Students reap the rewards of scheme

Duke's Middle School in Alnwick celebrating their success within the'DigiSmart Literacy programme.
Duke's Middle School in Alnwick celebrating their success within the'DigiSmart Literacy programme.

Beaming with pride, these pupils from an Alnwick school have chalked up success, thanks to a motivating educational initiative.

Twenty-six Year 5 and 6 students from The Duke’s Middle School have completed the DigiSmart literacy programme.

The scheme is a motivating literacy programme which runs across an academic year.

It targets reading, writing and speaking and listening skills, exploiting the link between computers and traditional books.

The project has substantial research to prove that pupils involved make significant gains.

And this has certainly been the case at The Duke’s school.

Anne Puddephatt, assistant headteacher and special-needs coordinator said: “It has been a huge success for all our pupils involved.

“It has been a joy to work with such excellent resources and be able to so clearly see the progress that the children have made.

“They have made accelerated progress in reading and writing and I believe that DigiSmart has had a significant impact on this.

“I will definitely be registering for the programme again next year.”

The DigiSmart programme was first brought to the attention of the school by Mrs Dania Jordon, a member of the LIST team of support professionals.

The school immediately registered the pupils and together with support assistant, Richard Oliver, staff trained to deliver the programme.

The small group setting and higher than usual adult-to-child ratio are fundamental in achieving success.

The Duke’s School was the only one in Northumberland to take up the initiative.

DigiSmart is charitably funded and is offered to schools without charge so that children who need it most are able to benefit.

The DigiSmart website – – sets out a number of key specifics of the programme.

It states that the scheme takes place over 19 carefully-planned sessions across two terms. Each session is one to one-and-a-half-hours long and take place during or after school.

Each class includes explicit learning targets for children, session activities accessed online, which children work on at their own computer in tandem with printed DigiSmart Workbooks and extension activities for children who complete the main activity.