Our Home Tablet Programme in the UK!
Volunteer Writer: Yuhong Peng
In the last year, whilst all pupils in the UK fell behind 3 months of learning, for more disadvantaged communities and deprived areas, children on average lost at least four months or more. The learning gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers has grown 46% bigger than it was a year earlier (NFER 2020). Additionally, there still remains up to 1.8 million children in the UK with no access to a device (Ofcom 2020). In response to this, the Breteau Foundation launched the Home Tablet Programme to support children’s learning at home, targeting communities with limited to no internet connectivity.
In the UK, we have successfully launched in Newham and Blackpool across 4 schools. In partnership with One Billion, a non-profit edtech developer, we have distributed home tablets to 90 Year 1 and Year 2 children to develop their literacy, numeracy, and reading skills at home. These tablets provide children offline access to daily lessons for up to 30 minutes, including a comprehensive range of activities. Children develop their literacy skills through many activities that include writing letters and words, relating words with images, practicing sound differentiation and spelling. For numeracy, children complete exercises that include sorting, matching, comparing, and simple equations. There are also a selection of stories that children can read aloud and complete follow up reading comprehension questions.
Each tablet is unique in that lessons are created for each child based on their levels, using thousands of learning activities on a software called OneCourse. As children log on and take a pre-assessment before commencing their learning, the tablets will adjust to each child’s learning skills. Although the tablets can be used by multiple users, children will have their tablets for a minimum period of 3 months to get the best results. Another distinctive feature of the tablets is that they can be used without adult supervision which means parents do not need to support them whilst they are on the tablets.
At the end of our first three-months in the UK, the Home Tablet Programme has been a huge success. Children using the tablets reported high levels of improvement across numeracy and literacy. 72% of children reported that they had significantly improved their numeracy skills and a further 58% reported that the tablets had significantly improved their literacy skills. After a successful launch across our UK schools, the Breteau Foundation will continue to expand our programme in 2022, and looks forward to reaching more children to help narrow the education gap.