An innovative classroom reading intervention for Year 2 and 3 pupils who are struggling to learn to read: evaluating the Integrated Group Reading (IGR) programme

Despite continued efforts to ensure that all children benefit from Key Stage 1 (KS1) teaching, between 7-18% of pupils in English primary schools are still delayed or non-starters in reading on entry to KS2. This project aims to evaluate on a national scale the novel Integrated Group Reading (IGR) programme.

The originality of IGR is as an early intervention integrated into existing Guided Reading teaching for those children requiring a more focused approach. IGR integrates several discrete professional and research-based aspects of early literacy education, highlighting the connection between the teaching of phonics-for-reading and the importance for children of story and meaning-making. It also provides teachers with carefully designed and systematic materials (short books and accompanying story-specific games) to underpin this. At the level of children’s learning, the methodology is fun, simple and thorough, with lively, story-focused teacher-led small group work combining with Teaching Assistant one-to-one consolidation in-between twice-weekly lessons.

The evaluation will examine (1) whether children’s reading accuracy, comprehension and reading attitudes will be enhanced by IGR compared to usual teaching approaches using a cluster randomised trial (CRT) design, and (2) how the programme is taught in practice and teachers’ experience of the approach. In the main evaluation, 80 teachers from 40 schools in 4 separate areas of the country will participate, involving 320 children in experimental and control groups. Participating teachers will attend a one-day introductory training and will thereafter be supported by their local Literacy Advisers and the Programme team. Previous smaller-scale evaluation indicates that Year 2 and 3 children with reading delay made impressive progress with the IGR programme. We expect positive outcomes and lessons to be learned about improving the programme and its adoption, which will be communicated through networks, conferences and publications on a national and international scale.

IGR powerpoint May 2015 

Project Team: Professor Brahm Norwich, Dr Alexey Bessudnov, Jan Stebbing, Anita Woods and George Koutsouris.