Exploring the long-term impact of Reading Recovery

Literacy expert Dr Susan Bodman, National Lead for Reading Recovery, delivers training on literacy intervention in schools. Dr Bodman has experience teaching in primary schools as a SENCO and literacy coordinator, and working in learning support in secondary schools. Here, she discusses the need for early intervention for children struggling with reading in KS1…

By the end of primary school, the gulf between good readers and those who struggle is well-established. In 2018, nearly 20,000 11-year olds had reading levels too low to be entered for the National Reading Test, or took the test but did not achieve any score.

Why does early intervention matter?

Early intervention programmes can show long-term gains and increase academic achievement, improve life chances and generate significant economic benefits, as recent independent research reports by Professor Jane Hurry and Dr Lisa Fridkin of the UCL Institute of Education and by Pro-Bono Economics demonstrate.

Children aged five and six who had Reading Recovery (RR), a school-based literacy programme for the lowest achieving children, were found 10 years on to be more than twice as likely to achieve five or more good GCSEs including English and mathematics, and less likely to leave school with no qualifications or intensive special needs support, in comparison to those pupils who were not on the programme. Reading Recovery - a child reads 1:2:1 with a teacher

How can schools make a difference?

When supporting pupils with literacy difficulties, schools should choose an intervention that has;

1. Sound research evidence of impact

Investing in intervention means that you want to be assured of results in your school.  Interventions with research evidence showing similar impact in a range of school contexts are the most likely to yield good results.

2. 1-to-1 teacher/pupil ratio

Evidence shows that for the very lowest attaining pupils, individual instruction is highly effective. This matters as early interventions need to provide more than twice the normal rate of progress.

3. Continuing professional development

Training and sustained support are vital for the success of interventions for the very lowest attaining pupils. Ongoing professional development that offers teachers support and challenge will maintain fidelity to the programme and raise pupil outcomes.

By investing in early intervention that works, schools give pupils the best chance of reaching age-expected attainment and staying there.

Why Reading Recovery works

RR is an effective intervention – with daily targeted 30 minutes lessons, your lowest-attaining literacy learners could progress fast. More than eight in ten pupils in Reading Recovery catch up with their classroom peers in 12-20 weeks.

Teachers follow an accredited year-long training programme, learning how to use research-informed techniques and procedures. They work with children whilst training, and are supported locally by accredited Teacher Leaders.

Find out more about Reading Recovery on the website.

Follow on Twitter: @ILC_IOE #ReadingRecovery

Recent research reports can be viewed here: home.kpmg

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