Reading Recovery Europe


Supporting behavioural difficulties

Ben had a sad existence at home. His family life was turbulent. His father left the family home some years ago and the family found it difficult to cope since, both financially and emotionally. As a result, Ben's siblings became increasingly disruptive in school and he also struggled with the stress in his life. At school, Ben would get under the table if any demands were made of him to complete written activities or to join in with group guided reading. The school were sufficiently concerned to call on the services of an Educational Psychologist at the beginning of Year 2, when he was six.

His language acquisition was assessed as being at the level of a child aged three years 10 months and it was recommended that he receive speech and language therapy. With no measurable literacy and numeracy skills and language levels at least three years behind his classmates, the future was not looking bright for Ben.

At this point, Ben was assessed for a place in Reading Recovery. After two years in school, Ben could name 40 of the 52 upper and lower case letters but was only able to read two words. He was not able to match his finger word-by-word as his teacher read a simple one-line text. He showed little interest in reading or any written activity and was falling further and further behind his classroom peers. As one of the lowest achieving children in his class, Ben was identified for Reading Recovery.

Within weeks, his class teacher reported that his aggressive behaviour was becoming less frequent and that he was beginning to contribute in small group sessions.

After 14 weeks of daily, individual, half-hour Reading Recovery lessons, Ben was able to read and write at a level in line with his classroom peers. He was able to write 52 words independently and read the same books as his classmates.

His progress has continued to be maintained since Reading Recovery sessions finished. His reading level and his independence in writing progressed alongside his classroom peers at follow up progress checks and he achieved the age appropriate level in National Assessments at age seven.

Ben is now a happy and confident member of a Year 3 class. He is able to do just what other children in his class can do. He is able to contribute to and benefit from the learning environment of the classroom. He does not need additional help with learning and enjoys the challenges that learning brings.

The school is thrilled with his progress. Needless to say his parents are also delighted, and especially with the effect this has had on his behaviour and emotional stability. Not much has changed in his home circumstances, but now Ben has the emotional resources and the basic skills to make his school life a success. Without Reading Recovery, it could have been a very different story.