Thorpedene Primary School: Case Study

Encouraging Engagement in a Broad and Balanced Curriculum.

Stephanie Champney is Deputy Headteacher at Thorpedene Primary School, a three-form entry school in Southend. Stephanie saw a clip of now>press>play on the internet and was intrigued to look into the pink headphones to see how it worked. She booked a free demo and was impressed by the levels of engagement the children showed.

We were keen to provide a broad and balanced curriculum and now>press>play was perfect as it provides an engaging way of learning for the pupils whilst having educational links to the curriculum areas.

Initially, we thought that we would only see an impact in engagement and participation in the foundation subjects and that now>press>play would stimulate enjoyment and creativity in children’s learning. But since using the now>press>play headphones we have seen a wide variety of uses across the curriculum especially in English – the immersive and active lessons provide excellent opportunities for discussions and this also feeds into their writing.

We had some reluctant learners who were disengaged in the curriculum, however now>press>play has supported these pupils into participating and learning across the curriculum. The links and outcomes in literacy have shown an impact in supporting pupils’ writing development and encouraged children to share their ideas with the class based on what they have experienced.

The ease of use is great – it is simple to set up and use as an enhancement to the curriculum, the training provided was good, so all teachers have an understanding of how it works. now>press>play supported us to create an overview of the Experiences for the year to ensure there is a spread across each year group, and we have been able to find links to all of the Experiences in our school curriculum.

The children have loved learning with now>press>play! The excitement on their faces during the Experiences whilst they are listening has been lovely to see as teachers. Initially, there were some children who were reluctant to participate and join in, but they soon become immersed in the Experiences and are now always asking when they can use it again.

We have one disengaged Year 3 child who on the trial session did not want to join in and participate. However, since we subscribed and the class have been using now>press>play regularly, he now takes part in the sessions with great enthusiasm. At first, we were unsure how the older children would respond such as the Year 6 pupils – we wondered if they would they be self-conscious and not want to participate fully. But since using the headphones we have seen that this is not the case and all pupils participate.

As we move towards our second year of using now>press>play we will start to explore how we can use the headphones with parents and for use with our own resources to record children reciting poetry and retelling stories and for intervention work with smaller groups in Maths and English.

Thorpedene Primary school paid for now>press>play using their Pupil Premium. They are taking photos and using pupil voice to collate impact and children’s participation and engagement in the curriculum. Thorpedene have been using now>press>play since November 2017.