Read The_Running_Record_(2009-10).pdf text version

Issue 14 December 2009

The Running Record

Marie Clay Professional Learning Fund (MCPLF)

· Trip to Washington DC thanks to the MCPLF (page 6-7) · Why not use a bursary to join us at the International Conference 8 - 10 July 2010? (page 7) · Picnic fundraiser (page 7)

elcome to `The Running Record', the Reading Recovery newsletter, an annual publication for Reading Recovery teachers and their schools. In this edition you will find:


Case study

· Case study. Pupil: Joshua (page 13)

At the back

· Changing Lives conference, July 2010: poster (page 14) · Transition booklet by Tower Hamlets (page 15-16) We hope you will find items of interest and something to set you thinking about your Reading Recovery role. Please share me with your staffroom colleagues.

Reading Recovery news

· The Changing Lives conference is swiftly approaching (page 1) · Big Postcard Week event success! (page 2) · Standardisation of the Observation Survey of Early Literacy Attainment: An update (page 2) · Newly qualified Reading Recovery teachers' photos (page 2) · Reading Recovery monitoring 2008-2009 highlights & summary (page 3-4) · Presentation in pyjamas (page 5) · Chief executive opens new Reading Recovery centre (page 5)

Stories from Reading Recovery teachers

· "I just like `O'!" (page 8) · Dancing with happiness (page 8) · Reception parents reading at Little Mead Primary School (page 9) · Parent power! (page 10-11) · Reflection on the Reading Recovery teacher training year (page 11) · Can't put a book down! (page 12) · Work worth doing (page 12) · "It's in `ere!" (page 12) · Be careful how you say things (page 12)




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The Changing Lives conference is swiftly approaching

By Clare Fisher, Reading Recovery communications administrator The three-days Changing Lives conference, being held at the Institute of Education in July 2010, offers an excellent opportunity for you to expand your theoretical understanding and learn from experts from around the globe. Don't miss out! Our early bird offer - the full three days for £195 per delegate, a saving of £30 ­ expires on Friday 29 January 2010. The conference, running from 8-10 July, features keynotes internationally renowned in their fields and includes concurrent sessions covering literacy, interventions, impact on schools, phonics and Reading Recovery overview.

All delegates will get to attend the welcome to the conference wine reception on Thursday 8. For those who want to attend an exclusive dinner and mingle with the experts, we will be holding a three-course meal at the lavish Middle Temple Hall on Friday 9. The meal is an additional £45 and includes wine. For further information and to register today, visit: pages/index_international_ conference_2010.html

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Big Postcard Week event success!

By Clare Fisher, Reading Recovery communications administrator "I love reading because it's fun to do. Reading is also very good for you and your education. It's the best thing in the whole world." Luke, age 10. The event saw Reading Recovery children, from past and present, draw a picture of themselves and write a short message, about

That is just one of the marvellous messages sent by Reading Recovery children from hundreds of schools in the UK and Ireland for the Big Postcard Week, which ran from 2-6 November, to celebrate the success of the intervention and to say thank you Pictured: children from Worplesdon Primary School in Surrey to those at local level who have made it available to children like what they have learnt from their Luke. lessons or their enjoyment from

We know from feedback that many teachers found it empowering to hear how positive children, headteachers, classroom teachers and parents were about their work. A big thanks to those who were involved; we hope your schools and children enjoyed taking part. To view news coverage of the event, visit: pages/news.html Reading Recovery teachers who helped out with the data collection for this project. Many of you worked out of hours, with new members of staff, and some of you even travelled great distances to collect data in an unfamiliar school. It would not have been possible without the hard work from our Reading Recovery teachers. The data are now being transferred to the IDEC website and you can expect to access copies of the publication with all the new stanines at some point in the New Year.

Standardisation of the Observation Survey of Early Literacy Attainment: An update

By Dr. Andrew Holliman, postdoctoral researcher I am delighted to inform you that the Observation Survey of Early Literacy Attainment (OS) has now been successfully standardised in the UK. Sixty-nine consenting schools took part from England and Wales, which included a sample of 980 children (497 females and 483 males) across the four age-ranges. In addition to this, we were able to include 128 children in a sub-sample (to receive a retest and some other literacy measures) to help establish the reliability and validity of the OS as part of this process. On behalf of the entire Reading Recovery team at the Institute of Education, University of London, we would like to thank all of the

Newly qualified Reading Recovery teachers' photos

Newly qualified Reading Recovery teachers in Bath and North East Somerset, July 2009

Newly qualified Reading Recovery teachers in Barking & Dagenham and Redbridge, July 2009 Page 2

picture credit: Danny Fitzpatrick/dfphotography

being able to read their favourite book, thanking those who have made the intervention possible within their region. Headteachers, classroom teachers and parents also got involved, and some of their comments were as moving as the children's.

