Application Part One (15%)1. Summary of projectAlthough most children learn to read and write through the teaching they receive in the classroom some children need additional support. Teaching alone is not enough for children with literacy difficulties, they require further assistance – intervention schemes are a good way to give children who are having difficulty in the classroom a little extra help. The Better Reading and Writing Progress intervention was specifically created with children with literacy difficulties in mind. This intervention aims to improve reading and writing in children with literacy difficulties through one-on-one lessons with trained tutors. During these meetings tutors will work on a variety of literacy-related areas with students including phonics and phonological awareness, language skills and comprehension, effective reading behaviours when reading texts, writing skills and enjoyment of reading.
Sessions will focus on the individual needs of the students and will concentrate on addressing each pupils’ specific difficulties. Pupils selected will attend lessons in 20-minute slots three times a week. The intervention will run over 15 weeks and hopefully after this time, these sessions will have been enough to catch up the children with literacy difficulties to a reading ability level close to their peers.2. AimsThe aims of the intervention are to ….1. Improve reading accuracy in low attainment children.
2. Improve comprehension ability in low attainment children.Tutors working with students who have literacy difficulties have a number of objectives. These are to develop their phonic knowledge and phonological awareness, increase their language and comprehension skills, create productive reading behaviours, improve students writing abilities and instil a love for reading in pupils.
Working towards these various objectives should allow the Better Reading and Writing Progress intervention to meet the above aims. 3. Specific aspect of literacy identified for development.Although this intervention aims to improve both reading and writing in children with literacy difficulties the principal area I am identifying for development is reading. The Better Reading and Writing Progress intervention targets a range of literacy-related areas, primarily, phonics and phonological awareness, language skills and comprehension, effective reading behaviours, writing skills and enjoyment of reading.
These will have greatest impact on decoding and comprehension abilities, so will influence word recognition and comprehension, both essential components in reading.4. Rationale for age-group selectedThe intervention I have selected can be used on primary school children grades one to six. I think the intervention would be most beneficial if focused on grades three and four as these pupils have made a good start with reading and at this age it will really start to become apparent which students are experiencing literacy difficulties. 5. MethodologyThe £25,000 will be spent on bringing the tutors into the school.
For the intervention to be successful the tutors will need to be brought in at a minimum three days a week. This is because students need to attend three 20 minute lessons a week to take away the full benefits of the intervention. Children in years three and four are typically in school from 9am to 3pm this means tutors will be able to complete lessons within this timeframe, if we factor in the children’s break time (approximately 15 minutes) and lunchtime (approximately 45 minutes), which I assume the tutors will correspond their breaks with, tutors will have 5 hours to complete sessions. Each lesson lasts 20 minutes and tutors require 10 minutes after each session to reflect and plan the next lesson, this means tutors will be able to complete 10 sessions each day. This means tutors can take on ten different pupils each 15 week cycle.
Tutors determine their own charges, they typically begin at £300 per day. For three days a week this would cost £900, over the 15 weeks this would cost £13,500. However, this is the minimum figure, the highest cost of tutor per school for the intervention could be £20,250.
6. Assessment of effectivenessThe effectiveness of the teaching support would be assessed by comparing students pre-test and post-test marks in reading age, reading accuracy, and comprehension age, comprehension accuracy. It may also be useful to collect these same test marks for the students in the class who are not taking part in the intervention, this would allow us to compare the intervention students test marks to the remainder of the class’s marks to determine if any potential changes or progress that may occur is due to intervention as opposed to regular class teaching. Application Part Two (15%)1.
Case for support(i) Rationale for selecting specific aspect(s) of literacy for developmentPIRLS (2011) found that the time dedicated to literacy-related activities was highly correlated to the acquisition of reading literacy skills. In this regard, it makes sense, to select an intervention that spends time working on literacy-related activities with children who have literacy difficulties, in order to help them achieve reading literacy skills. The Better Reading and Writing Progress looks at a number of literacy-related areas, one of which, is phonics and phonological awareness. The Education Endowment Foundation (2015) recently released a report suggesting that phonics-based schemes provide an advantage of about 4 months of reading age over other approaches they also suggest that work on phonological skills for reading should be embedded within a broad approach.
These findings were some of the deciding reasons behind my choice in intervention. Language skills and comprehension are another key area many children experience difficulties with. The intervention aimed to improve this area by teaching affective reading behaviours.
Duke and Pearson (2002) outline a series of things good readers to when they read; they are active readers, they have goals in mind for their reading and assess whether the text they are reading is effectively meeting these goals, they look over what they read before they read it – noting things like the structure and which sections may be most relevant, they make predictions about what is coming etc. Not all children engage in these reading strategies but research shows that children can be taught these affective reading behaviours. Bereiter and Bird (1985) found that children who initially performed poorly in comprehension tests were able to achieve higher scores when they were taught reading strategies like think aloud. Similarly, Anderson and Pearson (1990) found children who were tutored in prediction and visualisation strategies integrated these reading behaviours into their own performance until it became second nature. The intervention incorporates lessons on affective reading behaviours to improve reading comprehension.The final literacy area the intervention attempts to address is making reading enjoyable for the children. The U.
S. Department of Education (2014) found that pupils who reported ‘liking’ reading were more likely to achieve high literacy grades. There is a well-established relationship between literacy development and time devoted to literary activities – as a result, it is important to select literacy and reading materials that elicit positive responses in children and make them want to engage in literacy-related activities. According to recent statistics only 26% of 8 year-olds in Northern Ireland report ‘liking’ reading (PIRLS, 2011). Interventions that encourage a positive mentality towards reading in Northern Ireland and schools in this region are more important than ever. (ii) Anticipated impact of additional teaching supportThis intervention was initially developed in Leicester, for pupils in years one to seven, experiencing difficulties with reading and writing.
It has been implemented in a number of schools across Leicester since 2006 and the intervention has been successfully used as an additional teaching support with well over 3000 students. As the Better Reading and Writing Intervention has been used before there are reports available of the previous impact it has had as an additional teaching support. Whatmuff used the intervention from 2009-2011 and collected data for almost 800 children, focusing on its performance as a comprehension intervention. Whatmuff (2009) reports the intervention lead to comprehension improvement for pupils who had weak comprehension skills, these results were significant in both cases. Whatmuff’s (2011) most recent data found promising results in reading and reading comprehension and he reports that most pupils had an increase in reading comprehension of 12 months after attending intervention sessions for only 8-10 weeks.
Dawson also used the intervention more recently from 2013-2015. Dawson collected data from 648 pupils, years one to six who had low attainment literacy scores. Dawson’s (2013) results showed useful to remarkable impacts in reading accuracy and in one group she observed a useful impact on writing ability.Both studies found useful to remarkable progress in reading accuracy. Results also indicate that many of the children participating in the intervention would have been caught up to an age-appropriate level by the end of the intervention.Based on prior results I anticipate this intervention will be successful as an aid to children with literacy issues. Previous results have shown it to be an effective tool in improving both reading accuracy and comprehension abilities. These are two of the key aims I have listed above, making it an appropriate intervention to implement.