Diss start-up Bedrock Learning seeks investment to narrow ‘language gap’ in schools

Diss-based start-up business Bedrock Learning has launched a fundraising campaign on Crowdcube to help expand its services.

Photo of co-founders Olivia Sumpter and Aaron Leary,

Diss-based start-up business Bedrock Learning has launched a fundraising campaign on Crowdcube to help expand its services. Photo of co-founders Olivia Sumpter and Aaron Leary,

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The Diss-based creator of an online learning resource is set to launch a new pitch for investments today, with the goal of expanding into “the go-to literacy solution for schools”.

Bedrock Learning, a start-up at the Diss Business Hub in Hopper Way, will begin seeking funds via the investment website Crowdcube, where “armchair dragons” can stake a claim in the future growth of the company.

The business set up its online resource, which provides interactive lessons to help pupils with their reading and vocabulary skills, about two years ago, and now counts 28 schools in its clientèle.

Olivia Sumpter, who co-founded Bedrock with fellow English teacher Aaron Leary, said while working in London, they observed a ‘language gap’ depending on a child’s background, inspiring them to start their own service to help tackle this problem.

“We just found the language was a real problem. It’s the reason some pupils couldn’t understand the text or express their views,” she told the Diss Express.

“Unfortunately, it often comes down to background.

“English departments are busy places, so there is not always that co-ordinated plan to narrow that language gap.”

Ms Sumpter, of Fersfield, who also teaches English part-time at Hartismere School, cited research showing that by age three, children from a ‘professional background’ will be exposed, on average, to three million more words than their less advantaged peers.

She explained the strategy for Bedrock was to assist schools in taking control of this aspect of learning, by ensuring students regularly had access to language-rich texts.

“All of our language is very ambitious. We ensure a student has multiple exposures to a word,” she said.

“It’s a very systematic way of using vocabulary.”

Ms Sumpter added they had received “brilliant feedback” from schools, reporting significant progress in pupils using the resource, and by raising funds on Crowdcube, they hope to “offer time-strapped English departments even more support”.

View their pitch at www.crowdcube.com/bedrock