Reading is more than academic

May 21, 2024 | Teaching Struggling Readers

We are privileged to work with some very smart, kind and caring people. Recently we asked for anecdotes about the changes that our team had seen in the children they have worked with. Here is the first of their stories, from Alice Ball:

I worked recently with a Year 10 boy. He was making excellent progress on the Thinking Reading programme and he would often tell me about how this was having a positive impact on his performance across the curriculum. His teachers also remarked on his increased confidence in a range of subjects. Interestingly, after one of our lessons, he told me that, as well as having a huge academic impact, his improving reading skills were changing his social life for the better! My student went on to tell me that his group of friends often communicate using WhatsApp and that he was a member of several groups on the instant messaging platform. He said that the messages often come in thick and fast, and he would frequently struggle to read them and formulate a response before the conversation had moved on. This student struggled with spelling and told me that he had been hindered in his communication with his friends because he would not be able to spell a word he wanted to use (and his attempt was often too far from accurate for the Spell Check to kick in); he would spend so long thinking of a synonym that he knew how to spell that he would miss the opportunity to contribute to the conversation. As his reading improved, and once he had been taught a proper strategy for spelling, he found a previously challenging aspect of his social life was fully available him and it was clear to see that he was absolutely thrilled with this!

Reading has much more powerful impact than fluent readers often realise. We have forgotten the thrill, the empowerment, and the confidence that comes with mastering such a tricky – but universally important – skill.

When we enable students to catch up, quickly and completely, we literally change their lives.



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