Rhythm for Reading - sustainable reading intervention for schools

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Case studies

Primary 2: A medium sized school in inner London

Fact file

Location South East
Setting Inner London
Size Three form entry
Proportion of SEN Second quintile
Pupils eligible FSM Highest quintile
KS2 reading results performance band (similar schools, 2013) Third quintile
KS2 reading results performance band (national, 2013) Fourth quintile


The school had used the Rhythm for Reading intervention programme with Year 5 and Year 6 students in 2012. All of the Year 6 students (100%) had achieved level four or higher in reading in their end of Key Stage 2 SATs. The school was keen to involve Year 2 students in Rhythm for Reading to address weak reading skills before they moved into key stage two from 2013-2014. In 2014, 92% of the Key Stage 1 children achieved level 2 in reading, a gain of six percentage points on the previous year.


The programme ran for a three-week period from the middle of November to the end of December 2013 with twenty Year 2 students taught in two groups of ten. Each group received three ten-minute sessions per week.


Twenty Year 2 students were selected for assessment. They were measured on oral reading using NARA before and after the three-week programme and the scores were later compared. Seventeen students attended school on both testing dates.

Progress report

All of the students enjoyed taking part and many described the Rhythm for Reading intervention programme as 'fun'. For some of these very young students, their attainment was too low to be reliably measured using the NARA reading age scores, so averages were obtained as standardised scores. The standardised scores for the Year 2 students showed improvement for the group overall.

Year 2 student voices


Before the programme began, Loretta had good word attack skills, but her reading comprehension age was 10 months behind her chronological age.

It was fine.

In the follow-up assessment, Loretta made a large gain in her reading comprehension score of more than 10 months, bringing her reading comprehension age in line with her chronological age and reading accuracy age.


Prior to the programme, Oscar could read regular cvc (e.g. car) and cvcc (e.g. card) words quickly and with confidence, but he struggled to decipher long vowels and vowel-consonant digraphs. His comprehension score was six months below his chronological age.

I liked the stomping and clapping and at the end we say, ‘Splash!’ and jump. It was good.

In the assessment following the three-week programme, Oscar read at a good pace and had gained two months and more than six months in his reading accuracy and comprehension age scores respectively, bringing these in line with his chronological age.

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