Reading Recovery monitoring 2008-2009 highlights & summary

By Amanda Ince, Reading Recovery National Network trainer/coordinator Wow! What a fantastic job you have all done over the last academic year. It's amazing how Reading Recovery is growing and not only growing BUT also maintaining the quality. Of course, with such a great network it's not such a surprise. However nearly half of all teacher leaders and almost half of all teachers were in training, so hats off to everyone! This year we also collected data on the layered interventions which I know was a major headache for all involved. Hopefully the results below will make it all worthwhile, especially as it's all been simplified for this year, phew what a relief! There is lots to celebrate but there are also a few things to make us think and prevent complacency - with your help we'll be trying to address these this year. So how did we do? Scope of the Reading Recovery implementation in Ireland and the UK. Scope Numbers Comparison/ comment

Number of LAs/ Boards served: Number of schools served: Number of teacher leaders: Trained: In-Training: Number of teachers: Trained: In-Training: Total number of children served In Reading Recovery Through layered interventions 140 1433 51 23 682 837 15,424 11,969 3400 107/150 LAs in England

Including 15 in their 1st year in the field (30%) 45% in training

48% of Reading Recovery teachers were in training this year On target for 30,000 by 2011 Twice the number served in 2007-08 (5,273) Better Reading Partnership is the most popular intervention after Reading Recovery (2173)

Table 1 showing summary overview of scope of implementation in Ireland and UK

If we look at the data in slightly more detail then the headlines look like this: Results · Four out of five who complete Reading Recovery are lifted to age appropriate levels of literacy. This is consistent with the previous year, suggesting the quality of the implementation is being maintained despite the rapid expansion · Four out of five children receive Reading Recovery aged 5-6 years. Half of those in this age group had started the programme in the previous year and been carried forward into Y2/ P2/ First Class (or Y3 in 43 cases) · Children who received their programme aged 5-6 years were more likely to be successful with 80-82% discontinued · Almost one in three children were part way through their programme at the end of term and will complete in the new school year. This is a high proportion of children and something we need to think about as a network­ could we finish more children's programmes during the year? · It takes fractionally under 20 weeks on average for children to be raised to age appropriate levels of literacy · Children who are hard to accelerate are given longer interventions of around 21.3 weeks · Children who do not achieve the goals of the programme tend to have missed more lessons. This works Page 3

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out at an average of 20 missed lessons per child or four weeks for those discontinued and for the referred children it rises to a shocking 25 lessons or five weeks (almost half a term)! What can we do to reduce this? The proportion of children for whom English is an additional language increased very slightly from 22% to 24% Eastern European children (a new group in monitoring) were very successful (84%) 852 children were removed from the SEN register following Reading Recovery and 130 were recommended for formal assessment

Standards at entry, on exit and beyond We know that children selected for Reading Recovery are the lowest achieving in their class on the six measures of early literacy, which together comprise the Observation Survey (Clay, 2002), and once identified are also assessed using the BAS word reading test. It's interesting to compare the entry and exit scores across these measures for children who made the accelerated progress and those referred. There seem to be some trends emerging when this is compared with last year's data. Average scores at entry and exit Table 2 Scores on Observation Survey tasks of children with completed Reading Recovery programmes: At entry to and exit from the programme 2008-9 in black and 2007-2008 in blue.

Assessment point Total Book level Letter pupils indentification Mean SD Mean 6017 1 1.6 39.9 5127 1.3 2 39.8 17.2 17.4 9.4 9.3 15.5 15.9 2.4 2.6 3.9 3.9 4.3 4.3 52.3 52.4 47.7 47.6 51.2 51.5 SD 12.3 12.8 5.1 5.3 8.8 8.6 6.4 6.3 Concepts about print Mean 10.6 11.3 19.7 20 16 16.2 18.9 19.3 SD 3.9 4.1 2.9 2.9 3.9 3.8 3.5 3.4 Word Test Writing vocabulary BAS Reading Age Mean SD Mean 18.4 10.3 4:10 17.8 10.4 4.10 34.8 34.9 28.3 28.1 33.4 33.6 3.9 3.9 8.3 8.4 5.8 5.6 6:10 6.10 5:10 5.7 6:7 6.7 HRSiW


Mean SD Mean SD 6.2 5.3 8.7 8 6.5 5.7 9.9 9.4 21.4 2.6 21.4 2.7 15.2 5.8 14.9 5.9 20 4.4 20.2 4.3 40.5 45.6 23.9 25 36.8 41.9 15.1 16.6 13.4 14.3 16.2 18.1

At discontinuing 4688 (accelerated 4171 progress) At referral (progress) All completed programmes 1321 936 6009 5107

NOTE: "HRSiW" is the Hearing and Recording Sounds in Words task. SOURCE: Reading Recovery National Network, Annual Data Collection: 2008-9 and 2007-2008

Key trends from table 2: · Book level continues to drop year on year, as does concepts about print, and this is a concern · Word test remains consistent · LI and HRSiW are on an upward trend, which is not surprising given the current focus on these aspects of literacy · WV has dropped slightly and this seems to fit with the general concerns over the standards of writing across the curriculum · Overall progress is as good as last year Overall The data provide us with lots of positives and demonstrate the work you have put in and the quality of the training and implementation you provide. The data also highlight trends over time which we will be working to address, such as the continued downward book levels and reducing concepts about print scores. From an implementation viewpoint, the maintenance of quality in times of rapid expansion needs to be celebrated, but the length of lesson series and high numbers of carry over children (30%), alongside the increasing number of lessons lost, are priorities for us to consider this year. We hope that you will share your local initiatives and success in these areas as we all work towards improving the literacy of the hardest to teach children. Thank you all.

