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Nearly two years ago the children signed up to Exemplar Education to support their learning at home for us to review the experience. Exemplar seemed like the perfect way to encourage learning outside of school hours and something that we could do easily at home alongside their reading, spellings and homework.
What is Exemplar Education?
If you’re not familiar with Exemplar Education, it’s an online tutoring system which focuses on maths and english online learning from Year 1 through to Year 12, covering all topics for primary schools and secondary schools.
It’s been nearly two years since we started using Exemplar Education and the children now both see it as a normal part of their lives – as normal as days at school and learning new skills and topics from their teacher.
We use the home education platform roughly four times per week for fifteen or twenty minutes at a time – longer if the children are still engaged and concentrating on using it.
On week day evenings we find that they often can’t concentrate for long periods and so Exemplar is great for dipping in and out of and the children can use it for even just five minutes at a time, working at their own pace.
When the children signed up to Exemplar Education we had a home visit where they did an initial assessment that created a learning plan based on their ability as well as being given login details for both children and different login details for the online parent portal.
Once the learning plan had been created, both LP and Little Man were able to work through it, completing practice sessions and tests in each topic. It’s been really interesting to see which things the children have learnt about in school and which are completely new to them. The learning is so broad and covers everything that they’ll eventually learn about in school.
At the end of each learning plan the children complete another assessment to test their understanding and a new learning plan is created. It’s a rolling system that will go on for years at their ages, teaching the children more about maths and English, supporting what they are learning at school and helping to reinforce their understanding.
We mainly use Exemplar for the maths learning rather than English as this is where the children need most support at the moment and I can imagine in time Exemplar expanding to incorporate even more subjects to make it a complete home tutoring system.
We love the Exemplar Education programme because it fits seamlessly into a busy family life. The children can use it when it works for both us and them. We don’t have to commit to seeing a tutor at a specific time each week for a set amount of time and if the children are poorly or if plans change they can use Exemplar at another time. It’s so flexible and so easy to use.
A really great benefit of Exemplar Education is that it can be accessed anywhere. As the system is online based, and their learning plan and progress is all on the online platform, the kids can login from anywhere with an internet connection to practice their maths or do a bit of English.
Plus, as parents we can login from anywhere to see how they’re doing and we get regular email notifications to let us know when they’ve attempted any assessments, their results and a little nudge if they haven’t logged into Exemplar in a while too.
An unexpected benefit of Exemplar Education is that they can login and navigate the interface by themselves. It’s really improved their computer literacy as well as helping with their maths and English! They are really confident using the laptop trackpad and are slowly getting to know the keyboard layout too.
When we started trying to support the children’s learning at home with Exemplar Education it was a change to what the children were used to. It took time for the children to adjust to using Exemplar regularly, just like getting into the habit of reading after school or practicing their spellings.
Now though, two years later, using Exemplar is second nature to them. They don’t really feel like they’re learning as it’s become a really enjoyable experience for them. So much so that they often ask to use Exemplar education after school. To the children it feels like a little extension of the school day for them before moving on to down time, hobbies and playing.
When we first signed up to Exemplar Education it was mainly for LP. Little Man had just started school and was still getting into the swing of learning. But now, with Little Man in Year 2 and LP in Year 4 they are both eager to learn and keen to do as well as they can. They know that learning at home helps them to learn at school too.
With all the assessments in Exemplar Education the pass mark is 80%. Although this sounds quite low it means that the children’s understanding is at a good level if they pass and if they get some questions wrong those topics can be added to the next learning plan. If the pass mark was higher and the children struggled to pass it could easily make them unhappy about the system, about learning and about doing assessments.
Parents, and Exemplar, want children to want to learn, to be happy about it and to celebrate their successes. Having the pass mark at 80% keeps them engaged and moving forward with their learning and, after doing the practice sessions fully LP and Little Man don’t often get lower than the 80% pass mark. If they did they could go through the learning plan to refresh their knowledge before attempting the assessment again.
Through using Exemplar Education LP and Little Man have both gained confidence in answering questions and also confidence in their own ability. Their school learning has been reinforced and at times they’ve learnt things ahead of being taught them at school. The platform works well alongside the National Curriculum and covers so many topics in a way that is tailored to the children’s ages. It works so well for us as a family.
We couldn’t be happier with how the children are getting on using Exemplar Education and would happily recommend it to others. You can find out more about the service over on the Exemplar Education website and book your free assessment visit too.