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Game Changers

Spires jnr Students with workbooks.jpg

What is Game Changers?

Game Changers is a 20-session reading programme specifically designed for excluded students or those at risk of exclusion.

The programme uses relatable texts, highly-scaffolded resources and (optional) football activities to motivate and equip young people to read.

Our programme is currently being updated. It will be available again after February half term. If you would like to know more about the launch or any other new programmes we are developing, you can sign up to our mailing list.

Contents

Game Changers includes:

  • Bespoke resources for excluded students

    Participants read the stories of role models with lived experience of school exclusion: including famous sportspeople, musicians and young people like themselves.

  • Books to keep

    Schools receive 10, carefully chosen, books for participants to keep at the end of the programme.

  • Optional football activities

    Engaging video tutorials teach students freestyle football skills - as a further engagement tool.

  • Highly-scaffolded materials

    Printed, 60-page workbooks split texts into manageable chunks, and include a variety of engaging activities. Game Changers is designed to require minimal teacher preparation.

Does Game Changers work?

Over two years, we have delivered Game Changers in over 150 settings across the UK - reaching more than 1200 excluded young people. Almost all teachers (94%) say they would recommend Game Changers to other schools.

In terms of reading skills, our evaluation has shown:

  • One in two (56%) students who start below expected level in reading catch up with their peers over the course of our 20 sessions
  • Almost two thirds (64%) of teachers said that Game Changers improved their students' reading skills

Meanwhile, surveys of students' attitudes to reading indicate:

  • More than twice as many young people say they enjoy reading after completing Game Changers compared to before (27% vs. 13%)
  • Almost 3 in 4 pupils (74%) feel they can be more successful in life, having read the stories from Game Changers

“The Game Changers programme has been fantastic and has engaged a lot of our learners in sport and literacy to a level that I haven’t previously seen in a PRU”

Tom Hoskin, teacher, Swindon

Is Game Changers suitable for my students?

Game Changers uses the stories of role-models with lived experience of school exclusion. The programme is targeted at any students with whom these inspirational narratives might resonate. These include:

  • Excluded students in pupil referral units and other alternative provision settings
  • Students attending SEN schools for SEMH needs
  • Students attending internal exclusion units within mainstream schools
  • Mainstream school students deemed ‘at risk of exclusion’, or who have recently returned from a period of school exclusion

The programme aims to use stories and themes which engage teenagers - in a way that's accessible to lower comprehension abilities. The reading age is roughly 8+, while the content is suitable for KS3 and above.

View sample materials

Read our overview of Game Changers and explore sample materials from across the learning scheme to discover more about the programme.

If you have any further questions, email the team at sport@literacytrust.org.uk