A ‘gold standard’ in phonics instruction, says the University of Sheffield

What makes the work of The Children’s Literacy Charity stand out?

A validation piece from the University of Sheffield highlights how the ‘Expert’ intervention delivered through our Literacy Labs has phonics instruction at its core. This, coupled with the expertise of our trained tutors, led the report to conclude that our intervention offers ‘a gold standard in provision of theoretically-informed phonics instruction, delivered with systematicity, reliability and efficiency’.

As noted in the validation, our approach meets all the criteria laid out in the Rose Report (2006), an independent review of the teaching of early reading. Our tutors ensure each letter-sound rule is taught to a level of mastery before learners progress, and a range of multi-sensory techniques is used to capture and maintain children’s interest.

The Ratio Gains (RG) made in reading and comprehension age by children supported by our programme highlight the impact of our approach. As outlined in the validation, a RG of 1.0 means that within one month of instruction, a child’s reading age also increases by one month. Thus a RG of 1.0 is what would be expected of a child progressing normally.

For the academic year 2016-17 (the latest data-set available when the report was compiled), average Ratio Gains across the year for students receiving the ‘Expert’ intervention were 2.1 for reading accuracy and 2.1 for reading comprehension. That is, they progressed at just over double the rate of their typically-developing peers.

The validation also notes that the highest achieving children had reading accuracy ratio gains of 4.7 and reading comprehension ratio gains of 5.8, representing a “Remarkable” level of impact.

In conclusion, the validation found that our intervention has ‘demonstrated effectiveness in significantly progressing the literacy skills of the most disadvantaged student groups in the country.’

Read highlights of the validation.

Read Kamran’s story – one of the children being supported by our phonics-based, specialist approach.

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