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Presentation in pyjamas

By Julia Douetil, Reading Recovery National Network trainer/ coordinator "It's red nose day tomorrow, and the last day of our teacher leader conference. We have all the teacher leaders together. I wonder if we could do something." "What sort of thing? We've been in this hotel for a week ­ we don't have anything with us for a Comic Relief stunt." "What if I did tomorrow's presentation in my pyjamas?" "I dare you!" And that's how, at the end of our National Network annual dinner, after all the speeches and awards and thankyous, I found myself telling the assembled company of the world's finest, most talented, most high minded (ie scariest) teacher leaders that, if they raised £100 for Comic Relief, I would give the Very Serious Talk the next day in my pyjamas. Within ten minutes they had collected almost £200. There was no going back!

So next morning, pearls and red nose firmly in place, hastily acquired teddy under one arm and notes for Very Serious Talk in the other I found myself padding barefoot through a busy hotel foyer in my pyjamas, trying to look as if this was all perfectly normal. You can imagine the looks I got ­ but no-one said a word! Two of my trainer colleagues had also come in their pyjamas to give moral support, a gesture which

became so absorbed in our work that we all completely forgot about our attire `until', I was told afterwards, "you walked around the room and I noticed your bare feet!" At the end of the morning, the teddy was auctioned off and after a fierce bidding war chose to go and live with Kalvinder Bains in Birmingham. In all, your wonderful teacher leaders raised the grand sum of £361.91 for some very worthwhile causes. That was at the Teacher Leaders Professional Development week in March 2009. So what next? I feel a fundraising effort for the Marie Clay Professional Learning Fund coming on...wonder if Kalvinder would lend me her teddy? release from Cheshire West and Chester Council said. Commenting on the opening, Robinson, said: "I was delighted to officially launch the programme in Cheshire which offers schools, local authorities and families the opportunity to work closely together on the extremely important subject of early reading. "The aim of this programme is to ignite the love of reading so that it will stay with children for the rest of their lives."

Pictured: Sue Bodman, Sue Taylor and Julia Douetil (L-R) prized even more money out of pockets and into the charity pot. But it takes more than somewhat unconventional dress to put our teacher leaders off their work, and once we got underway with the session everyone

Chief executive opens new Reading Recovery centre

By Clare Fisher, Reading Recovery communications administrator The official launch of the new room, which took place in June 2009, was opened by Cheshire West and Chester Council chief executive, Steve Robinson, and is part of a working partnership between Cheshire West and Chester Council, Cheshire East Council and Warrington Borough

Council to implement the programme with 20 schools across the three areas, a press

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Trip to Washington DC thanks to the MCPLF

In June 2009 I had the opportunity to go to the North American Leadership Academy in Washington DC. It was an excellent conference, and useful for understanding the wider picture of our welldesigned intervention programme and the importance of promoting it politically. I have been a Reading Recovery teacher for five years in Hackney, London. Some of our success in the borough is due to our close involvement with training and supporting school staff who are involved in daily reading. At the Parkwood School where I am based, I also lead on the management of Letters and Sounds and a summer school, as well as designing and running a programme for parents so they can support their children with literacy. What inspired me to apply for the bursary from The Marie Clay Professional Learning Fund to partially support my trip, is my interest in research - using literacy interventions in wider school contexts, and developing `within school' pedagogy. School visits Prior to the conference I visited some local schools. Although the elementary school had its own reading teacher, she was not trained in Reading Recovery, her resources were limited and the lowest children in the school were not making the accelerated gains we know are possible. In a middle school I was impressed by an intervention called Reading Advantage, which is designed to engage older children (Y5-8) by using magazine, chapter books and complimentary I.C.T. Both schools have been hit by recent

By Angela Lee, Reading Recovery teacher and family learning tutor funding cuts, but are doing their best to support children's literacy. Capitol Hill At the conference we heard from Gene Without, executive director of school officers in Washington DC. He emphasised the importance of evidencing the impact of implementations.

of books and resources for Reading Recovery practitioners. I soon stocked up! I was particularly impressed with Levelled Literacy Intervention (Fountas & Pinnell: Heinemann) because of the quality of the engaging books and for the wonderfully explained pedagogy within the guidance to support non-reading specialists. Also, Pioneer Valley produces Literacy Wings, non-fiction guided reading sets with teaching plans and thematic books catering for children's specific interests. A selection of guided reading books called Paw Prints, which has a range of non-fiction and fiction books with teaching plans based on animals, was of great interest. Impact back home We need to get some of these excellent publications into our mainstream schools here. I have contacted publishers and negotiated the piloting of some of their products in my school, sharing my finds with the help of Richard Boxall, my teacher leader, and other colleagues. I believe they could play a vital part in supporting our literacy interventions back in the class, supporting non-Reading Recovery staff with well prepared plans to develop foster strategic behaviour in children. Today I received the Levelled Literacy Intervention programme from Heinemann and was amazed at the quality resources and pedagogical ideas. I like the way it values and respects the pedagogy of Reading Recovery, but has made provision to work alongside it. It would especially benefit schools which need to balance their literacy provision, but lack the privilege of a trained Reading Recovery specialist.

