By Liz Herbert, UCL-IOE, Department of Psychology and Human Development

This is the third in series of blogs with schools participating in the research phase of the iRead project across Europe. Liz Herbert asked Vicky Berkson from Grafton School how things were getting on.

Vicky told us:

“We are an Outstanding 2 form entry Primary school in Islington, London.  We are always looking for opportunities to engage with cutting edge research so we are delighted to be part of the iRead project.

Phase 1 involved a selection of our Year 4 and 5 pupils who trialled – with their parents consent – the Navigo and Amigo apps. Our children really enjoyed using the apps and being contributors to a piece of international research!

Following on from this we used the apps more widely – one of our Year 3 classes used the Navigo app with the whole class and we were given great support from the university to get this going. The other Year 3 class and both Year 4 classes used both apps with groups of struggling readers – this work was just beginning when the school closed in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Year 3 class that used the apps as a whole class activity really enjoyed them. The children with additional needs really seemed to benefit from using the apps – it could be that the use of headphones made it easier to focus on the tasks. Integrating the apps with the curriculum was also a success.

The university has supported us through every technical glitch and have been excellent partners to work with. We look forward  to continuing the work when we are all together again.”

The UK project team would like to thank Vicky and her team of teachers, TAs and of course (most importantly!) the pupils at Grafton School for being involved with the iRead project. We look forward to returning in the autumn term.

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