Online reading interventions are distinct from other ways of supporting children to read. One-to-one interventions, for example, can make a tremendous impact but are often too costly to reach the numbers required.
The Reading More Wisely study, by Cambridge University, explored many important themes relating to literacy and reading intervention in schools. This short article aims to bring some key themes to the surface for literacy coordinators and SLT who are exploring how to boost reading.
The full article is a worthy read, but we hope this short summary takes a few key topics and gives you a little food for thought.
Personalised Learning and Independence
Online reading interventions can adapt to the individual needs of each learner, fostering a sense of independence and ownership over their learning journey. This personalisation not only caters to diverse students, including those with learning difficulties, but also encourages better engagement and learning outcomes.
Growth Mindset and Internal Locus of Control
Sometimes small group or one-to-one interventions can leave some children feeling like the progress 'has been done for them.' By focusing on their ability to influence their own learning outcomes through their independent use of technology, students can become more self-confident, motivated, and responsible for their own progress. This ownership can be transformative.
Working independently offers a discreet and personalised learning environment, helping to reduce the stigma associated with needing additional support. This empowers learners to engage with the intervention without fear of judgement, allowing them to focus on their reading. In fact, the study found sessions were thought of as a privilege. It is of note that we have found scheduling sessions during break or lunch is rarely a good idea as pupils often associate this as a punishment and therefore don't bring such positive attitudes to the work.
Comprehensive Support and Training
Staff training and ongoing support are critical. We value this very highly and know that our schools really appreciate us being there for them. Comprehensive training helps to ensure that teachers and teaching assistants can effectively implement and supervise programmes. And if a new member of staff arrives, it's important to know that training is available to bring them up to speed. This enables a smooth integration into the classroom, fostering an environment that promotes independence and self-directed learning.