Whole-school excellence through literacy adventures

Giglets Education

Giglets Education supports pupils in developing a love of reading. Giglets is, at its heart, a growing online library designed to encourage independence and improve pupils’ motivation to read. The Giglets resource contains hundreds of books in over 20 languages, supported by audio storytelling, illustrations, animations and theme music. Interactive question sets help pupils demonstrate reading comprehension and tackle higher order thinking. Professional development materials also support teachers in achieving best practice in reading.

 

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Images courtesy of supplier. Images courtesy of supplier.

In Estyn’s 2013 inspection report, there were 355 pupils at St Philip Evans R.C. Primary School. The school is in an English-speaking part of South Wales. About 40% of pupils learn English as an additional language, and speak other languages at home. About a quarter of pupils are entitled to receive free school meals. The school identifies 17% of pupils as having additional learning needs, nearly all of whom have moderate learning difficulties. No pupil has a statement of special educational needs.

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 Challenges

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.


Implementation

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.

Visit www.giglets.com for more information.

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