Words of Encouragement:

Reading resilience during the pandemic

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  • Comparing reading levels pre- and post-lockdown, has there been a significant fall?
  • How have schools and children coped?
  • The importance of reading in accessing other areas of the curriculum
  • Were EAL students affected more than their peers?
  • The interventions schools and school groups are putting in place

Living through exceptional times

There is no doubt we have lived through an exceptional period, the effects of which will reverberate for years to come. It has never been more important to get an accurate, unbiased picture of children’s reading ability and by extension, their ability to access all areas of the curriculum. Recent news stories have suggested that children’s reading abilities have declined significantly during the pandemic – but our own analysis, according to a study of tens of thousands of students, suggests that these stories need to be put in context and that student literacy held up remarkably well during the lockdowns.

This report contains findings from the results of students taking our New Group Reading Test (NGRT) in 2019-20 when compared to 2018-19. It also features the real life experiences of a number of schools on how they supported reading during lockdown, measured reading skills on the return to school, and devised interventions to support anyone who was in danger of falling behind.

Girl reading poetry book

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