My School Reading Hut
The Ofsted Education Inspection Framework (EIF) places a revitalised importance on reading, with special attention to the lowest attaining pupils.
The My School Reading Hut Project seeks to identify and target the students most at risk of being the lowest attaining 20%. We call this process 'the Dyslexia Dive'. We are diving into the brains of children in the very earliest stages, taking an early intervention approach, and preventing reading and spelling difficulties for all learners, including those with dyslexia. The Dyslexia Dive helps to facilitate inclusion.
Schools are demonstrating that they are 'determined that every pupil will learn to read, regardless of their background, needs or abilities. All pupils, including the weakest readers, make sufficient progress to meet or exceed age-related expectations'*
At risk children are identified in Term 1 of Reception and given specialist support. It is far easier to prevent reading and spelling difficulties, and even within the first two terms of reception children become aware that they are struggling to do what their classmates seem to do with ease. This can not only negatively impact on their self-image but also their motivation to read and write. Positive self-esteem in children is a building block to success; providing a strong foundation for learning. The right support and inspiration for learning can make a huge difference in the life of a child.
The idea is that a 'Reading Hut' hub is set up as a permanent learning space within the primary school.
It is a private, playful space where children feel emotionally safe, listened to and cared for by the specialist tutor who leads the 1:1 and small group sessions in this special space. The specialist Reading Hut coach is trained to develop all aspects of reading and spelling development, of which phonics is only one element.
Back on Track (BOT) Sessions can also take place in this space, for students in all grades.
The children are surrounded by wonderful books and have at least some time during each session to find books they are interested in - and want to learn to read. The space is far more than about avoiding reading and spelling difficulties; it is about developing a passion for literacy, and a desire to read for pleasure.
The Reading Hut coach must be a very special teacher who has a genuine love of children and a passion for reading and writing. They may even have their own 'reading therapy dog'.
We are currently looking for a grant to set this up as a pilot scheme within the UK, and develop this as a replicable model to be rolled out nationwide - and then worldwide.
Miss Emma will lead the My School Reading Hut pilot, assessing and teaching the 'at risk' children herself.
Miss Emma has Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) with a BEd Hons (Early Years Specialism) from Worcester College Uni, and a Masters Degree in Special Educational Needs from the University of Nottingham
(Dyslexia specialism) She is currently undertaking doctoral work at the University of Reading, with a research focus on early interventions for reading and spelling difficulties.
Although Miss Emma checked basic phonemic awareness skills of 135 children in less than 40 minutes in this school, what usually happens is that she checks children in class so that there is no disruption. She identifies 'at risk' children and overcomes the phonemic awareness deficits quickly within the early intervention. Although only one risk factor, it is a huge one! This is part of the Dyslexia Dive.
* How will Ofsted make their evaluation against the quality of education judgements?
Inspectors will consider whether:
◼the school is determined that every pupil will learn to read, regardless of their background, needs or abilities. All pupils, including the weakest readers, make sufficient progress to meet or exceed age-related expectations
◼stories, poems, rhymes and non-fiction are chosen for reading to develop pupils’ vocabulary, language comprehension and love of reading. Pupils are familiar with and enjoy listening to a wide range of stories, poems, rhymes and non-fiction
◼the school’s phonics programme matches or exceeds the expectations of the national curriculum and the early learning goals. The school has clear expectations of pupils’ phonics progress term-by-term, from Reception to Year 2.
◼the sequence of reading books shows a cumulative progression in phonics knowledge that is matched closely to the school’s phonics programme. Teachers give pupils sufficient practice in reading and re-reading books that match the grapheme-phoneme correspondences they know, both at school and at home
◼reading, including the teaching of systematic, synthetic phonics, is taught from the beginning of Reception
◼the ongoing assessment of pupils’ phonics progress is sufficiently frequent and detailed to identify any pupil who is falling behind the programme’s pace. If they do fall behind, targeted support is given immediately
◼the school has developed sufficient expertise in the teaching of phonics and reading.
School inspection handbook May 2019, No. 190017 88
“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.