How Fairfield Primary School overcame challenges in reading fluency and efficiency with Reading Plus

“We bought Reading Plus as we’d identified an issue in school with reading fluency and efficiency. Reading Plus has been instrumental in solving this problem for most of our children.” – Andy Ruffell, Headteacher Fairfield Primary School.

Fairfield Primary School in Stockton-On-Tees has been using Reading Plus since 2018. We caught up with Headteacher Andy Ruffell to find out how easy it was to implement Reading Plus, whether it’s proven to be a good value for money, and the impact Reading Plus has had on both teachers and pupils:

Why was your school looking for help with reading?

Initially, we were looking for something to improve the reading confidence, fluency, and stamina of a particular group (mostly boys) of very reluctant readers in Year 6.

Support for the full-length Year 6 reading test

We knew that this was a year group that would struggle with a full-length Year 6 reading test. That’s because their reading speed was too slow, they weren’t very resilient, and they had very little confidence in their own abilities.

Increased ability – and motivation

Within a very short space of time, we’d seen such an enormous improvement in the ability and motivation of this group of previously reluctant readers, we increased our subscription. We bought Reading Plus licences for all of our Key Stage 2 children.

Why did you choose Reading Plus?

The support given in the early days of trialling the programme really helped us to get to grips with it quickly. And it enabled our staff to make sure that the children using it made rapid progress. We’re in our third year of using Reading Plus now, and the support has always been exceptional.

How easy was it to implement Reading Plus?

The implementation process was extremely easy. We had lots of support and guidance from the Reading Plus Partner Plus Team, who have been exceptional. Children are motivated to read more Some children will always be a challenge when it comes to encouraging them to read. However, the children tell us that they do like the range of texts available on Reading Plus and the structure of the programme (there are elements designed to emulate online games). This, along with the instant feedback, certainly seems to motivate them.

How does the program complement your teaching?

The initial baseline InSight Assessment is extremely useful for demonstrating how much progress the children have made. Apart from being useful for accountability purposes and showing that the money invested in the programme is worth it, it’s essential for showing the children how far they have come since using Reading Plus. It gives them extra motivation to see their measurable success.

Supporting reading fluency and efficiency

The reporting data is useful, but we’ve only really scratched the surface of this aspect of the programme. Initially, we bought Reading Plus as we’d identified an issue in school with reading fluency and efficiency. Reading Plus has been instrumental in solving this problem for most of our children.

Improved speed, fluency, understanding, stamina and efficiency

I believe that Reading Plus has had a significant and sustained positive impact on the reading skills and motivation of our children. We’ve seen an increased level of reading stamina amongst many of our children, and they read with improved speed, fluency, understanding, and efficiency. As a result, many of the children are more motivated to read as they can see the benefits of engaging with the programme.

Opening up the world – through texts

We’ve noticed that our children are developing their general knowledge and understanding of the world by using Reading Plus. The opportunity to use both fiction and non-fiction has opened a vast treasure trove of information to our children. A positive impact on other lessons Some teachers have reported that when they start a new topic in class, children are excited to be able to share if they already know something about the topic, “because I read about it on Reading Plus.”

How will Reading Plus support children to reach their potential?

We’re confident that all of the children who are ready for the programme will benefit from using it to catch-up on lost learning. Many of our children who used the programme regularly during the summer lockdown made exceptional progress with their reading.

Ongoing support at home and at school

The structured nature of Reading Plus, the fact that children, parents and staff can receive instant feedback and keep track of progress, and the fact that usage can be closely monitored and reported on makes it perfect for supporting our catch-up programme.

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