Rhythm for Reading - sustainable reading intervention for schools

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In addition to helping students to read with ease, fluency and understanding, Rhythm for Reading strives to continually engage with and contribute to educational research and development. The iterative process of evaluation, reflection and development is central to everything that we do, whether listening to children enunciating phonemes or discussing the delivery of the programme with head teachers. We are continually monitoring and strengthening our service to schools, teachers and students.

We are here to help teachers to help children to read! Any profits are put back into developing the Rhythm for Reading programme so that we can help more schools every year.

Did you know that there’s more than one way to learn to read? Rhythm for Reading acts as a powerful and natural catalyst in the classroom, complementing phonological approaches to the teaching of reading. Rhythm for Reading uses rhythm instead of words, which means that this is an alternative route for low and middle attaining students who may be underachieving, students with special needs, communication needs and mental health needs.

This is what we deliver:

  • Live workshops
  • Shadowing sessions
  • Skype support
  • A ten week online programme
  • Detailed feedback on delivery for professional development
  • An assessment and reporting service

This is what we are passionate about:

  • Reducing teachers’ anxieties about students’ progress in reading.
  • Reducing time and money spent on students who struggle with reading.
  • Reducing time out of the classroom for one-to-one tutoring
  • Supporting, empowering and inspiring teachers through innovation.

Drilling deeper into the teaching of reading

The Rhythm for Reading intervention programme supports and improves reading comprehension and reading fluency over ten weekly sessions of only ten minutes. Both the research and the work undertaken in schools show that it is highly effective and has a key role to play, both in the teaching of reading and in supporting phonological awareness.

The Rhythm for Reading intervention programme complements established phonics-based systems by sharpening students' sensitivity to the sounds of language and therefore accelerating their progress in phonics training. Sensitivity to rhythm also supports readers in moving rapidly beyond the initial stage of decoding print, enabling them to connect words with fluency, whilst simultaneously reading for meaning. This is why a rhythm-based approach also plays an important role as a powerful catalyst of knowledge acquisition.

Pupil premium

Students who are or have been eligible for free school meals are at greater risk of lower educational attainment than are other students. All schools are striving to close attainment gaps between disadvantaged students and others and there is a strong drive to focus on the development of reading skills from the earliest age through school transition to the end of the secondary phase. Rhythm for Reading is helping schools to close the attainment gaps for vulnerable students from Year 1 to Year 8.

The rhythm-based approach was first developed by Dr Marion Long to support a group of students eligible for free school meals to access free instrumental music lessons and today, the Rhythm for Reading programme is helping disadvantaged students to make substantial gains in phonological awareness and reading comprehension.

Examples of recent work with Year 5 & 6 FSM / EAL students and FSM Year 7 students show how Rhythm for Reading accelerates the progress of these pupils.

Reading to learn

Following the Rhythm for Reading programme, many students have made the important gear-change in reading: from learning to read, to reading to learn. This is a vital step in unlocking all students’ educational potential and opens the door to a lifelong enjoyment of reading.

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Rhythm for Reading is grateful to the Education Endowment Foundation for their support. Read the full report here.