Rhythm for Reading - sustainable reading intervention for schools

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Case studies

Primary 10: A small primary school in a Welsh market town

Fact file

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


The deputy head teacher had browsed the Rhythm for Reading website and understood the philosophy underpinning the offer. This school requested a consultation meeting and subsequently bought into the programme.


The programme ran from September to December, 2014. All of the students from Year 2 to Year 6 took part in group sizes of ten. Each group of ten children participated in a ten minute Rhythm for Reading session each week for ten weeks.


To measure impact on attainment, twelve of the students from across the age range were selected for standardised assessment before and after the ten-week programme. The CTOPP2 was used to measure progress in phonological awareness for the younger students. Older children were assessed on oral reading using NARA.

Progress report

The average (mean) reading scores from the baseline and follow-up testing were compared. There were strong gains in reading accuracy (8 months), reading comprehension (9 months). The rate of reading slowed overall (3 months) because the students progressed onto more difficult passages of text. The average (mean) change in the CToPP2 composite for phonological awareness showed that substantial progress had been made by the weakest students. For example, on the elision subtest they made an average gain of 30 months.

FSM / SEN Year 2 - Year 6 student voices


The baseline assessment showed that Owen’s reading attainment age was uniformly almost two years behind his chronological age. The CToPP assessment indicated that his phonological blending skills were somewhat weaker than his elision skills. He enjoyed taking part in the Rhythm for Reading programme:

It was fun! I liked all of it!

After the ten-weekprogramme, the follow-up test showed that he had made progress in reading accuracy (3 months), reading comprehension (13 months) and reading rate (8 months). His phonological awareness had improved dramatically with gains of more than 50 months on both elision and phonological blending.


The baseline reading assessment showed that Lianne’s reading accuracy and reading comprehension age scores were more than two years behind expectation, whereas her rate of reading age was two years in advance of her chronological age. Following the Rhythm for Reading programme, Lianne had noticed a change in her reading:

I’m reading really good now and I’m breaking words up to help me.

The follow-up reading assessment showed that Lianne had improved substantially both in reading accuracy (15 months) and reading comprehension (23 months). Her rate of reading age had decreased (6 months), but remained above her chronological age.

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