Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Education

REAding for CompreHension (REACH)

January 2013 - December 2014

The REACH project is a Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) of two evidence based interventions to improve the reading skills of Year 7 and 8 pupils following their transition into secondary school. The project involves approximately 30 schools, 50 Teaching Assistants, and 20 Research Assistants.

Participating children are randomly assigned to one of 3 intervention groups (see below) and receive 3 x 35 minute intervention sessions per week from specially trained TA’s.

Intervention Groups:

  1. Reading intervention for 20 weeks. This involves reading easy and instructional level books, letter sound work, phoneme awareness activities, phonological linkage training, writing sentences and spelling.
  2. Reading intervention plus language comprehension training for 20 weeks. This involves multiple context vocabulary training, figurative language work and reciprocal teaching (clarification, summarisation, prediction and question generation).
  3. A waiting list control group who receive an intervention (whichever intervention appears to have been most effective) after the initial 20 week trial is over.

In order to measure and compare intervention outcomes, established standardised measures of reading (including YARC single word reading, YARC passage reading accuracy, and YARC reading comprehension) are administered by trained research staff prior to testing, as well as during and after testing.

The REACH project is funded by the Education Endowment Foundation and is managed here at Leeds by Dr Paula Clarke and Dr Shirley Paul, in collaboration with Professor Maggie Snowling (St John’s College, Oxford), Professor Charles Hulme (University College London), and Glynnis Smith (Educational Consultant).

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