Pictured: Angela Lee The state Reading Recovery teams organised themselves to go up to Capitol Hill; I shadowed the Missourian team, who were so kind and hospitable and soon befriended me. Later I discovered that they had received an award for their team effort in school improvement. As we went up to Capitol Hill we met up with political officials from their state and explained the value of financial investment in early reading interventions. We visited both Republican and Democratic representatives, and bumped into John McCain, the 2008 Republican candidate for the Presidency. The important lesson I learnt here was to stay politically neutral: Reading Recovery has to work with and appeal to all political parties whatever their inclinations. Book exhibition During the conference I had a chance to attend various lectures and view the wonderful exhibits

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Networking I managed to network with an amazing number of people involved at all levels of the Reading Recovery family, sharing some of my ideas and success, and taking away the very best from the US colleagues; we all share the same goal of ensuring the success and quality journey of all children in our schools. Where I am probably ahead of my US colleagues is in the work I have done with parents. At present I am producing a DVD for parents explaining balanced literacy and how they can support their children at home. I believe family learning is the way forward; at my school our parents are really appreciative of our efforts. I'm wondering how

I can help move politicians and those in power to support the investment in our children through educating parents. When parents are made aware of the issues and are skilled up to support their children, educators will get the support they truly deserve.

enthusiastic Reading Recovery teacher from `across the pond'. Educating parents, building trust with fellow professionals, strengthening pedagogy and seeing the impact on the whole school has been my joy and continuing passion. I want to gratefully record the support of the Marie Clay Professional Learning Fund in financing part of my stay in Washington DC. I express my appreciation also to all involved in the Reading Recovery journey, who have taught me so much. To apply for a bursary, please visit the Reading Recovery website: and click on the `Marie Clay Professional Learning Fund' link.

Pictured: Angela Lee with US colleagues I am grateful to our US colleagues for the generous support and hospitality shown to an

Picnic fundraiser Why not use a bursary to join us By Jennifer Harrison, teacher at the International Conference leader in Kent 8 - 10 July 2010? Always keen to socialise, the

threat of rain did not deter the Reading Recovery teachers in Kent from getting together again last term, this time for a garden picnic, to raise money for the Marie Clay Professional Learning Fund. By Dr Sue Bodman Reading Recovery National Network trainer/ coordinator The Marie Clay Professional Learning Fund (Europe) was launched at the Reading Recovery Conference on 26 April 2008 at the Institute of Education, London. The fund provides individual bursaries for professionals working in Reading Recovery to attend national and international professional development conferences. We are offering bursary places for Reading Recovery teachers to attend the International Reading Recovery Institute in London next year. Ten teachers can attend the conference with a MCPLF funded place. The bursary amount will be £200, which covers full conference registration, including wine reception. Recipients will be asked to write a 1000 word piece from which extracts will be used in subsequent teachers' newsletters on a specific aspect of their experiences and learning at the conference. If you are interested, please download and complete the form at Fund.html and return it to us at [email protected] The closing date for applications is Monday 4 January 2010. Applicants will be notified by Friday 22 January 2010. So don't delay. Download the form and apply - we look forward to seeing you there for what promises to be an exciting and invigorating Institute conference. (For more details of the International conference, visit pages/index_international_conference_2010.html) Page 7

Two teachers volunteered to do the catering and each training group supplied some raffle prizes. More than 30 teachers were able to come to the event which raised £150, making a grand total of £280 raised by Kent Reading Recovery teachers last year. Plans are already in the making for another excuse to socialise! To donate, please visit the Reading Recovery website: and click on the `Marie Clay Professional Learning Fund' link.

"I just like `O'!"

I have been a Reading Recovery teacher for over 14 years in inner-city Birmingham.

Anne Rose, retiring Reading Recovery teacher from Birmingham, shares her experiences over the years. the Birmingham groups in recent years is indeed wonderful. I have deemed it a real privilege to bring the skills of reading and writing to so many children and to transform their life chances.

I doubt whether longevity of itself confers one with any special insights into a particular job, but layers of experience built up over years certainly help. There were times when Reading Recovery's very continuance in Birmingham appeared to be in doubt; our continuing teacher sessions dwindled to a group of three teachers and `behind the screen' sessions came around all too frequently! Reading Recovery's continuance in Birmingham today, is in no small part, due to the tenacity and doggedness of our tutor, Ruth Joseph and those of like minds who fought for Reading Recovery to continue. To see the burgeoning growth of

Recently I met her again aged nearly seventeen. She reported that yes, since those days of Reading Recovery, she had always featured at, or near, the top of her English classes, was off to college to begin four A-levels and hoped to go on to read medicine at university. On the other hand I remember Orlando whose sole letter knowledge consisted of `O'. On being introduced to the other letters of the alphabet, which I said we would learn together, he flung himself against the wall and wailed "I just like `O'!" Reading Recovery has remained, for me endlessly absorbing. To observe the reading and writing process developing at such close quarters and observing the myriad confusions becoming slowly unravelled has been truly fascinating and rewarding. I wouldn't have missed a second of it, but now that retirement beckons I must learn to let go!

