We came across Third Space Learning because for a number of years other schools in our local authority had used the intervention.
For the last few years our intervention approach has been to use teachers to work with children for an hour after school, with us paying our teachers the hourly one to one tuition rate. Third Space Learning enabled us to pull back a little bit on that cost. Also, one of our local cluster schools were very positive about it and had used it for many years. I was very impressed with what it would do for our school.
We used the intervention to give a boost to borderline pupils in our higher ability group
In preparation for SATs we group the children into a lower ability group and a higher ability group. With the more able group you still have children at the bottom who are borderline, and in a bigger group they can get lost. And you also get a shift of momentum with the teacher switching to a quicker pace than those children are able to keep up with.
What Third Space did, starting with the assessment, is really pinpoint for the teacher the areas that were clearly very wobbly for those borderline children, and I don’t think normal teacher assessment is able to get to that level. So then we had a really clear picture and were able to use more targeted homework and classwork to support those weaker areas. In some cases the weaker areas that were coming up for children would have either gone by unnoticed or were really big areas in the curriculum.
In our teacher classroom assessments, we found at the end of the year that these areas had improved and I don’t think that would have happened without the intervention.
The pupils have really enjoyed their sessions each week
The children really do enjoy it. From the minute the tutor starts speaking the children are absorbed in the session from start to finish. Concentration levels are really high, and at the end of sessions they say how they have enjoyed them. And they are always keen to do them as well.
We decided to use our places to move children from expected to greater depth, and I think we made the right choice with that as they were the right children to work independently with it and be very self-sufficient and we feel they have gained immensely from it. And they loved it as well!
We were able to continue the intervention during the school closures
For the COVID-19 period, we sent the pupils home with the headsets and with the information you provided. The transition to learning from home went really successfully. Now we are going to move away from these children and move it to a few weeks of Year 4 or Year 5 children who are looked after children or in care, who have been in school throughout.
We were able to use the assessments to guide class work
We found the assessment helpful and easy. The children really responded well to it. In terms of the data and the way it is translated, it is very easy and simple to use to inform teaching. Because Third Space send the weekly email, it keeps it at the forefront of your mind so that you remember to go on and click the link and check their progress each week.