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More Bristol schools are closing the gap in reading
Release date: Fri, 20/07/2012
Fourteen more Bristol schools have achieved the Bristol Every Child a Reader standard, bringing the total number of schools to 30.
The Bristol schools are Bannerman Road Primary, Millpond Primary, South Street Primary, Two Mile Hill Primary, Hareclive Primary, Parson Street Primary, Victoria Park Primary, Whitehall Primary, Cabot Primary, Glenfrome Primary, Knowle Park Primary, St Peters Primary, St Annes Infant and St Teresa’s Primary.
The Every Child a Reader programme identifies children struggling to get to grips with reading and offers intensive one-to-one support to help them get back on track. The programme helps children by giving one-to-one reading support with a specialist reading recovery teacher. Books are carefully ‘banded’ to ensure children are reading at exactly the right level to help them improve. Reading partners are also trained to understand the skills children need to use to be good readers, so they can analyse where problems may be and ensure children are supported to overcome them and improve their reading skills.
Around 1,794 children in Bristol primary schools benefited from the scheme last year. Of these children, more than four out of five (87 per cent) were successfully helped to achieve the reading level appropriate for their age, after taking part in the scheme.
Nearly half the children who received Reading Recovery in 2011-12 in Bristol were from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, compared to 25% of children at Bristol primary schools overall.
The programme also resulted in nearly 188 children being removed from the Special Education Needs register following support and progress through the Reading Recovery programme.
Tracking of children who received Reading Recovery at the start of primary school six years ago because their reading was below expected levels for their age, shows they continued to maintain the gains made during the programme, with 90% achieving the level expected for their age at the end of KS2 (age 11).
Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Councillor Clare Campion-Smith, said: “Ensuring children get off to a good start with their reading is the foundation for future success in their education. If children fall behind with reading it affects their progress in all other subject areas. The Every Child a Reader programme has a proven track record in Bristol of ensuring children achieve the levels of literacy expected for their age. Well done to the fourteen new schools that have achieved the Every Child a Reader standard and are now in a position to support other ECaR schools in the City. ”
Julia Douetil, lead trainer at the European Centre for Reading Recovery, said: "There's no silver bullet, Reading Recovery teachers change the life chances of children through a deep understanding of how children learn and why they struggle with reading, combined with sheer hard work! People were concerned that Reading Recovery could not expand at this rate and retain its quality, but the continuing success of the programme has proved them wrong.
"We are especially pleased that the programme is closing the attainment gap between children from disadvantaged backgrounds and their classmates. Although children entitled to free school meals are two and a half times more likely to be among the lowest attaining who are identified as needing Reading Recovery, they quickly catch up and are every bit as successful as others. With the personal, social and economic costs of literacy failure so well documented, investment in effective early literacy intervention is not just good value for money, but morally essential."