I think of one such pupil, Farida, whose parents spoke little English and were frustrated in their efforts to support her learning. In just seventeen weeks her mostly very low scores and dictated texts had been transformed into high stanines and a reading level of twenty-two.

Dancing with happiness

I have recently started to teach Tom, a six year old boy who has never wanted to read or share books with his mum, dad or family. When Tom started Reading Recovery I met up with his mum and we talked about book practice at home and the cut up story. She was adamant he wouldn't want to do it and that it was not going to work. We decided on a simple sticker on the fridge idea - every time

Jane Stagg, Reading Recovery teacher at Weston All Saints Primary School, Bath & North East Somerset Tom practised at home he could get a sticker to put on a well done chart.

Roaming around the known went well and Tom started wearing new glasses. During week three I saw Tom's mum and asked her how it was going. She grabbed my arm and we started to dance around the classroom. "He wants to read all the time!" she said. "He wants to read to all the family in the kitchen, with everyone listening." It was a wonderful moment, this mum was so happy that her son was motivated and so proud that she spun me around the room. We danced and agreed that it was a very special day.

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Reception parents reading at Little Mead Primary School

By Judith Graham, Reading Recovery teacher, Bristol "It has had a really positive impact on pupil progress. Parents now have a better understanding of how to develop children's reading." Teacher "I like it when a child succeeds with their can see them sort of grow." Reception parent. "I've enjoyed it! You get to see what they need help with and you can see their progression and it's great!" Reception parent. In September last year we set in place book banding using Reading Recovery levels and all pupils were assessed. I noticed that many Y1 pupils had come up from Reception below Reading Recovery level 3. This raised alarm bells as our predictions for Y2 SATs were already low. We needed to put something in place in Reception to move the reading levels up, but staff were already finding it hard to make time to hear individual pupils read. I decided to recruit parents as volunteer reading partners, as some were already reading with their own children in the mornings. I sent out a letter in December, inviting Reception parents to a meeting to explain how the volunteering would work. I had ten volunteers, which was great, all ready to start in January. We managed to slot them into a typical week, allocating each parent to a day or two days a week when they would be reading with their own child and three or four others. This ensured that every child had the opportunity to read. With staff help we set up a time-table so that every morning a volunteer was working in each class. To support the volunteers I ran a training session using `pause, prompt, praise' as my model. For those children on Book levels 1 and 2, we made up cut-up sentences using HFW and simple language to support one-to-one matching.

The aim of the lesson was to support the progression of pupils up the book levels. The lesson observation only took 30 minutes of my time. A member of staff served coffee while I collected the pupil. The lesson consisted of a familiar read, a recently introduced read, a cut-up sentence and a new text. As the books were Reading Recovery level 3 it only took ten to 15 minutes. After the child returned to class, I asked parents questions about what they had seen and we discussed next steps for the child. As there were up to six parents it felt quite informal and they were happy to contribute. Initially all the books were chosen by the teachers and the sentences were provided for parents to cut up. But gradually, parents became more confident and they chose books to suit the needs of the pupils and selected HFW to practise in cut-up sentences. Teachers were always on hand to answer questions and support the process. In June we still had ten parents working with our Reception children. A couple fell by the wayside but teachers managed to recruit others.

After a few weeks I invited the parents to observe me teaching a pupil on Reading Recovery level 3 to show the model session in practice. This led to questions and increased their understanding of the process. They became pro-active in making their own cut-up sentences and in finding ways to support early reading skills using prompts and praise.

We currently expect many Reception children to complete the year on yellow level, above Reading Recovery level 6.

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picture credit: Danny Fitzpatrick/dfphotography

Pictured: Lina Heather, Reading Recovery teacher, and pupil from Worplesdon Primary School in Surrey

I recently spoke to the parents again to ask if they would like to carry on in Y1 and they all said they would!

Parent power!

By Reading Recovery teachers from Cambridgeshire and Peterborough One of the great privileges of working as Reading Recovery teachers is the opportunity to work on a one-to-one basis with children. Another is the chance to get to know and work with their parents. This can also be a great challenge. Our parents have a variety of different personal school experiences. They often have negative feelings about education following their own struggles with learning, which impacts on their approach to supporting their children. Others have very challenging and complex lives and find it difficult to make reading a priority. In Reading Recovery we constantly try to engage parents, with mixed success. As with the children, we have to see parents as individuals with specific needs and use different techniques to engage them. This can be time consuming but when there is a `light bulb' moment and a parent can see the benefits of all the hard work it is so rewarding. In Cambridgeshire and Peterborough we would like to share with you some of the methods, which we have found successful: · Using a home/school communication book daily is essential in clarifying issues for parents and is also a good monitoring tool for teachers to see how much reading is taking place in the home. It is also important to thank parents for writing comments in the book. This could be the first time a regular dialogue has taken place between school and home and we all need encouragement!

