Hear From Our Sumdog Schools: James Parkinson

1 April 2023 Sumdog Team

We’ve been speaking with teachers from some of our Sumdog schools to learn more about how they’ve been using Sumdog with their pupils.

James Parkinson is Headteacher at De Lacy Primary School in Pontefract, part of Pontefract Academies Trust, a multi-academy trust in the North of England.

Getting started is simple

We first started using Sumdog back in November 2020, after I’d used it before at another school within the trust. The set-up to add pupils and classes was really easy and we’ve enjoyed departmental training sessions and regular communication with the Sumdog team to ensure all our staff are confident in setting games and challenges. 

Throughout the trust we’ve taken part in our own MAT maths contest across our six primary schools and loved the competition it sparked between the schools and classes. We’d be keen for a spelling version too!

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Sumdog spelling… we love it.

We use both the Sumdog maths and spelling games across our schools but the spelling and grammar subscription is what we’re really impressed with throughout the Trust. With over 60% of our pupils eligible for Pupil Premium and the loss of learning they experienced during the school closures, we recognised that we needed something specific to support spelling and grammar and Sumdog was the best solution for our learners.

“Our classes really engage in the personalised journeys Sumdog takes them on.”

Engaging boys and girls, in-class and at home 

We use Sumdog mainly as whole-class practice in the classroom as part of our timetabled lessons, during short periods at the start or end of the day, or when children come back from their breaks. Our pupils really enjoy the games, (the boys love the sports-themed ones especially!), and our classes really engage in the personalised journeys Sumdog takes them on, based on their individual level of learning. 

The feedback we’ve had from parents is that their children are continually asking to use their mobile phones so they can access the Sumdog games and that the Sumdog app makes it easy for them to use. 

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Supporting catch-up over summer 

All of our pupils have their own Sumdog logins and can access the 32 games over the summer holidays. We’ll be getting our new classes uploaded before the end of term, updating our words list, and are looking forward to setting a summer challenge across the MAT to keep our current pupils motivated with extra practice ahead of the new year in September.


Want to try Sumdog Spelling with your class?   

Create spelling practice in minutes using our ready-made spelling lists or create your own custom word lists. Your class will love practicing their spelling words in Sumdog's games.

Request a trial

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