The 4-Week Reading Programme
A project carried out several times in one primary school by two SENCOs. Hard work, but very rewarding!
Why did it come about? The two teachers felt they wanted to inform parents more about their children’s reading and to involve them more meaningfully beyond the customary comment in the home school reading record book.
They were also attracted by the idea of carrying out a small piece of action research and by the possibility of enriching the reading experience for both parents and children.
The Aims: To see if regular reading sessions at home with a parent (every night for 4 weeks, day off on Sunday) would have an impact on children’s motivation, attitudes and possibly, performance.
The Participants: 12 children of different ages took part in each programme – some who were finding reading difficult, and some who read well but were not turning to books as a source of pleasure.
What Was Done:
- Publicity posters put up in school
- Children & staff briefed
- Parents invited to attend meeting (100% did)
- Aims explained; “best way to read” discussed i.e maintain interest of story, encourage and allow time to use all strategies, give word if necessary to keep the ‘flow’. Learn when to join in, when to hold back
- Short video shown of SENCOs reading with children.
- Small booklet for record-keeping spaces for date, title and parent/child comment, for each family.
- Book-baskets with variety of texts to suit 12 children of different abilities and tastes. Children changed books as often as they wished. Contents changed every week.
At the end of week 4, parents and children wrote a final reflection on the experience. Comments were invariably positive; all parents spoke of shared enjoyment and many reported increased fluency.
It seems therefore, that there is something special for a child in being in the ‘spotlight’ for a limited time, and that this may raise the quality of the reading.
The parents involved were 100% enthusiastic and supportive throughout. The SENCOs wrote up the project and it attracted considerable local interest at the time.
And finally… other children queued up to join in!
To contact me about setting up The 4 Week Reading Programme for children in your school. You can contact me here.