Teacher and writer Adam Riches gives his review of Reading Plus for Teach Primary

"The science behind the functionality is phenomenally impressive."

A web-based reading platform, helping readers gain confidence and ability.

Getting students reading is no mean feat, especially once they hit KS3 and KS4. With the slow (and sad) decline of libraries, schools are looking to online options to supplement their offers. Reading Plus is more than just an online library though, so much more; it is a whole-school solution – something that really gets students reading.

Guided by the most prominent reading and pedagogical research from the last 30 years, Reading Plus builds and sustains fluency and reading
efficiency whilst exposing pupils to a diverse range of topical content in line with their ability. The platform has a simple aim – to make readers better.

“Phenomenally impressive”.

The science behind the functionality is phenomenally impressive. Each reader is given a short baseline test upon first login. This baseline is adaptive, testing and assessing the reader as they move from text to text. At the end of the process, the pupil is matched to a level aligned with their reading ability.

There are 14 levels in total, with each level consisting of 70–80 texts on each level. One of the huge draws is that the content is suitable for KS2–4 – perfect for a number of contexts.

What strikes me about Reading Plus is it actually makes children read better. Not just in terms of exposure to different texts, but literally, read better.

“Vocabulary exploration is seamless”.

Features such as the guided window are pure genius. This particular feature trains the learner how fast to read by utilising a moving box. Not only does this reduce the extraneous load for readers as they look at the whole page, reducing the temptation to skip ahead, it also sequentially speeds up, stretching the reader to progressively increase their words per minute over a period of time.

Reading Plus is designed to build vocabulary confidence and expose learners to a plethora of different words. The vocabulary section boasts 2,500 words and the accessibility and functionality of vocabulary exploration is seamless. In addition to this, Reading Plus encourages visual skill-building, getting pupils to strengthen their reading muscles and training their eyes to move in an effective and efficient way. This is a particularly helpful feature for weaker readers and EAL learners who may read from right to left in their mother tongue.

One of the most notable factors for me as a teacher is the detailed and precise use of pedagogical approaches to support reading. The scaffolding, consideration of cognitive load and impressive range of text types highlights the pedigree of the creators and staff of Reading Plus. It was designed by people who know about learning.

Adam Riches – Teacher, writer and regular contributor to Teach Primary and TES.

 

See the official review here: Teach Primary Product Review

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