· Sometimes parents have poor literacy themselves or do not speak English well so feel powerless to share books with their children. In this case it may be possible to send home books with CDs attached. This way they can start to enjoy listening to stories whilst looking at the pictures and gradually starting to make sense of the text ­ a crucial first step to literacy development. · Certificates can be presented to children, not just at discontinuing but, for various reasons such as regular attendance. Children can read to their class or in assemblies and parents can be invited. In this way they can see the huge progress their children are making and feel valued as part of this process. · If parents still do not engage in the Reading Recovery process it is important to ensure that the children can get alternative support, wherever possible. Encouraging siblings or other family members to share books at home can be effective. When this is not possible, peer support in school can be useful, for example training Y6 children in basic skills such as looking through the book at the pictures before reading. This can seem to be a great deal of work but, by persevering, the positive outcomes start to show, as the following comments from parents indicate: "I am extremely pleased with the results and was really happy... with the way Mrs F became personally involved and spoke to me a number of times about ***'s progress etc". "Thank you for your help and we are keeping up all the good work every bedtime".

· Making time to be outside the classroom or in the playground regularly to share the successes at the end of the day with parents. This could include small things such as acknowledging that the book bag has been brought to school every day ­ which often can be an issue. It can also be important to show interest in parents' lives. We can't solve their problems but, if they want to talk, we can take time to listen and help them to see how they can make time for their children in their busy lives.

"...we must always try to find creative ways to engage them in the literacy journey"

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"Mrs H has always been approachable and positively encouraged parental participation and has always been willing to answer questions and guide us when we have been unsure". These individual successes can lead to even greater things ­ never underestimate the power of playground conversations!

Parents of successful children talk to other parents and Reading Recovery can quickly be seen in a very positive light. The next stage is to develop this into a more formal Reading Recovery parent support network. Many parents of ex-Reading Recovery children go on to attend Better Reading Partnership training so the whole school starts to benefit!

Marie Clay is very clear that we should not find excuses for children's lack of progress in Reading Recovery, but try to find `the way to get around the road block'. Working with parents is always going to have its challenges but, just as with the children, we must always try to find creative ways to engage them in the literacy journey. eg role-play, individual research and group discussions. There is a real feeling of us all exploring and learning together. I remember when I first saw the video of a Reading Recovery lesson I did think `how will I ever manage to get all that in?' but it's amazing how fast you take on the elements of Reading Recovery. So for future Reading Recovery teachers, don't worry if you need help with anything, there is always someone to help whether it's your teacher leader or one of the teachers from the group, or the books. Always do the reading and bring your books with you! Keep an open mind, as you will need to allow for the individuality of your children, as everyone is so different.

Reflection on the Reading Recovery teacher training year

By a Nottinghamshire Reading Recovery teacher The whole year has been the highlight of my teaching career! I am so pleased that I became a Reading Recovery teacher. It has been a fast moving, exciting, eye-opening year of teaching and learning for me. I feel that I have learnt so much and have shared so much success with the children I have worked with. I am really looking forward to next year and developing my role further in school. There have been times when things might not be going as smoothly as hoped, for example, I once had a child who didn't want to come and would seemingly use diversionary tactics to avoid doing elements of the lesson. Another child would try and avoid the writing and I had someone who got really stuck on a level for a while. But being a teacher on the Reading Recovery programme means you have to look very closely at your teaching - you might seek help and guidance from others - you refer to Marie Clay and reflect on what you and the child are doing. It's all about knowing the individual. Pictured: clip from Reading Recovery lesson DVD In my opinion the training has been excellent; the teachers in training have made so much progress. We are active participants in our own development and the development of others. We have approached aspects of the programme in different ways The little boy who didn't want to come to the lessons eventually got a L22; the child who avoided writing now is much more keen and is proud to show his work to the teachers; and, the child who got stuck is moving on. The `lows' don't stay as lows as they can be turned around in to new highs.

Try not to worry about teaching at the screen, as it is the same for us all and my experience is that colleagues are very, very supportive, you will be amongst friends. Enjoy the role, it's not everyone who gets the chance to take part in this wonderful initiative that gives children a genuine life chance; it's a fantastic job!

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Can't put a book down!

Emma Bourdillon, Reading Recovery teacher, Brunswick House Primary School, Maidstone Kent A parent of a child I had on the programme two years ago stopped me at a parents' evening and she said, "It's all your fault with this reading and books!" She explained that they cannot stop Kimberley reading ­ she is getting books from the library and reading all the time! When Kimberley was on Reading Recovery she made good accelerated progress and then, when she came off, she stopped reading and her mum said she didn't like reading any more. So I tried to see her now and again to read, and wrote comments in her reading contact book every so often. Now look at her! Can't put a book down!

"It's in `ere!"

