LiteracyPlanet is used by the Premier League academies to support English education for their U9 to U16 players.

How it is used depends on the academy and varies according to individual needs. Some academies, such as Middlesbrough, use it as a starter activity for lessons to engage students prior to commencing their individual learning plans. Others, such as Everton, use it for evening education sessions. Others use it for homework for the younger students and as part of lesson plans for older students.

Teachers enjoy how easy the programme is to manage and being able to personalise the learning experience. They are able to assign tasks remotely and in seconds, assign different tasks based on a pupil’s ability, and save time because the programme is self-marking. “The flexibility of the programme is great,” says Ms Caunt.

The academies’ education teams are particularly impressed with students’ enthusiasm for the programme and believe this is leading to improved learning outcomes.

Says Barry Dawson, Head of Education & Welfare at Middlesbrough Academy, “LiteracyPlanet has opened up a whole new way of learning for our young players. Learning that is fun, competitive and challenging is something all the boys want to engage with. “The element of competition and ‘games’ really grabs the attention of all the boys, and helps them to focus and improves their concentration level.“

Since using LiteracyPlanet our teaching team has observed that literacy knowledge and vocabulary has improved consistently across the U10, U11 and U12 groups, and there has been a dramatic improvement in spelling, especially in the younger age groups.”

Simon Crockett, Education Officer at West Bromwich Albion Academy finds a similar experience: “As the students are all young football players, they have naturally competitive characters, so the competition element keeps them engaged. The U12s to U14s aim to beat each other, and therefore concentrate more on the task.

“LiteracyPlanet is engaging the students without them fully realising they are practising and learning new English skills. It’s just a positive experience for all the students.”

Adds Ms Caunt: “It’s hard to find educational resources that enthuse students. Student engagement with LiteracyPlanet has been very impressive.

“Pupils appreciate the interactive game-based approach. They undertake tasks enthusiastically without much prompting from the teachers – they almost view it as a treat, and compete against each other for the best scores, even beyond lesson time. They are learning at an accelerated rate as a result.”

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