Increased Reading Engagement and Parental Involvement at Broadwater Primary School

Key Findings

This case study explores the impact of implementing Reading Hub, a digital library solution, at Broadwater Primary School. With 133 pupils, an ‘Requires Improvement’ Ofsted rating, above-average Free School Meals (FSM) eligibility, and above-average reading levels, the school aimed to sustain reading engagement, enhance access to books, and improve parental involvement. This was a controlled study of one group of 30 pupils across all year groups using Reading Hub (intervention group) and the rest of the school using traditional reading methods (control group). The study demonstrated positive impacts in the intervention group using Reading Hub.

The findings showed that the intervention class using Reading Hub saw a 47% increase in average weekly reading time and a 166% increase average number of books read per month. Additionally, the average reading age in the intervention class increased by 30%. Parental involvement also significantly improved in the intervention class, with 80% of parents reporting increased engagement. The study demonstrated positive impacts of Reading Hub on reading engagement and parental involvement across the school.

School Objectives

  • Increase access to reading materials for all pupils, both in school and at home.
  • Enhance reading engagement and foster a love for reading among pupils.
  • Maintain above-average reading levels across Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.
  • Strengthen parental involvement in pupils’ reading to support ongoing literacy development.

Aim of the Case Study

This case study demonstrates how implementing the Reading Hub at Broadwater Primary School significantly improved reading engagement, book accessibility, and parental involvement, thereby enhancing the school’s overall literacy development efforts.

Current Challenges:

  • Engagement: Sustaining high levels of reading engagement among pupils, given the school’s need to maintain above-average reading levels.
  • Parental Involvement: Encouraging parents to actively participate in their children’s reading required effective communication and resources.
  • Resource Limitations: Providing a wide range of quality reading materials within the school’s limited library resources was challenging.

Implementation Process:

  • Control Group Study Design: All Key Stages participated in the study. 30 pupils across all year groups were given access to Reading Hub (intervention group), while the rest of the school maintained their regular reading schedule (control group).
  • Mobile App for Pupils: Pupils in the intervention group accessed the Reading Hub mobile app, choosing from a vast selection of 3000 eBooks accessible both in school and at home.
  • Web App for Teachers: Educators used the web app to access reading materials, monitor reading engagement, and provide targeted support to pupils.
  • Onboarding and Training: Teachers received comprehensive training on effectively using Reading Hub, while parents were equipped with guidance on supporting their children’s reading at home.

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:

  • Initially, ensuring seamless integration of Reading Hub faced challenges with device compatibility and internet connectivity. The school implemented robust technical support and regular maintenance checks to address these issues promptly, ensuring uninterrupted access.
  • To maintain parental involvement, Broadwater Primary School established regular parent-teacher meetings focused on Reading Hub’s impact. They provided workshops, newsletters, social media updates, and parent portals within Reading Hub to keep parents informed and engaged consistently.
  • Broadwater Primary School overcame the challenge of assessing Reading Hub’s impact across diverse age groups by using standardised assessments, progress tracking tools in the dashboard, and regular feedback sessions. This approach ensured timely interventions and adjustments tailored to each group’s needs, maximising Reading Hub’s effectiveness school-wide.

Results

  • On average, reading time per pupil per week rose by 47% (from 85 minutes to 125) in the intervention group. The control group saw a 5% increase (from 85 minutes to 90).
  • The average number of books read per pupil per month increased by 166% (from 3 books to 8), marking a 66% improvement. The control group saw an increase of (from 3 books to 5)
  • The intervention group demonstrated substantial progress in reading age, with an average increase of 30% across Key Stages. FSM-eligible pupils saw an increase of 18%.
  • Surveys and interviews indicated heightened parental engagement in reading activities. In the intervention group, 80% of parents reported increased involvement, and 85% felt better informed about their children’s progress.
  • 89% of parents said they would like to continue to use Reading Hub as opposed to returning to traditional methods. Some of the comments from parents include: “With Reading Hub, [my child] has access to a diverse range of titles that she can explore both at school and at home” and “ It’s made our nightly reading routine enjoyable and effortless.”

Conclusion

The implementation of Reading Hub at Broadwater Primary School resulted in significant improvements in reading engagement, book accessibility, and parental involvement. By addressing resource limitations and nurturing a culture of reading, the school successfully enhanced its educational environment. A controlled study of one group of 30 pupils using Reading Hub across all year groups highlighted its effectiveness compared to traditional reading methods, showcasing its potential as a valuable tool for enhancing literacy outcomes in other educational institutions.