Jan Stride, Reading Recovery teacher, Riverhead Infants School, Sevenoaks Kent Year 2 children are more difficult to teach, so I had been told. Fresh out of my training year I was presented with a particularly difficult child from that year group, but undeterred by my own recent success thought `Here's a challenge!' And it certainly was. He did not like school or teachers and definitely did not like books unless they had pictures of football players or fast cars. RAK looked likely to go on for decades. I welcomed a colleague visit for some support and went home everyday for weeks feeling like a child who struggles with reading ... a failure. But never one to give up without a fight, I gave it my best, even to the point of reading Marie Clay in bed one night! Imagine my joy when halfway through the programme my notoriously difficult to teach Year 2 boy cried out one morning "It's in `ere" (holding his head), "it's in `ere!" "What I asked?" believing that he was being struck down by some awful ailment. "Those chunks you keep telling me about, they're in `ere". With that he then looked at the text and said "Sudd ­en-ly" and continued reading the book with a huge grin on his face. I would not want every child to be quite so challenging as he was, but if I am honest it was worth every minute, and what a privilege to know that I helped to put some strategies into `is `ead!

Work worth doing

Hayley Redmond, Reading Recovery teacher, Pilgrims' Way Primary School, Canterbury Kent This week, I carried out a six-month follow-up check with a child whom I had to refer to school at level 9 - he had improved to level 11 and was using an impressive range of strategies and sources of information to attempt words, self monitor and self correct his errors. I was so proud of him. After we'd finished the final assessment (WV task in the allotted 10 minutes) - usually, as you know, the children are flagging at this point so I said that he could go off to enjoy his playtime - he said "No! I want to stay and write a sentence with you like we used to - because I miss you." He proceeded to write a great sentence about his up-and-coming holiday to Camber Sands for me. This was definitely one of those high points that makes all the stress and paperwork well worth it.

Be careful how you say things

Heather Langley, Reading Recovery teacher, St Eanswythe's Church of England Primary School, Folkestone Kent I was doing the writing with one of my children and I kept noticing that he shut his eyes when we were taking a word to fluency. After puzzling about this for a while, I woke up at about 4AM in the morning, suddenly realising I was saying "Now see if you can write it without looking" ...and so he did! It certainly makes you think about language and its different meanings, and how careful we have to be. Page 12

Case study

Pupil: Joshua Reading Recovery teacher: Liz Guyton School: Brookfield Infant School, Kent Three weeks into my Reading Recovery training, I started teaching Joshua, a year one pupil who, at a chronological age of five years eight months was assessed as having a mental age equivalent of two years ten months. He had severe delayed speech and language development, a bithalmic (brain) tumour, hydrocephalus, moderate to severe hearing loss and global developmental delay.

"It is the individual adaptation made by the expert teacher to that child's idiosyncratic competencies and history of past experiences that starts him on the upward climb to effective literacy performances." What HAD I let myself in for! By week three Joshua could write his name unaided and he was attempting to write many simple words (even `rush' ­ `R'

behaved, active learner. As Joshua's Reading Recovery programme continues, I often feel like he and I are scaling a sheer rock face but he has never refused to work for me, (the nearest he comes to `I can't' is his classic comment: "What's all this about then!"). My prompts are often prompted back to me: Teacher: "I like the way you were using your eyes ­ good looking!" Joshua: "And I liked the way you said "Good looking!" Mrs Guyton." Joshua is now reading at Reading Recovery level 7 and attending to the complexities associated with that level. He is an active learner in class who is treated exactly the same as his peers within his working group, with the same academic targets expected of him. His school reading levels for reading and writing have both jumped from P4 to 1C since he started the Reading Recovery programme. I have learnt from teaching Joshua that NO child should have their potential limited or have a top limit set on their academic achievement. We start with what they know ­ not what they do not know ­ and the sky is the limit!

"We start with what they know ­ not what they do not know ­ and the sky is the limit!"

now a known letter and `U' and `SH' from his own name!). He was starting to attend to picture cues, respect repeated text, discriminate between letters and words, identify many initial phonemes, and read and write many lower case letters accurately.

Joshua was failing in mainstream education. His initial Reading Recovery assessments showed no attention to print and he recognised no letters (or even the concept of letters) as became evident when he drew an `O', put a dot inside it and announced, "I drawed a snail!" He could, As lessons progressed, he began sometimes write a transposed `J' for his name and called me "green to sound out and reconstruct simple words and a small group lady" (I worked in Green Class). of core known words began to materialise! His mother saw a less I took a deep breath and started the Reading Recovery programme disruptive, happier child and his class teacher reported a better armed with Marie Clay's quote:

Contact details:

The European Centre for Reading Recovery Institute of Education University of London 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL Tel: 020 7612 6585 Fax: 020 7612 6828 Email: [email protected] Web: Office location: Room 202 11 Woburn Square London WC1H 0NS Page 13

Changing Lives

Keynote speakers

7th International Reading Recovery Institute At the Institute of Education, London, UK 8, 9 & 10 July 2010

Professor Dylan Wiliam, Deputy Director/Professor of Educational Assessment, Institute of Education, UK Linda Darling Hammond, Ph.D., Ducommun Professor of Education, Stanford University, USA Dr Barbara Watson, Reading Recovery Trainer/Literacy Educator, New Zealand Penny Milton, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Education Association, Canada Professor Joseph Lo Bianco, Chair, Language and Literacy Education, Associate Dean-Global Relations, University of Melbourne, Australia


The conference is aimed at Reading Recovery teachers, teacher leaders, KS1 literacy coordinators, SENCOs, head teachers and principals, literacy consultants, primary strategy managers, university professors and literacy advocates.

