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BETT Finalist 2019 : Reading Gladiators™ goes from strength to strength

BETT finalist 2019

BETT Finalist 2019 ! Just Imagine is thrilled to announce that Reading Gladiators™ has been shortlisted as a finalist in the ‘Primary Content’ category at the 2019 BETT awards.

The Bett Awards, est. 2013, are a celebration of the inspiring creativity and innovation that can be found throughout technology for education. Reading Gladiators™ brings together online interactivity as well as printed teaching materials to provide the ultimate package.

Winners are announced at the end of January 2019 so we are keeping everything crossed!

Here is a excerpt from our entry:

The Reading Gladiators™ website provides a truly interactive element of the programme which enables schools to share their experiences throughout the year. This is a unique element as many programmes are delivered at the beginning of the year and then feedback is perhaps given at the end. Each Reading Gladiator school is able to keep in touch at all times. Posting regular updates gives the team at Just Imagine an insight into how readers are responding to the books.

As a team we respond to each update personally and our responses are intended to give the group further  opportunities for discussion and deepen their thinking. This interactivity allows us as a team to develop genuine working relationships with the teachers and the children in the groups feel that they have a genuine voice which is listened to. We are also able to refine the programme in response to the comments made in the updates. Schools can choose whether or not to use the update facility but we have found that those who engage with it have even greater success with the programme. Teachers are able to comment on updates posted by other schools which gives the opportunity to communicate with other professionals. This is extremely valuable as a way of sharing ideas and being able to tell your class in Yorkshire that a teacher in Bristol has commented on your ideas or work is hugely motivating.

When teachers post photographs of children’s responses or ideas for displaying the books the response is very positive. We are able to select some updates to share with a wider audience using other forms of social media which gives teachers not participating access to great ideas.

Every book read by the groups has an optional mini challenge. This is uploaded to the website and provides another way of sharing responses to a text. Again, we share selected entries through social media which gives the children’s work access to a wider audience.

Our Blog provides a way of sharing news with all schools. We communicate every month with each year group. The blog gives reminders of upcoming webinars, news about winners of the mini challenge and additional ideas to support the group.

Teachers have access to a series of webinars which provide additional professional development and background knowledge to the books. These are transmitted live giving participants the opportunity to interact with the presenter and ask questions. The recording is then available to be accessed when convenient. Some teachers have used these recordings to support other members of staff during professional development meetings in their schools.