Parental Involvement and Reading for Pleasure at Stanton Drew Primary School

Key Findings

This case study explores the successful implementation of Reading Hub, a digital library solution, at Stanton Drew Primary School. With 59 pupils, an ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted rating, above-average Free School Meals (FSM) eligibility, and above-average reading ages, the school sought to nurture a love for reading, boost literacy skills, and deepen family involvement. 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 50% increase in average weekly reading time and a 60% increase in the average number of books read per month. Additionally, the average reading age in the intervention class increased by 20%, with FSM-eligible pupils showing a 25% improvement. Parental involvement also significantly improved in the intervention class, with 89% of parents reporting increased engagement. The study demonstrated positive impacts, particularly among FSM-eligible pupils, in the intervention group using Reading Hub.

School Objectives

  • Ensure that every pupil has access to a wide range of books, both in school and at home.
  • Increase the time pupils spend reading and their overall enthusiasm for reading.
  • Raise the reading ages across all pupils, with a focus on FSM-eligible pupils.
  • Involve parents more deeply in their children’s reading to support ongoing literacy development.

Aim of the Case Study

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

Current Challenges:

  • Limited physical resources: The small size of the school meant that the physical library had a limited number of books, restricting pupils’ choices.
  • Engaging all families: With a high percentage of FSM-eligible pupils, the school needed to find effective ways to engage parents who might have limited time or resources.
  • Consistency in reading practice: Ensuring that pupils maintained consistent reading habits both at school and at home was difficult without adequate resources.

Implementation Process:

  • Control Group Study Design: Two Key Stage 2 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: Students 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 utilised the web app to access reading materials, monitor reading engagement, and provide targeted support to pupils.
  • Onboarding and Training: Teachers received thorough training on utilising 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

  • The intervention group increased average reading time per pupil per week by 50% (from 90 minutes to 120 minutes). In comparison, the control group saw no increase in reading time per week.
  • The intervention group saw a 60% increase in average number of books read per pupil per month (from 5 to 8 books). Whereas the control group remained the same at 5 books per month.
  • The intervention group demonstrated a 20% increase in average reading age across all year groups, with FSM-eligible pupils showing a notable 25% improvement, further raising the overall reading proficiency.
  • Surveys and interviews highlighted heightened parental enthusiasm for reading activities, with 89% of parents in the intervention group reporting increased involvement and 98% feeling better informed about their children’s progress.
  • 92% of parents agreed that they would use Reading Hub over traditional methods. Some comments from parents included: they “found Reading Hub easy to use” compared to traditional reading methods.

Conclusion

The implementation of Reading Hub at Stanton Drew 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 improved its already outstanding educational environment. The controlled study demonstrated the clear benefits of Reading Hub compared to traditional reading methods, highlighting its potential for further educational institutions.