What do the children we support really think about our work?

Here’s what some Year 2 and 3 children said last year:

The Literacy Lab is awesome. I’m not joking! 

I really enjoy coming here. Can I come here every day?

LL makes me happy because I enjoy learning. I learned sounds and new words, how to write new words and I wrote a book and drew pictures. When I grow up, I want to help children when they are in school. I would love to teach children in a Literacy Lab.

My mum wants me to come back to Literacy Lab. Can I come back next term for help with my spelling?

I have not been good at reading but since coming to LL, I have been good at reading and spelling. I don’t give up but I spell it out loud and I keep on going.

I’ve been to the Literacy Lab and it’s great! Don’t be shy. Don’t be nervous. If you keep going, it will make you get better – the more bad you are, the more better you get.

I really enjoyed the lessons and feel that they helped me with my reading and made me feel more confident about returning to school.
(Year 2 comment on online lessons, introduced in a Covid lockdown)

I wish I could come every day. Literacy Lab is fun. I  love coming to the Literacy Lab on Tuesday and Thursdays – they are the best days ever!

I think you’re the best place in the world and the teachers are the best helpers in the universe. They help you and on the walls are things that help you. Please choose Literacy Lab!

I like it, because when you give me tricky stuff to do, I feel proud of myself!”

Obviously I like coming to the lab, it’s fun here.  If you do good work, you can play a game.  Now I can go to year 5 because I am ready.

Literacy Lab means to me books, writing and literacy. I love reading a book and doing writing. I’ve learned to write and I learned tricky words. We split words into sounds. Literacy Lab is awesome and you can learn so many things.

And what do our schools think?

Tutors helping children with literacy
Group learning activity with the teacher and students

The Literacy Lab has been so helpful for the children and I’ve especially noticed this year the impact and progress the children have made. Working 1:1 in the Lab gives the children general confidence, a real sense of ‘ I can do’ attitude.  Long may you continue!  
– Ms. Jackson, year 2 teacher, Heathbrook Primary School

Literacy Lab is a fantastic support for our children [in Heathbrook]. It provides a nurturing environment for them to develop their reading skills if they have fallen behind. It is great to share your impressive Impact Reports with our governors.
– Frances Greenburgh, Deputy Head, Heathbrook

We have been working with Literacy Lab at Hollydale for the last eight years, and it is an invaluable part of our early intervention and support for pupils who need a boost in literacy. The support is given 1:1, and with two sessions a week the pupils make rapid progress as the teaching the tutors provide is tailored to the pupil’s needs and any gaps in their learning. The tutors we have in school have all been amazing and build good relationships with the children on the programme who all love going to their sessions.  The sessions they run are fun and engaging with a range of activities and games which develop the children’s knowledge and thinking around phonics, reading, comprehension and spelling. The termly reviews and reports help us to track each child’s achievements clearly and the assessments they use are excellent at giving us precise data as evidence to support the progress they have made. It really is an intervention that is crucial in helping ensure all our children are given the additional opportunity they need to excel at literacy at Hollydale.
– Esther Sharkey-Yun, Inclusion Manager, Hollydale Primary School

Each academic year, approximately 12% of our pupils are identified for specialist support via the one-to-one  intervention delivered through the Literacy Lab. When evaluating the impact of The Children’s Literacy Charity, the visible improvements in pupils’ overall confidence and attitude towards reading and writing are clearly evident.
– Reema Reid, Head Teacher, Hollydale Primary School, Southwark

With the support of The Children’s Literacy Charity we are slowly beginning to eradicate the problem of poor literacy amongst the pupils at our school. The Literacy Lab intervention is one of the most effective I have ever seen in my 20 years of practice.
Reema Reid, Head Teacher, Hollydale Primary School, Southwark

The work The Children’s Literacy Charity do is invaluable. It takes time and skill to help close the literacy gap for children who are behind for whatever reason. Bringing in the CLC tutors allows our school to give the children who need it most a vital step up.
– Andy Kilcoyne, Headteacher, Mauldeth Road Primary School

