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Discover how Reading Plus supported good teaching at Morley Place Academy

Louise Wright, Assistant Principal at Morley Place Academy, talks about the positive impact Reading Plus has had on reading for pleasure, valuable reporting and how easy it was to implement the programme.

Supporting good teaching first

We have worked hard to improve how we teach reading and have invested heavily in reading for pleasure across the academy. Our analysis of pupil outcomes identified a gap in the provision we had to develop fluent readers. This is where Reading Plus came in!

Engagement levels before Reading Plus

Reading for pleasure wasn’t embedded across the academy, and more pupils than not would say they didn’t enjoy reading. Pupils read because they had to.

Recommendation and subsequent trial

As part of our trust-wide development of reading fluency, Reading Plus was recommended to us by another academy – it was also brought to our attention at a principals’ network meeting.

Following a trust-wide trial for Year 6 and seeing the impact it had over a short period, we opted to increase the licence for the whole of the key stage.

Smooth implementation

The implementation process was extremely easy. From a school point of view, we had very little to do other than provide student details and attend training sessions.

Exceptional level of support

The communication and support offered by Jonny, our consultant, was exceptional. He arranged staff training around our teaching commitments and responded to queries promptly- even supporting us through Ofsted visits with up to the minute data!

Do the children enjoy using Reading Plus?

Yes! A recent pupil voice highlighted the children enjoy accessing the bespoke library of books and the incentives to level up.

A solution for every child

We like how it is tailored to each child and how the programme reacts to needs instantly. It’s like having a library of books at your level of readability. The lowest 20% of readers don’t feel singled out by the colour or age suitability of their book because the programme is all online and the content is age-appropriate.

Valuable assessments and data

The assessments are extremely useful to identify pupils in further need of intervention. Bespoke support can be put in place to ensure pupils are accessing either fluency or comprehension support.

We have been able to use the data in our pupil progress meetings to guide teaching to fill gaps.

The link to content domains is handy to identify whole class gaps but we have also been able to factor in further reading fluency sessions for those pupils in need.

Reading is at the heart of our curriculum

Pupils have been overheard discussing texts from reading plus that they have enjoyed. We hold class competitions to encourage children to read a set amount of words and once this has been achieved the whole class receive a prize. Children who prefer to read online texts have reported increased enjoyment of reading since starting the programme. Our pupils have the best of both worlds now – physical books and a vast library online.

Will Reading Plus help children reach their potential after lockdown?

Absolutely! We saw the positive impact using Reading Plus had on our pupils as part of our remote offer during the lockdown.

Lack of access to books is something a lot of our families experience. We offered book swop initiatives during lockdown but knowing all pupils could use Reading Plus significantly reduced our concerns that after lockdown gaps would have widened. Reading Plus has now become a regular feature on our timetables and will be used to recover learning loss for 50-80% of licenced pupils – the impact we are seeing in both pupil engagement and achievement is proof that our pupils will continue to reach their potential in reading.

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