Enhanced Reading Engagement at Hockliffe Lower Primary School

Key Findings

This case study examines the successful implementation of Reading Hub, a digital library solution, at Hockliffe Lower Primary School. With 53 pupils, an ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted rating, below-average Free School Meals (FSM) eligibility, and above-average reading levels, the school aimed to further enhance reading engagement, proficiency, and family participation. A controlled study compared two Year 6 classes: one using Reading Hub (intervention group) and the other using traditional reading methods (control group).

The findings showed that the intervention class using Reading Hub saw a 40% increase in average reading time per pupil per week and a 33% increase in the average number of books read per month. Additionally, the average reading age in the intervention class increased by 32%, with FSM-eligible pupils showing a 30% improvement. Parental involvement also significantly improved in the intervention class, with 97% of parents reporting increased engagement. The study demonstrated positive impacts in the intervention group using Reading Hub.

School Objectives

  • Ensure all Year 6 pupils have access to a wide range of books, both in school and at home.
  • Encourage pupils to spend more time reading and develop a lifelong love for reading.
  • Improve reading ages across all Year 6 pupils.
  • Deepen parental involvement in pupils’ reading activities to support ongoing literacy development.

Aim of the Case Study

This case study illustrates how the introduction of Reading Hub at Hockliffe Lower Primary School led to notable improvements in reading engagement and parental involvement, contributing to the school’s ongoing success.

Current Challenges:

  • Maintaining high engagement levels: Even with high reading levels, keeping pupils engaged with reading was a priority.
  • Parental involvement: Encouraging parents to take an active role in their children’s reading required effective communication and resources.
  • Resource limitations: Providing a diverse range of reading materials within the school’s limited library space was challenging.

Implementation Process:

  • Control Group Study Design: Eight Year 6 pupils participated in the study. Four pupils were given access to Reading Hub (intervention group), while the other four maintained their regular reading schedule, using paper reading logs and weekly visits to the school library (control group).
  • Mobile App for Pupils: Pupils in the intervention group gained access to the Reading Hub mobile app, allowing them to choose 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 Reading Hub effectively, 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:

  • The school addressed the issue of digital access by providing loaner devices to ensure all pupils could utilise Reading Hub. This was crucial in a small school with limited resources.
  • Initial resistance was overcome through comprehensive training, highlighting the benefits of the provided engagement dashboard and ensuring teachers felt confident using the new technology.
  • Engaging parents who might have limited time or resources required tailored communication strategies and support to ensure they could effectively use the Reading Hub app.

Results

  • In the intervention group, average reading time per pupil per week increased by 40% (from 100 minutes to 140 minutes). In comparison, the control group saw an increase of 5% (from 100 to 105 minutes) 
  • The average number of books read per pupil per month rose by 33% (from 6 to 8 books) whereas the control group remained the same at 6 books per month.
  • The intervention group demonstrated a 32% increase in average reading age, with FSM-eligible pupils nearly matching this at 30% improvement, narrowing the gap with their peers.
  • Surveys and interviews highlighted heightened parental enthusiasm for reading activities, with 97% of parents in the intervention group reporting increased involvement and 86% feeling better informed about their children’s progress.
  • 96% of parents agreed that they would choose Reading Hub to support their children’s reading because it solved the problem of “finding books they actually want to read”.

Conclusion

The implementation of Reading Hub at Hockliffe Lower Primary School resulted in significant improvements in reading engagement and parental involvement. By addressing the challenge of access to books and fostering a culture of reading, the school felt they achieved their reading engagement goal. The controlled study demonstrated the clear benefits of Reading Hub compared to traditional reading methods, highlighting its potential for further educational institutions.