Rhythm for Reading - sustainable reading intervention for schools

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Case studies

Primary 9: A large primary school in a large village

Fact file

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


The school took part in the Rhythm for Reading programme as part of an initiative led by the nearby Teaching Alliance School.


The programme began in March and ended in June, 2015. Students from Years 4, 5, & 6 took part in a group size of ten in a ten-minute Rhythm for Reading session each week for ten weeks. Thirty students were involved in total.


To measure the impact of the Rhythm for Reading programme on reading attainment, the school selected 12 students from Years 4, 5 and 6 for an assessment of oral reading (NARA) before and after the ten week programme.

Progress report

The average (mean) scores for the group from before and after the programme were compared. After the ten week programme, on average the reading accuracy score had improved by 5 months, whereas a gain of 12 months had occurred in reading comprehension. There was a 13 month gain in rate of reading.

Years 5 & 6 student voices


The baseline assessment showed that Darren (Year 6) had reading accuracy and rate of reading ages 13 months lower than his chronological age. His comprehension age score was a further 10 months behind his reading accuracy age. Following the programme, he had noticed a change in his reading:

I’ve noticed that I can read more clearly. I can read properly.

He had made dramatic gains in reading comprehension (31 months) and in accuracy (27 months). His rate of reading decreased (15 months) as he encountered more challenging vocabulary in more difficult passages of text.


In the baseline reading assessment, ‘Lacey’ (Year 5) read at an age appropriate pace. However, her reading accuracy and comprehension age score were 15 months and 10 months respectively, lower than her chronological age. She had noticed a change in her reading and her spelling following the programme:

I feel I’ve improved. I can say each word and spell it

She had made a strong gain both in reading comprehension (14 months) and reading accuracy (6 months). Her reading rate also had increased (4 months).

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