Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Reading Recovery Project Is Proving a Success Story in the Tees Valley

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Reading Recovery Project Is Proving a Success Story in the Tees Valley

Article excerpt

A pioneering scheme to improve the literacy skills of six-year-olds is having dramatic results in Redcar and Cleveland, so much so that it is being rolled out to other parts of the Tees Valley.

The Reading Recovery project is an early intervention teaching programme that has been introduced by Redcar and Cleveland Council, with backing from regional development agency, One NorthEast.

Based on a New Zealand model of teaching, the Tees Valley project involves intensive one-to-one reading sessions with those children who have the most difficulty learning to read and write, helping them achieve as much, or more than the average pupils in their class.

Charmaine Buckley, Reading Recovery Tutor, explains: "Reading Recovery was developed in New Zealand as a way to help identify and teach six-year-olds before their learning difficulties become a real problem and affect their development in later life.

"This project doesn't just help improve children's literacy skills, it really is a life-changing programme with pupils' self-esteem, confidence and overall behaviour improving markedly."

Reading Recovery teachers are trained at Redcar and Cleveland Council's Literacy Development Centre in South Bank - a unique centre established with support from One NorthEast.

Here teachers receive training from special coaches and can view a lesson in progress through a special one way mirror. Teachers then work with pupils in their own schools.

Henry Skene, head teacher at Green Gates Primary School in Redcar, which has put some of its teachers through the training, added: "Reading Recovery enables those who think they can't read to find out that they can.

"The difference this can make to their self-esteem is immeasurable and has a knock-on effect across the curriculum. In the vast majority of children this is just the kick start that is needed and gains made are maintained after the programme is completed. …

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