South Ayrshire: Literacy improvements across 52 schools

South Ayrshire Council drives literacy improvement across 52 schools


ReadingWise has been collaborating with South Ayrshire Council since 2015. Hear first-hand how effective the programmes have been to date.

All 52 schools in South Ayrshire have been using a range of ReadingWise programmes since 2015. The collaboration began further to a presentation in Glasgow where a Learning Support Teacher from a secondary school in Edinburgh presented a very moving account of how ReadingWise helped her acutely struggling learners.

In a series of interviews, Douglas Hutchison, Director of People & Depute Chief Executive, Ian Leishman, Quality Improvement Officer, and Fiona Priestnall, Principal Teacher Inclusion (Learning and Teaching), share why ReadingWise is such a valuable learning intervention for the schools in the authority.

"Education is a huge priority for the Council, and it's going to determine the life course of our children and young people to a huge extent… I haven't found anything as good as ReadingWise for literacy." Douglas Hutchison, Director of People & Depute Chief Executive, South Ayrshire Council

How and Why ReadingWise is working so well for schools across South Ayrshire 

“Education is a huge priority for the council and it's going to determine the life course of our children and young people to a huge extent. And that's why I’m making sure everybody benefits from education in South Ayrshire.” 

“What I like about ReadingWise is the structured and progressive nature of ReadingWise and the fact that it addresses a particular need. That particular need for us is it helps with children who are stuck with their reading. In most cases, they’ve made some progress, but we haven't identified them as having any specific literacy difficulty. You know, they're not specifically children or young people with dyslexia but children who have made some progress but just seem to have stuck or plateaued.”

“ReadingWise is a great intervention for that group. I generally compare any intervention to the cost of one full-time equivalent teacher and I ask myself, how much of a teacher's time would it take to get the same benefit? Based on that it's clear to me that ReadingWise is good value for money because I don't think we would see the same gains simply by using teacher time, for example. So, on that basis, it seems like good value for money.” 

“It's clear that there are there's a baseline there's an intervention and there's an obvious measure of progress over the time that children are using ReadingWise. So, teachers can see the progress that children are making you know in some cases significant progress in terms of years or months added beyond the length of time of the intervention. I think teachers like a baseline an intervention and an outcome and that's clear with ReadingWise.”

“Children who have experienced trauma from a deprived background need an immediate reward because when there's no reward they work out early on that investing for the long term is not worth it if you don't get it immediately it's not worth it. That's one of the good things about computer-assisted learning, there's an immediate response, an immediate reward, and immediate feedback. I think that's what makes that one of the possibilities or one of the reasons for me that some kind of structured computer-assisted learning approach.”

It definitely has advantages and it's probably one of the strengths of ReadingWise, the immediate feedback that children get. I mean, all I could say is it's worked for us, you know, it has a structured progressive approach to supporting children's literacy development. I  would have no hesitation recommending it.” 

Douglas Hutchison, Director of People & Depute Chief Executive, South Ayrshire Council

Fiona Priestnall, Principal Teacher Inclusion (Learning and Teaching), South Ayrshire Council  

Ian Leishman, Quality Improvement Officer, South Ayrshire Council  

Work with ReadingWise to improve literacy results in your school 

Take a look at our other case studies and testimonials from teachers, TAs, headteachers, and literacy leads at primary and secondary schools and multi-academy trusts (MATs).

ReadingWise offers four core modules, plus a comprehensive Learners Library, Teacher Training, and a Dashboard that you can integrate with other school software, and use to demonstrate attainment against the Pupil Premium Budget. Here is our pricing for more information

Zip : Phonics for primary schools, reception, and Y1. 

Vocab : A special vocabulary programme for learners aged 6 - 16, for primaries and secondaries.

Decoding : A comprehensive module for learners with a reading age below their chronological age irrespective of key stage. 

Comprehension : A powerful, engaging, and fun literacy intervention module to develop the quest for meaning behind a narrative. Its content, structure, and design deliver age-appropriate sessions for Primary and Secondary schools Years 5-9.

Over 100,000 pupils in UK schools have completed a ReadingWise programme! We hope to help you and your children, too.

“ReadingWise is really good value for money. We have seen it as being a highly effective intervention that offers personalised learning to large numbers of children and has a measurable impact in a short amount of time.” Jenny Taylor, Headteacher, Horfield Primary School, Bristol - 85% pass in 2016 reading SATs

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