"Spellzone is incredibly easy to access and caters for a wide range of abilities, which means you can use it throughout the school at a range of levels, making it fantastic value for money as a learning resource."
Anne Shisler, SENCO, City of London School for Girls.
Spellzone's accessibility and ability to cater for pupils' needs across a range of ages and learning levels is proving a hit at a London school. City of London School for Girls is an independent day school for girls aged 7 to 18, located in the heart of the city. SENCO Anne Shisler is one of Spellzone's earliest customers, who has been using the programme since 2004 and says it meets a very real need:
"City of London School has many high achieving pupils, but like most schools we have pupils with a low spelling age, and some with dyslexia. My problem was finding a high-level spelling programme. There are plenty of lower level resources, but I couldn't find anything that covered the full spectrum of ages and abilities."
Anne continued "The beauty of Spellzone is that it does just that. You can tap into content at exactly the right level for pupils, so you're not giving them something that's too basic. And when you do need support at a basic level, Spellzone can offer that, too."
Anne says that, for her, it's not just about supporting pupils with learning difficulties:
"Sometimes, you find pupils are having trouble with a particular spelling family, so you can focus in on that area in teaching and then tap into the relevant section of the course to reinforce the learning. And the course is so easy to access, too, either at school or at home. This adds to its flexibility, and the ability to set homework – and monitor when it has been completed – is very useful."
A strong advocate for the course, Anne has been involved in its ongoing development since 2004, providing input and feedback to the developers that has helped them towards their aim of continually evolving the course content and format to meet changing needs.
"The programme is continually updated with new features that keep the content varied and help me keep pupils engaged," she says. "They've also added a dictionary recently, which is very clever - a very useful resource.
Another benefit is the accessibility and responsiveness of the team. I had a question about the new dictionary, emailed it through and received a very quick response."
Spellzone director Barry Perks says customer feedback is a key part of the programme's ongoing development: "We very much welcome feedback from the people who are working with Spellzone on a daily basis and seeing first hand what pupils need. That kind of input is invaluable, as it allows us to keep the course content relevant to exactly the people it is designed to support."
Anne believes the course has much to offer schools. "It's a really good teaching tool," she says. "High-level resources are few and far between, and Spellzone provides support at all levels, across all age groups. This means you can use it throughout the school, making it a very cost effective solution."