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Love to Read: The Importance of Reading

Reading is essential for a child’s success. All too often, the barriers faced by children with difficulty reading outweigh their desire to read and, without proper guidance, they never overcome them. Clare Othman, Supply Desk Operations Director, discusses the importance of reading and our new reading intervention programme, Love to Read.

Around 15 per cent, or 5.1 million adults in England, can be described as ‘functionally illiterate.’ They would not pass an English GCSE and have literacy levels at, or below, those expected of an 11-year-old.

Learning to read is a sequential process; each new skill builds on the mastery of previously learned skills. Early on, for example, children learn to break down words into their most basic sounds in a process called decoding. Later, they begin to comprehend the meaning of words, sentences and, ultimately, entire passages of text.

love to readDecoding creates the foundation on which all other reading skills are built. For many, decoding comes naturally, quickly becoming an automatic process. For people who struggle to decode words, however, the process requires such extreme concentration that they often miss much of the meaning in what they read. Indeed, according to many experts, decoding problems are at the root of most reading disabilities.

The following medical and educational facts emphasise the importance of recognising and addressing a reading problem early on, when a child still has the opportunity to maximise the development of fundamental skills like decoding, and further underscore the importance of early intervention:

  • Roughly 85% of children diagnosed with learning difficulties have a primary problem with reading and related language skills.
  • Most reading disabilities are neurodevelopmental in nature.
  • Neurodevelopmental problems don’t go away, but they can be managed.
  • Most children with reading disabilities can become proficient readers and can learn strategies for success in school.
  • When a child’s reading disability is identified early, that child is more likely to learn strategies that will raise his or her reading to the expected level or reading age.

Supply Desk’s Love to Read Programme

love to readChildren who enjoy reading not only do better in language and literacy subjects, but in all of the different subjects as well. Children who can read access a broader curriculum which boosts confidence – and in turn, behaviour and engagement.

Driven by the shocking statistic that roughly 1 in 5 (20%) of school aged children are unable to read, Supply Desk have developed a new reading intervention scheme Love to Read which focuses on improving children’s reading skills and passion for readingand has now been proven to enable pupils to make accelerated progress in reading. The pilot ran in West Yorkshire and almost 100 pupils took part in a 10-week block of 1:1 reading intervention.

Results from the Love to Read programme clearly demonstrated:

  • an increase in school’s capacity to narrow the attainment gap in literacy;
  • an increase in pupil confidence, behaviour and attainment
  • improvements in outcomes for disadvantaged pupils
  • improved reading age of up to 2 years within 10-weeks.

For more information on the Love to Read programme, contact your local Supply Desk branch today.