Highlights include:

· · · · ·

10 Keynote and Featured speakers Concurrent Sessions `Welcome to the conference' wine reception (incl in registration fee) on Thursday 8 July, held at the Institute of Education Celebration dinner at Middle Temple Hall on Friday 9 July (additional fee of £45 and limited places) Exhibitions from publishers


Early bird* - 3 days £195 3 days £225 2 days £150 1 day £105

Conference times:

Thursday 8 July 2010 9.00-17.00 Friday 9 July 2010 9.30-17.00 Saturday 10 July 2010 9.30-15.30


· · · ·


* Please note the early bird offer for the three days expires on Friday 29 January 2010

For further information and to register, visit: and click on `Changing Lives Conference 2010'. Alternatively, call: 0044(0)20 7612 6585 or email: [email protected]

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Transition booklet by Tower Hamlets

We thought you might be interested to see how Tower Hamlets support the transition, when children finish their Reading Recovery lessons. Do you have something you wish to share?

Discontinuing Reading Recovery Lessons

easing the transition to classroom-only support The transition to only classroom support must be made in such a manner that progress continues (Clay, 2005 p.54)

About four weeks before a lesson series is to be discontinued, the Reading Recovery teacher and the class teacher will begin to prepare the child for transition back to classroom only instruction. The Reading Recovery teacher will ... · refer to `changes teachers might observe during lessons' (LL1 p. 48) and ensure lessons are addressing the later stages in the last 4 weeks; · work on flexible strategies for problem-solving new words in writing, including learning irregular or `tricky' words; · encourage phrased and fluent reading, ensuring that the reading `sounds good'; · pose questions and discuss texts to encourage and promote comprehension; · be aware of the child's current attainment in class (phonics phases, National Curriculum writing level) and how this equates with their own Reading Recovery observations and assessments, e.g. is the book level comparable? The class teacher can support by ... · finding some time to talk with the Reading Recovery children about their lesson and what they have learned; · liaising with the Reading Recovery teacher about the child's progress and ways in which they can support the work in the classroom; · involving the Reading Recovery teacher in the school's on-going monitoring and assessment procedures and pupil progress meetings. Two weeks before the end of a lesson series, the Reading Recovery teacher and the class teacher will consider the `Recommendations for Discontinuing' proforma. Lesson provision may then be adapted to address outstanding issues for this child. The Reading Recovery teacher will ... · spend some time working with the child in class, e.g. in a guided reading session; · promote independence during the writing, encouraging the child to compose `on the run' and edit at the end; · extend writing over two or three days to support longer composition; · address expectations of the classroom practice and prepare the child for this, (e.g. the use of lined paper and pencils); · note the class teacher's concerns and try to address these during the last two weeks of the lesson series; Page 15

· · · ·

provide Reading Recovery children with their own prompts, reminders, word books, etc and enable them to share these with their group or class; allow children more autonomy in choosing appropriate books to read and orientating themselves to the text; Be aware of level 2 criteria in reading and writing, such as working on comprehension skills, e.g. by providing a passage and written questions for the child to read and answer; Reassure the child's parents that the child no longer needs instensive support, invite them to observe a lesson, discuss how they can support their child.

The class teacher can support by ... · observing the child in a Reading Recovery session; · using the `language' of Reading Recovery in the classroom, e.g. specific prompts; · using some of the procedures used in Reading Recovery, e.g. the work page in writing; · ensuring that the child is working at a comparable level, e.g. a similar book level, in Guided Reading, and is in an appropriate phonics group; · checking that the child is not dependent upon adult support, and is given sufficient opportunity to work independently in class. `When Reading Recovery lessons are discontinued, some children may react with new doubts about their ability to cope' (LL1 p.59). The Reading Recovery teacher and the class teacher will need to monitor carefully to ensure that children continue to make progress. The Reading Recovery teacher will ... · convene a formal, scheduled handover meeting with all relevant parties when the child is discontinued; · need to negotiate time in school to follow-up and support the transition until the child is secure and independent; · promote awareness of Reading Recovery strategies for all staff who work with the child; · Provide training for Teaching Assistants in using effective prompts (LL2 p. 203-204) to support reading, and in the taking of Running Records. The class teacher can support by ... · using notes from the handover meeting to inform planning for the child, e.g. in Guided Reading; · setting up opportunities for Teaching Assistants, older reading buddies or ex-Reading Recovery children to provide additional reading opportunities; · maintaining a constant dialogue with the RR teacher about the child's progress; · using `known' words/books/lists back in class to support with writing; · providing lots of opportunities for revisiting `familiar' reads. Both the Reading Recovery teacher and the class teacher will ... · need to maintain a constant dialogue about the child; · remember that the child may still be vulnerable and ensure steps are in place to maintain progress, referring to Literacy Lessons 1, p.60; · have high expectations of these children!

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