Improved Reading Levels and Access to Books at Wraxall Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School

Key Findings

This case study examines the implementation of Reading Hub, a digital library solution, at Wraxall Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School. With 96 pupils, a ‘Good’ Ofsted rating, below-average Free School Meals (FSM) eligibility, and below-average reading levels, the school aimed to enhance reading engagement, proficiency, and family participation. A controlled study compared two groups of Year 6 pupils: 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 66% increase in average weekly reading time and a 100% increase in the average number of books read per month. Additionally, the average reading age in the intervention class increased by 18%, with FSM-eligible pupils showing a 14% improvement. Parental involvement also significantly improved in the intervention class, with 87% of parents reporting increased engagement. The study demonstrated positive impacts in the intervention group using Reading Hub.

School Objectives

  • Provide diverse reading materials to all Year 6 pupils, both in school and at home.
  • Boost reading time and foster a love for reading among pupils.
  • Improve reading ages among Year 6 pupils.
  • Increase parental involvement in pupils’ reading.

Aim of the Case Study

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

Current Challenges:

  • Engagement: Keeping pupils engaged with reading was a priority, especially with limited resources.
  • Parental Involvement: Encouraging parents to take an active role in their children’s reading required effective communication and resources.
  • Resource Limitations: Providing a wide range of reading materials within the school’s limited library space was challenging.

Implementation Process:

  • Control Group Study Design: Eighteen Year 6 pupils participated in the study. Nine pupils were given access to Reading Hub (intervention group), while the other nine 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 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:

  • 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

  • There was a 66% increase in average reading time per pupil per week in the intervention group (from 45 minutes to 75 minutes). In comparison, the control group saw a 22% increase (from 45 minutes to 55 minutes a week).
  • Average number of books read per pupil per month in the intervention group rose by 100% (from 3.5 to 7 books) whereas the control group rose by 14% (from 3.5 to 4).
  • The intervention group demonstrated a 18% increase in average reading age, with FSM-eligible pupils showing a 14% improvement.
  • Surveys and interviews highlighted heightened parental enthusiasm for reading activities, with 87% of parents in the intervention group reporting increased involvement and 95% feeling better informed about their children’s progress.
  • 79% of parents said they would choose to continue using Reading Hub instead of going back to traditional paper logs. Some of the comments from parents using Reading Hub include: “It’s made such a difference in his attitude towards reading” and “With Reading Hub, my son has so many books to choose from, and he’s excited to read every day.”

Conclusion

The implementation of Reading Hub at Wraxall Church of England Voluntary Aided 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 successfully improved engagement with reading. The controlled study demonstrated the clear benefits of Reading Hub compared to traditional reading methods, highlighting its potential for further educational institutions.