Teaching reading

30th October 2009 at 00:00

Nether Robertland Primary in Stewarton has a track record for using interactive learning strategies. It was a factor which made its P5 pupils more amenable to the programme, says depute head Eileen Symington.

She believes the literacy programme raised the national test results for pupils at all levels, but particularly at level D in P5.

Hazel Barr, one of the P5 teachers, who has 25 years' experience, says: "What we were doing differently was getting away from the bog-standard comprehension questions, the literal questions, and thinking about the text more. We were looking at nuances and, even before we read the book, we were studying things like the blurb and doing a lot of prediction and intelligent guesswork about what was going to happen."

Geraldine McWilliams, headteacher of St Andrew's Primary in Kilmarnock, said that, by the end of the project, pupils' higher order reading skills had definitely improved. This was particularly the case for those of below average and well below average ability. "There is less emphasis on hearing reading and more on teaching reading skills," she added.

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