With programmes running from Reception right through to GCSE, Exemplar offers lessons that are mapped to the National Curriculum, acting as a supplement to your child’s education.
Whether your child is in need of a little bit, or even a lot of practice for a particular topic, or you feel they need more of a challenge to be able to reach their potential, Exemplar’s personalised programme claims to be tailored around your child’s individual strengths and any areas of weakness.
When you book an assessment, a representative comes out to explain how it all works. The person who came to see us was lovely and she was fantastic with both of our kids. They go through a PowerPoint identifying their core aims around education – explaining how they believe in filling the gaps in education to provide a solid foundation for learning. They then do a short assessment with the children to figure out which programme would be more suited for them.
For us this was fairly pointless as they are 3 and 5, with the oldest being home educated but the kids were thrilled to be taking part. For older children I can see how this can be a lot more beneficial.
Immediately it struck me how helpful this programme will be to a home educating family. Since a lot of home educating families have withdrawn their children from school, it can often seem daunting as to where to start. They may also have no idea where some of those gaps in education are and a programme like Exemplar aims to fill some of those gaps in knowledge.
The representative showed us the virtual programme, which includes the children taking an initial assessment. The results of this can then shape the programme of study they take. If they’re completely confident with multiplication, for example, then don’t need to go over these again if they don’t want to.
Each member of the family gets their own login and as a parent you can set many settings to customise the learning experience of your children. You can have them rigidly following the suggested programme or allow them to pick and choose what they wish to do, allowing more child-led learning.
Along with the virtual programme you get a good amount of resources too. We got a box that contained two reading schemes which came with flashcards and some visual resources that allow you and your child to track the progress they’re making. We also got a magnetic planner and alphabet which could be stuck to the fridge.
The idea is that your child can choose their own timetable for studying. We were told that you also get a laptop so the children have their own device to work on, however we did not get on – presumably as we were just reviewing.
The Virtual Programme
Each school-year course is made up of different lessons, depending on how your child does in the initial assessment. For each ‘lesson’, they can do a bunch of practice questions, watch a tutorial video and then complete an assessment. You can set it up so that they can only progress once they have passed the lesson they are on so they can build up on their learning, however, we decided to keep this open so that we could dip in and out of different lessons.
The content itself was solid but, especially the tutorial videos, could definitely do with an update in terms of delivery. At times, our daughter lost some concentration and engagement.
Another consideration for Exemplar is that the practice-tutorial-assessment model quite often used the same assessment questions as the practice questions meaning that our daughter memorised 1 or 2 answers from prior questions.
It would be great also if they could show us which questions from the assessment were incorrect. This caused some confused for her as she felt she had completed them correctly and would also allow us to go back over the ones she got wrong. She did, however, engage really well with the physical resources, particularly the reading scheme.
These are fairly small considerations, but would all improve the overall program.
Overall, whilst Exemplar would be a useful supplement to our home education, at £12 / week, we would we would have to consider carefully taking out a subscription as home educators take on the financial responsibility of their children’s education; unlike those in state education.
It could also be a valuable resource for parents or carers seeking to support their children’s school learning at home.
Whilst the physical resources were well tailored for our 5 year old, the virtual programme didn’t quite meet her educational needs. With a little updating, Exemplar Education would be a fantastic tool for families to enhance their children’s learning.