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Accelerated reading development. What is Reading Plus?

What results can be expected?

Accelerate reading development

Reading Plus is an online reading development programme. It works by building upon the foundational skills of phonics and phonemic awareness to develop a child's silent reading fluency, vocabulary and deeper understanding.

By strengthening their comprehension, Reading Plus can help to reintroduce and reengage reluctant readers in the joy of reading for pleasure – for life.

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Reading Plus consists of 3 areas:

Reading is the core element of Reading Plus for developing fluency and comprehension. Pupils choose from a wide variety of age-appropriate fiction, non-fiction, and informational texts that are matched to their individual reading level.

On reading a selection of text, pupils then practice applying their knowledge and understanding by answering 10 comprehension questions. These questions target the pupil’s knowledge and skill of inference, referral, and use of language. And this forms a basis for critical thinking.

Reading Plus automatically tracks the time it takes a pupil to read text selections and then establishes that pupil’s silent reading speed. This silent reading speed or reading rate, together with vocabulary understanding, determines the pupil’s ability to comprehend text.

Reading Plus uses a patented Guided Window to help model silent reading fluency best practice. Matched to each individual pupils’ reading speed, the Guided Window gradually gets faster, once pupils have demonstrated understanding, to develop proficient silent reading fluency.

Advances made in reading speed must coincide with the pupil’s knowledge of vocabulary and how words fit into a variety of sentence structures.

When working through Reading Plus, pupils will encounter up to 2,500 academic vocabulary words. These words are grouped into individual word lists and are to be used for reading in context.

This grouping not only helps pupils to understand the meaning of the word – but also how to adapt their vocabulary to different sentence structures, tenses, and situations.

Pupils’ who have been identified as having a low reading rate or poor reading stamina may need to practice their visual perception and visual memory skills.

The Visual Skills element of Reading Plus consists of two separate activities that develop a more efficient reading technique through increasing reading speed and word recall.

The first activity is called ‘Scan’. Scan has been designed to improve left to right scanning, which is an essential skill for efficient reading. Pupils scan a page of ‘text’, that consists of open and closed circles, rather than words, using a Guided Window. The Guided Window only allows the pupils to see a small section of text as it moves across the page to encourage efficient eye-tracking movement. Each time the pupil sees an open circle, they hit the space bar on the keyboard or tap the touch screen. At the end of the exercise, pupils are given a score that compares their correct responses against a number of hits on the space bar. Once pupils develop proficiency, the speed of the Guided Window is increased, which helps develop their reading stamina.

The second activity is called ‘Flash’. Flash supports the development of visual memory by identifying clusters of letters as components of other words. Within the Flash activity, groups containing three letters flash on the screen for a second before disappearing. Pupils then type the letters that they have just seen. These letters are not random but are letter groups that appear frequently in other words. This helps with word recall.


  • Reading levels were relatively high, however we have seen an improvement in our engagement since the introduction of Reading Plus. Within the First School, 40% more pupils choose to read for pleasure at least twice a week. In Middle School, 39% more pupils choose to read for pleasure at least twice a week.
    Vanessa Stewart
    Assistant Principal at Kings Priory School

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