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Reading Interventions

Identifying students who need support

At Chew Valley School, all students take part in STAR Reader assessments (from Renaissance learning) to identify students who need support.

We do this as a screening process at the start of each academic year for Years 7-10 and upon entry and for any in-year transfers.  This allows us to quickly identify students who are likely to succeed with core instruction and those which may need intervention.

The reports provide the following data:

  • Reading age (in years and months)
  • Zone of Proximal Development: The range of difficulty level of books a child should read to allow for independent reading
  • Norm Referenced Standardised Score: How a child compares nationally with others of a similar age
  • Percentile Rank: A norm referenced score that provides a measure of a child’s score compared with other children of the same age nationally
  • Scaled Score: A measure of a child’s progress against the expected standards in the new reading curriculum

To determine a student’s specific skill deficits, we run the Student Diagnostic Report, which displays a student’s proficiency score for each of the skills assessed.

Assessments continue to take place for all students in Years 7-10.  They will take place at least twice each year.  The tests take place online and take as little as 15-20 minutes.  They are designed for frequent administration and are therefore also used for progress monitoring.

The tests generally take place during Library lessons in Years 7 and 8 and during tutor time in the older year groups.

Following the screening report, our HLTA for Literacy, alongside our SENCO, use a further diagnostic assessment for word reading.  This assessment pinpoints what the exact need is by decoding more unfamiliar words, the familiar words they can read ‘at a glance’ and the speed by which they read.

The school uses “unlocking letters and sounds” as its phonics programme.

Reading interventions for struggling readers

Reading interventions at Chew Valley School are co-ordinated by our full-time HLTA for Literacy.

Students who cannot read well need urgent support and are supported through intervention.  This does mean students are withdrawn from some curriculum time.

Interventions usually run for 6-8 weeks.  Again, this is dependent on need.  Some students may take part in more than one intervention at a time if the programmes complement each other.

There are a range of interventions in use dependent on individual need.  The list of intervention is below.

Interventions are predominantly delivered by our full time HLTA for Literacy.  They are also delivered by our SENCO, trained Teaching Assistants, Librarian and Library Assistant.

In addition, we use Reading Buddies, made up of our volunteer Sixth Form students to further support students who may be receiving interventions as listed.  Reading Buddies are trained and co-ordinated by our Librarian using the methods recommended by the Herst for Learning Key Stage 3 (KS3) Reading Fluency Project.

All students in Years 7 and 8 also have access to Accelerated Reader.  This is used and promoted through fortnightly Library lessons with their English teacher and supported by our Librarian.

We recognise it is important that all teachers know who the students receiving intervention are and how they can then provide extra support within lessons.  Key information is shared with teachers.

We are in the process of developing this further through the use of ClassCharts e.g. we already share reading ages but the HLTA for Literacy is also developing reading profiles to include strategies and areas for development.  

Reading interventions usually take place in our Library where we have designated intervention spaces.  It can also take place in our Learning Support Block.