By Iqbal Hussain
Parents and teachers rejoice, because one of the UK’s publishing giants is here to assist your kids on their bookish journey!
Hachette UK is determined to change the narrative of reading and writing by working with the National Literacy Trust as part of a three-year partnership. The Changing the Story programme supports more than 500 children across fifteen primary schools where many children experience socioeconomic difficulties. A sample of sixty-four children were invited to participate and within the first two years there has already been a notable improvement in pupils’ reading abilities. The number of children who proudly rated their reading as “very good” doubled, with teachers also noticing a marked improvement in children’s reading resilience. Participating in a programme such as this can really help to improve a young person’s reading abilities and nurture their bookish adventures.
The participating children took part in two cohorts, with a survey completed before and after taking part in the 2022/2023 programme. Data was collated from Hodder Education’s New Progress in Reading Assessment (New PiRA) because this resource provides a benchmark for children’s performance and progress, as well as national reading averages. In an effort to be even more thorough, test scores of students who participated in the Changing the Story programme were collected, as well as feedback from ten teachers.
The percentage of children with reading skills below the national average decreased by almost 50% at the beginning of the programme and by almost 25% at the end of the programme. What is even more impressive is that the number of children who said they enjoyed reading doubled and under 2% of all participants indicated that they didn’t enjoy reading. Nine out of ten teachers noticed an improvement in children’s engagement and confidence in reading, as well as better resilience when using their phonics skills and tackling unfamiliar words. Impressive, no?
The Changing the Story Reading Programme was created to tackle low literacy and reading enjoyment levels among primary school children in the UK; within its first two years it appears to be doing just that. With a donation of over 22,000 Reading Planet and Hachette Children’s Group books, this programme has the potential to improve the future of many young readers.