Reading Recovery Europe


Glenfrome Primary School, Bristol

‘Children on Reading Recovery can go from struggling at the lowest levels of reading, to Turquoise band plus,’ says head teacher, Inger O’Callaghan.

Glenfrome Primary School is located in the city of Bristol. It has a high percentage of pupils speaking English as an additional language (49%), as well as a high percentage of children from black and ethnic minority backgrounds (76%). The school’s current head teacher, Inger O’Callaghan, joined Glenfrome in 2010 as its deputy head. At that time the school was in special measures. Reading Recovery was put in place for Glenfrome’s most struggling pupils.

More than eight years on Reading Recovery is still providing a second chance to learn for children beginning to fall behind in literacy in Years 1 and 2.  It is used alongside other lighter touch reading interventions to support literacy learning throughout the school.

Pupil Premium is used to finding for the role of the Reading Recovery teacher, Claire. She leads reading initiatives across Glenfrome, monitoring literacy progress, and working closely with the senior leadership team.

Using a range of assessments, Claire identifies the lowest attaining pupils in Year 1 and Year 2 for Reading Recovery, working with them daily. She prompts conversations with families to engage them in the programme before it begins. Each Reading Recovery session is highly structured and unique to the pupil. One-to-one lessons with a specially trained teacher– just 30 minutes a day each – provide substantial improvements for each individual. The aim of Reading Recovery is that children will catch up with their peers by the end of the series of lessons. Data show that on average eight out of 10 children receiving Reading Recovery reach age-related levels after participating in the programme.

Over the years, staff at Glenfrome have witnessed the rapid progress that happens for pupils receiving Reading Recovery. At this school, all children are expected to finish Year 1 at Book Band Turquoise.

‘Children on Reading Recovery can go from struggling at the lowest levels of reading, to Turquoise band plus,says head teacher, Inger O’Callaghan. This is a significant transformation, and leads to an enhanced ability among these pupils to access the rest of the curriculum. As well as seeing brilliant results in terms of learning outcomes, Inger also reports that RR can be ‘a valuable tool against attendance issues too’, thanks to the way it motivates both pupils and their families.