The children love and enjoy the sessions. It’s given them confidence to work independently in class as well and it’s helped them with their self-esteem in general, not just in class. The communication with you has been very helpful, because we both notice different things in pupils’ learning and behaviour. It’s been the best, most successful year working with you and WLZ so far, especially given the challenging times.
– Year 2 teacher, Old Oak Primary

Our Literacy Lab Tutor at Soho Parish functions as a member of the school staff.  Her area of expertise is brilliant and the willingness to support us as a school and the pupils she teaches is valued immensely.  Pupils are integrated back into class with ease and the collaborative work between tutor and our teachers supports this. 
– Mayowa Akinloye, SENCO, Soho Parish Primary School

We have been delighted with the work the Children’s Literacy Charity has done with our pupils.  Many pupils who were falling well behind their peers are now attaining age expectations.  But more importantly, they now enjoy reading and talk with great enthusiasm about texts.  Parents and children have told us how pleased they are with the rapid progress in learning.  The Children’s literacy Charity tutor’s contribution to pupil development in our school has been huge and she works with us as a valued team member.
– Louise Ritchie, Headteacher, Soho Parish Primary School

We have been extremely grateful, at Camelot Primary School, for the help and support provided by the Children’s Literacy Charity over this past year. Given the circumstances and lockdowns, the tutors were kind and warm towards the children they provided support, too. The children who needed extra help were quickly sought out and every child who went made progress in their Reading and Phonics, as well as feeling looked after and cared for. Every child was engaged in their learning, and always looked forward to going with the [CLC] tutors. Thank you!
– Amy Brydon Jones (year 2 teacher), Camelot Primary

Camelot School recommends the work of The Children’s Literacy Charity as the only proven intervention to raise reading standards for our youngest pupils struggling to keep up with their peers. The school has tried many interventions and in terms of value for money and the quality of the tutors involved in delivering the programme, no other intervention comes close to matching the work of The Children’s Literacy Charity. The number of children at Camelot School in the last five years who have started an intervention programme not reading in line with age related expectations and have graduated in line and able to meet national assessment standards is astonishing and why we repeatedly renew our contract with The Children’s Literacy Charity.
– James Robinson, Headteacher, Camelot School, Old Kent Road, London, SE15

Case Study

Aran was referred to the Literacy Lab as it was felt he was significantly behind where he should be for his age for a number of complex reasons. As well as problems comprehending a text, structuring sentences correctly, applying phonic knowledge, sequencing and planning ideas, composition and spelling, he had also been assessed by the school’s speech and language specialist as having difficulties in attention and listening, limited vocabulary and poor narrative skills.

During our assessment, our tutor noted that Aran really struggled with comprehension questions and processing information. He would take a long time expressing himself and he struggled to show emotion, whether positive or negative. It was also evident that English was not spoken at home.

In his early Literacy Lab sessions, while Aran was always cooperative and dedicated, he needed considerable time to process questions and tended to look away when spoken to.  As the sessions progressed, his reading, writing and expressive skills gradually improved.  He started smiling more and was able to show excitement, especially towards reading.  He grew in confidence and took the initiative in writing words and simple sentences on his own.  He also became very enthusiastic about creating his own stories and characters; his handwriting improved considerably and at the end of the sessions he was able to show, both verbally and physically, that he was pleased with his work.

“I felt a key breakthrough with Aran was when he was able to express different emotions when reading a book.  Having developed some self-knowledge and emotional literacy, he continued to flourish, both in our sessions and more generally.  One of the highlights for me was when he started to tease me about something I had said. It was heart-warming: there was a real sense of connection  as we both laughed together.  I think Aran’s progress is a perfect example of the more holistic impact of our work: not only has Aran significantly improved his literacy skills but his personal development has been equally important in ensuring he is able to engage with school and the wider world.”

CLC Tutor