Rhythm for Reading - sustainable reading intervention for schools

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Continuing Professional Development

The Rhythm for Reading programme elements Receive detailed feedback Accelerate progress in reading Transform attitudes to learning Strengthen cognitive control Improve learning behaviour Save time on differentiation Plan more quickly
‘Prepstep’ combinations
Rhythm-based reading tasks
Shadowing sessions
Reading fluency tracker
Session planner
Programme planner
Case study tracker
Assessment & report

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These are tiny exercises that make a huge difference to students’ learning. They resolve persistent learning barriers, such as weak control of visual gaze, inability to sustain attention and distractibility. If these barriers are not addressed they are likely to impede attainment in the long term. The ‘Prepsteps’ are delivered as fast-paced games and are blended into a sequence, achieving a remarkable impact in a short amount of time.

Teachers watch a brief video of each ‘Prepstep’ as a preparation for delivering the Rhythm for Reading session. For deeper understanding of the programme, there is a fact sheet that explains how each tiny step works.

Rhythm-based reading tasks

These make up the core of the Rhythm for Reading programme. Rhythmic patterns are used instead of words to strengthen cognitive control, sooth erratic eye-movements during reading as well as improve students’ ability to detect the sounds of language, the syntactic structures of language and ability to automatically process content in language.

The rhythm-based reading tasks make a huge difference to students’ phonological awareness, reading accuracy, fluency and comprehension.

The complexity of the tasks increases week by week as the students’ capacity to respond with precision and cognitive control develops.

Entrainment is an important part of the programme and naturally occurs, for example when clocks synchronise to the strongest time-keeper. Entrainment instantly energizes the atmosphere in the room, creating a sense of fun and enjoyment.

Workshop one

This live training is relevant to the first half of the Rhythm for Reading programme and is very ‘hands-on’. Teachers learn how to deliver the programme by taking part in all the exercises. The training shows teachers how to:

  • Make the most of the online resources from Week 1 to Week 5
  • Strengthen students’ cognitive control using the ‘Prepsteps’
  • Deliver the rhythm-based reading tasks
  • Allow the natural process of entrainment to improve students’ learning
  • Allow the energizing pace of the programme to spark momentum

Workshop two

This live training is relevant to delivering the second half of the Rhythm for Reading programme and shows teachers through active participation how to:

  • Make the most of the online resources from Week 6 to Week 10
  • Differentiate for faster and slower rates of progress using ‘Prepsteps’
  • Differentiate for faster and slower rates of progress using rhythm-based reading tasks
  • Maximise the influence of entrainment on learning behaviour, precision and coorperation
  • Maximise opportunities to maintain high levels of cognitive control and self-confidence.

Twilight INSET

At the beginning of the Rhythm for Reading programme, we offer a twilight INSET session for teachers who are involved in the teaching of reading.

The purpose of this session is to:

  • Inform teachers about how Rhythm for Reading works
  • Provide an experience of rhythm-based reading tasks
  • Explore ways in which this approach complements traditional classroom teaching methods.

Shadowing sessions

Shadowing sessions with a Rhythm for Reading specialist take place at the same time each week for ten weeks. The specialist visits the school for a half day per week, so that there is enough time to work with up to nine groups of students (90 students) and train up to nine teachers every week. The training includes:

  • Taking part in ‘Prepsteps’ and rhythm-based reading tasks,
  • Observing students’ progress week-by-week,
  • Recording and planning weekly sessions using tools in the resources folder
  • Building a case-study using tools in the resources folder
  • Tracking the reading fluency of the case-study child using tools in the resources folder

No prior experience in reading music notation is needed.

Final workshop

After the ten shadowing sessions, the teachers take part in a in a workshop to practice delivery of the programme and to review the progress made by the case study children over the ten weeks.

Refresher training

Face-to-face refresher training is offered regularly.

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We offer a free consultation meeting to discuss your requirements and create a bespoke resources folder. Please suggest a couple of suitable dates for a meeting here.

Headteachers often contact Rhythm for Reading when they are preparing for an inspection. The programme creates a friendly buzz and boosts attainment in a very short period of time. We have often delivered shadowing sessions in front of very smiley inspectors!

These are our most popular options:

  • Twilight INSET,
  • Weekly shadowing sessions,
  • Final workshop,
  • Individual standardized assessment of reading and or phonological skills of twelve students,
  • A detailed progress report.

Please suggest a couple of suitable dates to discuss your requirements here.

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