Reading skills equalised by early intervention

2nd March 2001 at 00:00
Four and five-year-olds from deprived areas are picking up reading skills at the same pace as more socially advantaged peers as early intervention strategies pay off, a study in Renfrewshire has revealed.

Bob Rutherford, the authority's principal psychologist, said interim results for more than 2,000 pupils show that children are making statistically significant progress in reading skills. "The more intervention they have received, the greater their achievements," Mr Rutherford says.

Baseline assessment confirms what is "intuitively known" by all early years staff - that there is a huge variation in emerging literacy skills on entry to primary 1.

"Pupils from schoos serving more socially and economically deprived areas had significantly lower language skills than others, while in terms of gender, boys entered school with poorer pre-reading skills than girls," Mr Rutherford says.

Baseline testing revealed that knowledge of letters was the biggest single predictor of reading success. Other factors in order of significance were concept of print, word-word matching, awareness of beginning and end sounds of words, auditory discrimination, and expressive language skills.

Renfrewshire hopes that further baseline testing will allow primary teachers to identify at a very early stage which children are in need of extra support.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now