actually enjoy. I like the videos, building up a high streak and the rewards.” (Year 7)

“It’s helping me with my spellings.” (Year 7)

“I can understand it. When I concentrate, it’s easy and fun” (Year 8)

Parents are also supportive, with one saying: “My son came out of school buzzing. The unit is doing wonders with him and his confidence.”

You can read Rebecca’s ‘Star School’ interview with Lexia here:

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