Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Y Login Fach is a Welsh medium primary school situated in Waunarlwydd. The school has around two hundred children in the school at present from the ages of 3 to 11. The school has a number of children who have additional learning needs which the school meets in both the English and Welsh languages.
The school has a part time support teacher, Mrs Whitty who acts as SENCo to support and manage the needs of the children in the school.
The SENCo identified the need to implement a programme to support a wide range of literacy difficulties within the school in a way that was manageable for her as support teacher but also interesting and engaging for the learners.
There were a wide range of problems that she wanted to focus on including helping children with reading difficulties and spelling difficulties. Mrs. Whitty had available to her a suite of networked computers which could be used to support the learners with addressing their needs and many of the children within her groups were very motivated when using ICT in their class lessons.
Mrs Whitty decided to use ICT to support the children with reading and spelling difficulties in her support time by using a CD ROM package called Dyfal Donc which is a Welsh language program created and distributed by CatchUp which can be installed on stand-alone computers or over a network.
The package was installed on a number of machines within the computer suite room so that Mrs. Whitty could have children working individually on a machine with headphones so that they could listen to instructions without the background noise.
The children undertook activities in a game setting within the package to focus on specific high frequency words which build up gradually in difficulty as the children’s confidence and literacy skills grow. The activities have sound clips which are used to help the children within their activities such as reading out the words to be able to help the children distinguish between the sounds involved in the Welsh language. There are further literacy activities to support the children with their reading which are followed by interactive activities which are in settings which the children enjoy using and appeal to their interests.
The children would come out in their support time once a week to undertake the activities as part of their Individual Education Plan which identifies word groupings for the children to work on over a set period of time.
The progress that the children have made has been monitored and tracked by the class teacher though in the future it is planned to use the unique log on feature so that the children can have their progress monitored by the software itself. This information has been used to review the Individual Education Plan and to set new targets for the next plan in partnership with the children and parents.
Mrs. Whitty has noticed as well that the children have really enjoyed using the program as it has a ‘game’ element. The support of the package has had a positive effect on self esteem and has helped the confidence of the children within the group.
In the future, Mrs. Whitty wants to use the pupil tracking facilities within the software and use the tracking options within the software over the network.