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Wellington Primary School

English - reading recovery

The English curriculum is so much more than decoding, comprehending, spelling, grammar and composition. Literacy is about thinking and learning in ways that change the way a person understands and engages with the world. It is about ideas, inspiration, emotion and discovery. It is about talking responding and wondering, challenging and being challenged. Therefore, it is essential that every child in our school is given support for them to be successful, life-long, learners. RR is part of this support.

Reading Recovery™ is a short intervention for children who need support with the English curriculum in their first years at school. Children are taught individually by Mrs Read for 30 minutes each day for an average of 12-20 weeks. These lessons supplement their normal English lessons. The goal is for children to develop effective reading and writing strategies in order to work within age related expectations for their year group.

The focus of each lesson is to comprehend messages in reading and construct messages in writing, learning how to attend to print details without losing focus on meaning. The lessons include assessment, reading known stories, reading a story that was read once the day before, writing a story, working with that story as a cut-up sentence, re-constructing it, and reading a new book. The lesson series finishes when the child is able to read and write without teacher support, at the appropriate expectations for their age.

The Institute of Education, (IOE) oversees the integrity and national results of RR in the UK. The IOE ensures RR reaches as many children as possible. Reading Recovery teachers start from the individual child, identifying precisely what they know and how they think about and engage with reading and writing. RR teachers design a programme specifically for that child. Further information about RR is available, please visit or email

The IEE (Institute of Effective Education, University of York) has compared RR to some other interventions. The evidence shows that the effectiveness of RR is very strong. Further information on this can be found on the following web link.