Improving literacy at home with Bedrock Learning
By Kerry Harris
Kerry Harris bought Bedrock for her daughter Scarlett, eight, to use at home to improve her literacy. Kerry first discovered Bedrock at Hailsham Community College in East Sussex, where she is Reading, Writing, Communication & Maths Coordinator. She was inspired by her students’ successes with Bedrock.
Her son Liam, 14 - a student at the college - uses Bedrock through school and completes it as homework.
Scarlett has used Bedrock at home for six months, while Liam has been using it at school for two years.
Kerry, what prompted you to get Bedrock for Scarlett?
Having seen the impact Bedrock has made on my students and my son, I knew it was a valuable literacy tool. Since Liam has used it at school his literacy and reading ability has come on leaps and bounds and his confidence improved dramatically. My aim in buying it for Scarlett to use at home was to help her with understanding complex words she may not come across yet at primary school.
Did you start with a free trial? How did you find the sign-up experience?
I just bought it without a trial, as I knew how it worked because I’d used it at work. It was very easy and quick to sign up online.
Scarlett and Liam, what are you both studying now?
Scarlett: I’m on the Block 5 topic Gladiators. Liam: I started on Block 5. I completed all ten topics and have moved onto Block 6. I’ve done five topics on that block and am now studying Amelia Earhart [the American aviation pioneer]. Kerry: Both children have found all the topics they have come across really interesting.
Do you have a set Bedrock routine?
Scarlett is very enthusiastic about Bedrock. She loves using it and tries to do it every day after dinner. She really enjoys doing it by herself. Liam is more of a reluctant reader. He does his twice a week on a Tuesday and Thursday, when his sister is at dancing so he has peace and quiet!
Have you noticed either child using new words either in conversation or writing at home or school?
Scarlett tries to drop new words into conversation with us. Her teacher says she is using new words in her writing - she’s noticed the improvement as she has moved up levels at school. Liam has also made an improvement.
How do you feel about using Bedrock and your progress?
Scarlett: I was very excited to learn new words on my own that were hard for me. I like completing the lessons independently and seeing what I’ve learned.
How do you find the weekly usage emails?
I find them useful and interesting. They are also useful in helping me make sure Liam, in particular, has done his homework.
Do you monitor your progress via your dashboard and knowledge organiser?
Scarlett: Yes - I love to see the smiley faces and my badges! It makes me feel proud to see how my work on Bedrock is helping my literacy.
Do you celebrate each child’s milestones - whether lessons completed, full blocks completed, or increase in performance?
When Scarlett completes a topic she can choose a little prize. Liam gets awarded weekly achievement points through school for doing his Bedrock.
How would you summarise the benefits of Bedrock?
Kerry: It helps significantly in increasing reading ages and develops children' use and understanding of complex vocabulary. Scarlett: It helps me learn new and hard words that I would never think of using before. Liam: I learn words that I would normally never come across, so it helps broaden my vocabulary.