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Accelerating Literacy

Accelerating Literacy

A case study of IDL Literacy written by Sarah Watson, the SENCO at Newton Bluecoat CE Primary School, Preston. Published in Special Children Magazine.

It is always worrying when children fall behind in Literacy because it affects more than just their progress in school – it impacts on their confidence and self-esteem too. So when a colleague at another school introduced me to IDL, an online literacy catch-up tool from Ascentis back in October 2013, I was keen to try it out. Initially, we used it with pupils in years 5 and 6, the results were so good that this term we extended the intervention to include years 3 and 4.

Performance of IDL within School settings - 2012 - 2014
Analysis - IDL at the Preston Dyslexia centre
Increase in reading and spelling in months


Once we’ve set pupils up with a password and login, the programme picks up where they left off the day before, and they begin to work without needing much close supervision. Most children love doing it, particularly since it is computer- based. One or two of the younger pupils benefit from an adult sitting beside them to help them keep focused. To sustain their motivation, the system produces a certificate of achievement every time they complete a module, which they can print out and take home.

Every term, we re-assess everyone using the tests provided. The TAs take pupils through a word-reading test individually, while the spelling tests are done in small groups. It doesn’t take me long to enter the data and produce an updated set of modules for pupils to work on. In fact, Ascentis has recently updated the software, making it even easier to track progress: now I can print out spreadsheets with all the data.

IDL is an excellent literacy catch- up tool for children who struggle with reading and spelling

Sarah Watson is the Senco at Newton Bluecoat CE Primary School, Preston Published in Special Children Magazine