Director of Literacy and English, Aspire Educational Trust Director of Research School, Aspirer Research School at Ash Grove Academy Macclesfield. Research School Developer, Education Endowment Foundation
Reading on trial: three takes on developing reading in the classroom
Taking a critical look at reading instruction from differing viewpoints within the current educational landscape, three practitioners interrogate the research evidence, and how this translates into practice. Megan, Sinéad and Martin share what research evidence suggests with regard to teaching comprehension and word reading and consider how it looks in the classroom.
They explore three different approaches to developing reading in the classroom – whole class, small group, individual – and draw out the strengths and limitations of each method, identifying possible implications for the organisation of teaching and learning.
Touching on the importance of modelling, scaffolding and independent activity and triangulated against the research into how children learn to read, these three practitioners explore how the growing skills and knowledge of the children might be reflected in the pedagogy used.
They unpick the challenges presented by the evidence from their various educational perspectives: as a class-teacher/senior leader, a subject adviser and a MAT director.
A range of evidence will be touched upon and discussed, however in particular we will consider recent work by the likes of Cain and Oakhill, Nation, Castle and Rastle, Stuart and Stainthorp, alongside landmark studies, and consider some of the secondary reporting of related research by the likes of Willingham and Lemov.
Megan divides her time between her role as an Education and Curriculum Director for a multi-academy trust based in the North West, running a Research School and working for the Education Endowment Foundation. She has been a teacher, consultant, a senior leader and a specialist literacy teacher and trainer with expertise in teaching children who find it hardest to learn. Megan is fascinated by how we can transfer research evidence into effective classroom practice. She is often found reading research and working with researchers to develop practical strategies to transfer their work into teaching and learning. She is always involved in at least one research trial and enjoys writing for the TES.
Sinéad is Deputy Headteacher at Lydgate Infant School in Sheffield. She has been a primary teacher for just under twenty years and believes teaching children to read is the most important part of the best job in the world. Sinead is an SLE with Learning Unlimited TSA and a moderator with Learn Sheffield. She has an MPhil from the University of Sheffield and her research focussed on teachers’ beliefs about literacy-teaching. She is a strong advocate for teaching becoming a more research-literate and research-involved profession. She can be contacted via her twitter handle, @shinpad1.
Martin is an English Teaching and Learning Adviser at Herts for Learning. He chiefly works in Herts, delivering central training and in-school support across the primary (and KS3) curriculum. He is increasingly working further afield usually in relation to reading comprehension, oracy, and the teaching of writing. Martin has taught across the primary phase, led English in a very successful school, and in a much earlier guise lectured in film. He writes regularly, on literature on his own blog (www https://quietfireworks.blog/ ) and writes for, and manages, the highly acclaimed Herts Primary English blog and its associated Twitter account, (blogs.hertsforlearning.co.uk/category/English).