It was a great way to end the autumn term at The Cherwell School in Oxford, as we celebrated what was the end of implementing a huge systemic change in their approach to literacy intervention.
Following a successful pilot trial with 8 students last academic year, The Cherwell are now employing the Easyread programme as their main intervention for struggling readers and writers at key stage 3. Over this year and next, over 80 students will participate in the scheme, with the impact on reading and spelling ages being measured and evaluated along the way.
It was amazing to be able to end 2014 hearing such positive stories as the first wave of students started to get to the heart of level 2. Most were approaching around lesson 35 by the end of term and so were just starting to see some of the exciting changes that usually occur in their literacy at this stage of the programme.
The Year 7 students in particular, as you might expect, have really taken to the programme with one student asking for Easyread homework! Whilst we expected them to enjoy it, we never dreamed of this level of enthusiasm and dedication!
One student in Year 8, who has reached the top level of the reading assessor already, has noticed for himself the difference it is making to his spellings in class. Teachers have also commented on the noticeable improvement in his confidence and approach to lessons over the last couple of months, feeling he has more faith in his own abilities to succeed.
The overall feedback, even this early on, was that students who have struggled with reading for nearly their entire school lives were starting to see that there is a way that they can learn to read and spell, and that they aren’t just ‘stupid’ after all.
We are very much looking forward to what spring brings!
Rachel Wallace is a former English teacher and KS3/4 Leader, and current Literacy Specialist for the Easyread System. Easyread is an online intervention for children with reading difficulties, dyslexia, auditory processing problems and more. www.easyreadsystem.com