Smithills School

Direct instruction intervention programme

At Smithills School there were a high proportion of year 7 entering school with significantly lower than average reading and spelling levels, and specific needs for cohorts of pupils. The school wanted to develop a culture of a ‘love for learning’ through an intensive programme of direct instruction which facilitated access to the curriculum.

To enable this, identified students were enrolled in a direct instruction intervention programme which addressed the topics of learning for English, Geography and History but also addressed core skills for reading and comprehension at word, sentence and paragraph level. This would occur daily as a minimum. NGRT tests were carried out on students as a baseline and to identify impact and alongside this, oracy and class discussion took place. Students took part in a traditional tea party to celebrate achievements.

What was the impact?

In year 7 students increased their reading age in 6 weeks from 2mths up to 1yr 6mths. Further analysis shows that students have maintained their improvement.

In year 8 students increased their reading age in 6 weeks from 5mths up to 2yrs 10mths (this is significant as the average gain is 3mths in 12 weeks). Analysis shows that students have maintained their improvement.

In year 9 students increased their words per minute from 15wpm to 62wpm whilst decreasing their errors by 50% and 100% of students preferred this style of intervention saying they “felt more able to understand their lessons” and “enjoyed the reading and talking to each other.”