Comprehension at Coatbridge High School
In a guest blogpost for ReadingWise, Claire McTier, Acting Principal Teacher PEF Literacy and Numeracy at Coatbridge High School, reflects on her pupils' experiences of using our Comprehension programme and shares the success they’ve achieved to date.
"We had several S1 pupils who had received phonics support at primary school and could read the words on the page reasonably fluently but lacked the comprehension skills to piece together meaning."
At Coatbridge High School, we were looking for an intervention to develop pupils’ comprehension skills. We had several S1 pupils who had received phonics support at primary school and could read the words on the page reasonably fluently but lacked the comprehension skills to piece together meaning. A few of these pupils also had poor short-term memory and would forget the content of an introduction before they had finished reading to the end of even a short text.
We bought in ReadingWise using the Pupil Equity Fund because the Comprehension package seemed to offer resources that would appeal to pupils. The online programme provided a huge amount of data on pupil progress such as time spent on each question and accuracy scores for each of the four mega-skills (thinking ahead, questioning, word check and summarising) and the associated mini-skills, like key words.
"We regularly see them using the four mega-skill comprehension strategies in their reading across the school."
The programme needs a teacher or support assistant to model reading skills and work with pupils to ensure they are not just selecting the first answer and trying to speed through the modules, but it requires little preparation on the teacher’s part, which is perfect for busy teachers. Caroline Shepherd, ReadingWise’s Community Manager, provided excellent support and was always available if we had a query.
Pupils found the programme accessible and easy to navigate. They particularly enjoyed the activities associated with vocabulary such as Word Web and responded well to the competitive element of the Look Back Race. They enjoyed being able to see live time data of their accuracy score and we found this was a great tool in getting them to slow down and think about their answers rather than trying to finish fastest. Pupils grew in confidence over the months we worked on ReadingWise and it not only impacted positively on their comprehension skills but their ICT skills also.
Pupils used ReadingWise Comprehension for two periods (45-minute sessions) per week starting in October 2020 and completing the programme in June 2021. They were assessed using York Assessment of Reading for Comprehension (YARC) Secondary tests. Results were as per the table below.
|Pupil||Age at start||Reading age pre: Sep '20||Reading age post: Jun '21||Reading age increase (yy:mm)|
Overall, the pupils enjoyed working on the programme and we regularly see them using the four mega-skills in their reading across the school. Our results demonstrate the huge success the pupils achieved with ReadingWise.