Michelle Lockwood won support from the Let Teachers SHINE competition last year for her Spelling Beats project. A Teacher at Saint Bernard’s Catholic High School in Rotherham, Michelle aims to help children improve their spelling with the help of music, rhythm and rhyme.
Having worked in both primary and secondary school, Michelle recognised that spelling is a common weak area for many children, having a knock on effect on their other work. The challenge is making spelling seem fun, whilst making it memorable. This is where music comes in. Michelle is working with a games developer and graphic designer to create the Spelling Beats website. The game lets children take on the role as DJ, whilst they learn the rules of language in a fun and engaging way.
The game also aims to help Teachers make teaching spelling fun. It’ll include tutorials and a number of classroom activities, so Teachers will be able to develop their own lesson plan from the site.
Michelle has incorporated students’ feedback into the project, and has tried to give it unique touches and tailor it to boys and girls. The project won’t have a specific age group, but be for both primary and secondary schools. It will however target disadvantaged boys, particularly those with learning difficulties such as dyslexia.
Michelle has already noticed a significant difference in students’ spelling since introducing Spelling Beats into her own classroom, and is looking forward to using her Let Teachers SHINE funding to develop a website that will host the game, making it available to teachers and students in other schools across the country.