Rhythm for Reading - sustainable reading intervention for schools

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Case studies

Primary 1: A small school in a rural market town

Fact file

Location South East
Setting Rural market town
Size One form entry
Proportion of SEN Highest quintile
Pupils eligible FSM Second quintile
KS2 reading results performance band (similar schools, 2013) Highest quintile
KS2 reading results performance band (national, 2013) Second quintile


The Rhythm for Reading intervention programme had been recommended by another school. The school has embedded Rhythm for Reading into their work with Year 6 children (September to December).


The programme ran for a ten-week period from the middle of April to the end of July 2013 with thirty Year 5 students taught in three groups of ten. Each group took part in one ten-minute session each week for ten weeks.


To measure the impact of the Rhythm for Reading intervention programme, twelve of the Year 5 students were selected by the head teacher and her team for individual reading assessment. The twelve represented a broad range in attainment and were measured on oral reading using NARA before and after the ten-week Rhythm for Reading programme. Nine pupils attended school on both testing dates.

Progress report

The average (mean) reading scores for the group showed gains in reading accuracy (7 months) and reading comprehension (20 months) following the ten-week intervention programme. The standardised scores for the Year 5 students indicate that the rate of progress was faster than might have been expected, and by the end of the programme students had progressed on to more challenging passages.

Year 5 student voices


Before the programme began, Ben could read at a good pace, but his reading accuracy age was one year behind and his reading comprehension reading age was two years behind his chronological age.

I think I’ve got better. I can read longer words. I’m happy, I can read much faster than I used to.

In the follow-up assessment, there were considerable gains in his reading accuracy (15 months) and reading comprehension age (39 months).


In the baseline assessment, Julia read at an appropriate pace, but her reading accuracy and comprehension scores were one year and more than two years behind her chronological age respectively.

I’ve been reading more books with more pages.

After the Rhythm for Reading intervention programme, the follow-up assessment showed that Julia had made substantial gains in her reading accuracy (21 months) and in her reading comprehension (38 months).

The students’ names have been changed to protect their identity.