Read On Get On: A New, Consistent Measure of Children's Reading
Leading education charities have announced the creation of a new national measurement of children’s reading
This summer’s SATs results showed that the number of 11-year-olds reading at the level expected for their age dropped sharply from 80% in 2015 to 66% in 2016. Many schools and parents were left feeling that the results did not reflect the progress their children had made in reading. What’s more, for the first time in recent years, reading was shown to lag behind writing (74%), grammar, spelling and punctuation (72%) and maths (70%). These results suggest not that children are worse readers, but that some of the more complex processes of reading for meaning and understanding are being less successfully measured in this way.
In addition to traditionally assessed cognitive skills, the development of the Read On. Get On. campaign’s new measurement will take in to account the value of reading for pleasure and other affective processes which have a key impact on attainment. National Literary Trust research shows just how important reading for pleasure is when it comes to how well children do at school, with pupils who enjoy reading very much three times as likely to read above the level expected for their age as those who do not enjoy reading at all.
The National Literacy Trust is a member of the Read On. Get On. campaign, which was established by a coalition of leading charities and educational organisations in 2014 with the aim to get all primary school children reading well by 2025.
Poor reading skills have a substantial impact on social inequality and the UK economy. Like anything else, reading is a skill that gets better with practice, so reading for pleasure is critical to this end. Reading must become a normal part of children’s everyday lives and not just be seen as something you do at or for school. Whilst research shows the undeniable link between reading enjoyment and attainment, it also shows that reading for pleasure has wider social outcomes and gives children the building blocks to succeed in life. Everyone has a role to play in getting England’s children reading well.
For more information on the Read On. Get On. campaign and to download a copy of the new strategy, visit: www.readongeton.org.uk.
The National Literacy Trust has a wide range of free resources to help teachers and parents encourage children to read for pleasure: http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/resources/reading-for-enjoyment.
This blog was written by Jonathan Douglas, Director of National Literacy Trust for Project Literacy