Reading Masters

Evaluating the impact of Reading Masters on the reading skills of pupils in Year 4

Description of the innovation

The evaluation investigated the impact of a whole-class reading comprehension programme which ran over a school year in Year 4 classes. Progress was compared with similar Year 4 pupils in control schools.

Reading Masters ran as a five-day per week programme for reading fluency and comprehension. Each day a specific reading skill was taught, modelled and practised in a whole class setting.

There were five elements taught in this intervention:

  • text and talk fluency
  • retrieval
  • inference
  • structure and grammar
  • points of view: prediction and wider context.

Summary of the evaluation

In total, eight schools took part in the project, four implementing the reading programme and four control schools. However, only seven schools reported their final results. Each school worked with a whole class of 25–30 pupils. Wyvil, which participated as an intervention school, is a two-form entry school and worked with two classes.

The Progress in Reading Assessment (PIRA) test was administered to assess all pupils pre- and post-intervention. This test assesses comprehension of text including all the skills being taught as part of this intervention. The standardised scores of these tests were analysed.

Summary of findings

The research found that Reading Masters had a positive impact on pupil progress in reading comprehension (effect size +0.29). Results also showed a statistically significant impact on pupils with English as an additional language, although this analysis was unplanned in the original proposal and so this finding should be interpreted with caution.

Lead school

  • Vauxhall Primary School, London

Main findings

  • Effect size for pupil progress in reading comprehension = +0.29

Download the protocol document