"We used SamLearning.com with our Yr 6 pupils in the run up to SATs.
Interest originally came from the children who were accessing the site in their own time - before school, at break and lunchtimes. Staff witnessed this and started to use it in lesson times.
This developed into a systematic use of the materials in a planned way; we started to build it into written plans handed in to the Head.
Teachers used SamLearning.com for presenting to the class via digital projector and large screen. We used it to teach new concepts, revise already learned material and as reinforcement (on an individual basis). It was also used as an assessment tool and for printed materials.
We used it as part of our target setting particularly from the point of letting pupils know what is needed to reach certain National Curriculum Levels. Our experience is that if pupils know what they need to do to achieve given levels, and they are supported and given targets, they always make significant progress. Having their own personal login and being able to track their own progress in a systematic way will reinforce this process even more. Pupils did not lose interest in the site, which shows the materials were both appropriate and motivating.
Differentiation meant that 'special needs' pupils were not stigmatised in any way. Often these pupils use different textbooks to other classmates and this can leave them feeling 'failures'. This does not happen with SamLearning.com."
Robin Hood Primary School, Birmingham
"The Leigh CTC has been running a pilot project this year to look at the development of numeracy using on-line resources. Half the year group get a 40-minute lesson each week in an ICT suite with a Maths and ICT specialist.
Each student has an individual programme with targets. Students use KS3 Maths from SamLearning.com (some use KS2 Maths). A number of visitors (including Ofsted Inspectors) have seen the scheme in action and have been impressed by the attitude and progress of the students.
We plan to look at the learning gains after the SATs and compare the students using this programme with students who do not.
Our Ofsted report will be published on March 2nd. I can't quote from it yet, but they did have positive things to say about SamLearning.com and Maths."
Robert Ellis, Assistant Principal
The Leigh CTC, Kent
"I discovered SamLearning.com when looking for a new revision strategy for Y11 Science. The school registered all Y11 and made the service available initially at lunchtime only.
After a few sessions our computer rooms were full of Y11 students independently and enthusiastically using SamAtSchool for GCSE revision.
Learners were motivated into taking responsibility for their own learning through the material and valued the feedback it gave them; in particular, the fact that the software tracks their progress individually and allows them to try again to improve their performances.
Many have said using SamAtSchool improved their exam results. We have now expanded its use to all years focusing on Y9 and KS4."
Andy Ireland, Head of Science
Birley Community College, Sheffield
Learner Centred Study
SamAtSchool can be used on an individual basis during a lesson as a remedial exercise for a particular Learner or for a gifted Learner who finishes another activity early.
In the Library Resource Centre
It is important to make SamAtSchool available in the Library Resource Centre at break time, lunchtime and after school. This ensures equal opportunity for those without home Internet access. Learners must be told it is available and how to login. Posters are provided for this purpose.
"I recently set my first Maths homework using this site. I did this by sending a letter to parents of KS3 pupils advising them about this new initiative, and directing them complete the homework task.
25 out of 31 pupils completed the task; often helped by their parents. Pupils printed their percentage score or wrote it in their homework book. Some proudly presented me with a print out of their score to show how well they had done. Time was saved because I did not have to mark the homework.
If pupils did not have computers at home I let them use one of our computer suites in their lunch hour or after school. I was initially quite worried about using the Internet for homework and was therefore very careful about how I worded my letter to parents. It was important to say that Learners without home Internet access would be given access at school.
I am delighted with this media for homework tasks, which has been a great success, and will continue to review areas within SamAtSchool that will be useful for my KS3 and GCSE pupils. My Headmaster, Head of Department and Chair of Governors are very pleased to use this media and parents have passed favorable comments as well.
My school, St Luke's High School, is a comprehensive school in Exeter with 750 mixed pupils."
Sandra Barrett, Maths Teacher
St Luke's High School, Exeter
"Within school, we utilise data from a variety of sources to track progress and review pupil performance. Being able to target a range of grades a pupil should be aiming for enables staff to facilitate learning in a more appropriate way. Regular assessment is a must, but by introducing SamAtSchool, I believe that we have managed to motivate pupils about assessment and make life that bit easier for staff.
Personally, with groups of GCSE Information Technology candidates, I have been able to review learning by using a structured approach, which relies upon SamAtSchool at key points. Pupils complete the assessments and then inform me. I screen share with them and note down their scores in a database. At a glance I can see areas to address in the run up to the standardised school assessments. I am looking forward to discovering the benefits of SamAtSchool Progress Reports to further inform judgement about pupil progress and to reduce workload.
The potential of SAM sells itself. Appropriate and creative use of the assessment packages could potentially save much time."
Darren Ledson, Head of Information Resources
The Radclyffe School, Oldham