Pilot reading scheme improves children’s development

Girl with pile of books

Pilot reading scheme improves children’s development

Early Words Together is a pilot scheme that aims to improve the language and communication skills of disadvantaged children between the ages of two and five. Independent research into the results of the programme has found that there were improvements in the comprehension of language amongst participating children.

The study

The six-week scheme received funding from the Department for Education and was operated through the National Literacy Trust. It involved children who required early literacy support, generally because they came from poor or disadvantaged backgrounds. The aim was to improve home learning and increase the amount of reading opportunities they had.

The results

The survey of 776 parents involved in the research found that 75 per cent now did daily reading alongside their children. This figure was only 50 per cent before the programme started. In addition, 86 per cent of the parents interacted more with their children.

Those parents who took part in the pilot programme ended up with a greater understanding of the importance of reading for a child’s learning. The scheme helped to improve the literacy levels of the children before they started school and develop a love of reading. These are all vital skills that are needed in many areas of life, from playing preschool games to expressing themselves.

Sutton Trust research shows that children from poorer backgrounds can be as much as 19 months behind more advantaged pupils when they begin school at age five.

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