Improving Reading Outcomes at Bannockburn Primary School

Key Findings

This case study examines the impact of implementing Reading Hub, a digital library solution, at Bannockburn Primary School. Two Year 6 classes of equal size and similar cohorts participated in the study; one class used Reading Hub while the other maintained their regular reading schedule with traditional methods.

The findings showed that the intervention class using Reading Hub experienced a 30% increase in average weekly reading time and a 40% increase in the average number of books read per month. Additionally, the average reading age in the intervention class increased by 15%, with FSM-eligible pupils showing a 20% improvement. Parental involvement also significantly improved in the intervention class, with 85% of parents reporting increased engagement. The study highlights the effectiveness of digital reading resources in enhancing reading engagement, proficiency, and parental involvement.

School Objectives

  • Provide equal access to a wide range of reading materials for all pupils.
  • Increase reading engagement and proficiency, particularly among FSM-eligible pupils.
  • Enable teachers to monitor and support pupils’ reading progress through detailed analytics.

Aim of the Case Study

This case study aims to illustrate how the use of Reading Hub, a digital library solution, has improved reading outcomes at Bannockburn Primary School, particularly by solving the issue of access to books.

Current Challenges:

  • Access to Quality Reading Materials: Ensuring all pupils, especially those from low-income families, could access quality reading materials at home was a significant challenge.
  • Lack of Resources: Many pupils did not have sufficient books or resources to support their reading development outside of school hours.
  • Need for Accessible Resources: The school identified a critical need for reading resources that pupils could use both in school and at home.

Implementation Process:

  • Control Group Study Design: Two Year 6 classes of the same size and cohort participated in the study. One class was given access to Reading Hub while the other maintained their regular reading schedule, using paper reading logs and weekly visits to the school library.
  • Mobile App for Pupils: The intervention class was given access to the Reading Hub mobile app, allowing them to choose from a selection of 3000 eBooks to read on digital devices both at school and at home.
  • Web App for Teachers: Teachers and school leaders in the intervention class used the web app to access reading materials in class and monitor reading engagement, such as time spent reading and number of books read, to identify which families and pupils were engaging most or needed more support with the technology.
  • Onboarding and Training: Teachers received training on how to use Reading Hub effectively. Parents were provided with information and guidance on supporting their children’s reading at home using the app.

Method of Testing:

  • Reading Age: Pupils’ reading ages were measured termly throughout the academic year using standardised reading assessments. Each term, both the intervention group (using Reading Hub) and the control group (following traditional reading methods) underwent these assessments to track progress. This approach allowed for a detailed comparison of reading age improvements between the two groups. 
  • Reading Engagement: Reading engagement was measured for the control group by tracking time spent reading, the number of books read, and pupil enjoyment through self-reported surveys. The control group used paper reading logs maintained by teachers and parents to do this. The intervention group’s reading engagement was collected via Reading Hub’s engagement dashboard.

Problems Faced:

  • Some families did not have access to digital devices. The school addressed this by providing loaner devices and ensuring all pupils could access Reading Hub.
  • Initial resistance from some teachers was overcome through training and consistent support as well as demonstrating the benefits of the analytics provided by the web app.

Results

  • The average time spent reading per week per pupil in the intervention class increased from 60 minutes to 90 minutes (a 30% increase), compared to a 5% increase in the control class (from 60 minutes to 63 minutes).
  • The average number of books read per pupil per month in the intervention class increased from 5 to 7 (a 40% increase), while the control class saw a 10% increase (from 5 to 5.5 books).
  • Within a year, the average reading age across all year groups in the intervention class increased by 32%, with FSM-eligible pupils demonstrating a 20% improvement. The control class showed a 5% increase in average reading age, with FSM-eligible pupils improving by 7%.
  • 85% of parents in the intervention class reported increased involvement in their children’s reading activities due to the digital reading log, compared to 50% in the control class.
  • 73% of parents preferred to use Reading Hub and the parents from the intervention class felt better informed about their children’s reading progress. Parents felt that Reading Hub solved the issue of “keeping track of reading diaries” and helping to “find books that were interesting.”

Conclusion

The implementation of Reading Hub at Bannockburn Primary School was highly successful, particularly in solving the issue of access to books for FSM-eligible pupils and enhancing overall reading outcomes. The combination of a variety of reading materials, detailed reading analytics, and active parental involvement fostered a thriving reading culture within the intervention class, as evidenced by the significant improvements compared to the control class.