Describe your school:
3 form entry mainstream primary school with a nursery located in Acton, West London. The school building is over 100 years old. Diverse socio-economic context; large number of EAL and Pupil Premium children.
Did you have the opportunity to trial the pen before purchase?
I trialled the pen at an Optimus conference I was attending. I then purchase 1 exam reader and 1 reader to see how the children would get on with using them in school before making a larger order of 10 additional readers for children in Year 3 – 5 and 3 additional exam readers for children in Year 6.
During the trial what struck you as a positive feature for your school to go ahead with an order?
During the trial the children began to demonstrate noticeably increased levels of independence within quite a short space of time. It also improved their resilience and removed some of the behaviours that were associated with their frustration.
Which areas do you feel the use of the pen will impact upon for your school’s needs?
We have several children whose confidence is taking a dip as they are finding reading and writing harder / more challenging. For these children, having a useful aid that is perceived as ‘cool’ will really help in the future.
Have the students expressed any comments or thoughts on the Reader pen?
The children love using their pens. They do think they’re ‘cool’ – and so do their friends which has helped to boost self-esteem. Parents have reported that the children have been talking about them at home and have come in to find out where
they can buy / order them from. The Year 6 exam-pen pupil has taken on the role of trainer to other children who will be using the pen next year, sharing his top tips.
Within the classroom environment have teaching and support staff noticed any positive outcomes for the students?
Teachers were initially reticent about trusting the children with such an expensive resource. They were worried it would be a hassle charging them, or that they would get lost. The opposite has been true. The children have responded really well to the responsibility that has been given to them. The older children are organising the charging themselves. The younger children are checking with their teachers for charging, but it is not causing any difficulties. Teachers have commented that it makes some differentiation easier, as it is not always necessary to totally rewrite texts etc.
Would you recommend the pen to other colleagues?
I would definitely recommend the pen as a tool / resource for children to use to support their independent access to curriculum learning.
Any other comments you would like to add?
Because the children are more independent, they have become less reliant on adult support and there has been a reduction in the need for different texts to be printed off for them all the time. Obviously, this has a positive financial implication for the school, despite the initial investment costs.