Internationally recognised literacy programme Lexonik has been praised by head teachers for its work with children from areas of high deprivation in the North West. A special education event was held at South Shore Academy to showcase Lexonik’s work in the region, with more than 700 students across nine Blackpool schools, as part of the Government’s Opportunities Areas project, which is supported by the Blackpool Headteacher’s Group and the charity Right to Succeed.
Lexonik aims to improve reading ages following six separate hour-long sessions.
Training was provided for teachers working with Key Stage 3 students, as well as classes held directly for the students. At the end of the programme, the average reading age of the students involved had increased by 31 months.
Stephen Tierney, CEO at a local MAT and Chair of the Headteachers’ Roundtable Group, said: “A key theme evolved when we were analysing attainment – students were struggling across a range of GCSEs due to poor literacy. Literacy was clearly not simply an issue within the English department. Reading skills were not strong enough.
“Lexonik formed part of a suite of ‘active ingredients’ which we believe will have a cumulative and synergistic impact on results. Alongside students reading more, the depth and breadth of their vocabulary needed to be addressed.
“Lexonik was key in developing an understanding of words. The targeted, small group instruction appears to have significant impact, which has further assisted reading and aided comprehension across a range subjects.”
Michelle Hicks, Business Growth Manager and Lexonik tutor, said: “We were delighted that Stephen and the other members of the Blackpool Headteacher’s Group have been so supportive of Lexonik’s work, and we hope this will encourage more schools to follow their lead and invest in literacy training, particularly for Key Stage 3. It’s the age when children are pre-exam but learning skills that will set them up for later life.”