Institute of Education
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National literacy awards celebrate achievements of previously struggling readers

Children who have previously struggled with literacy and the teachers and schools who have helped them to catch up with their classmates were recognised for their achievements at a national literacy awards ceremony held at the IOE last week (Friday 14 June).

The children's picture and writing competition celebrates the transformation that Reading Recovery has made to children's lives, many of whom were not able to read the simplest of books or write their own name before they joined the programme. The children's competition is open to past and present pupils who received Reading Recovery, an early literacy programme for the lowest achieving in literacy after their first year of school. With daily one-to-one support from a specially trained Reading Recovery teacher pupils are able to catch up with their classmates and develop a love of reading and writing.

The impact the programme has on the children who take part was clear in the winning entries. "I feel happy when I read," wrote Bradley Davies, from Oak Green School in Buckinghamshire, winner in the 5-6 years age range. Karl Murphy, from English Martyrs Catholic Primary School in Lancashire, winner of the 7+ age range wrote, "Don't be afraid to read because it's going to be easy!"

The awards also honoured practitioners and schools that had made an outstanding contribution to children's literacy through Reading Recovery. Stephen Fallon, head teacher for St Stephen's Roman Catholic Primary School in North Tyneside, was named winner of the Inspirational Manager of the Year Award.

Commenting on the impact Reading Recovery had made within his school, Stephen said: "Empowering a child with the ability to read, to problem solve and process information is truly the core purpose of our existence as educators. Reading Recovery has proven, over time, in many contexts and across the globe that it works. As a school it has helped us challenge our thinking and professional practice to the point where we view ourselves as learners. Barriers to learning are being broken on a daily basis across the school – a direct result of the influence of the principles of Reading Recovery."

Julia Douetil, Head of the European Centre for Reading Recovery, said: "Being literate is the core of any child's education, and these inspirational schools and teachers have rightly prioritised access to effective literacy learning for all their children. The heartfelt comments of these children show what a difference it makes to individual lives."

Editor's notes

• Reading Recovery is a school-based literacy programme for the lowest achieving children aged five or six that enables them to reach age-expected levels within 20 weeks. It involves a short series of one-to-one lessons every day with a specially trained teacher.
• Reading Recovery is at the heart of Every Child a Reader (ECaR), a whole school improvement strategy for literacy.
• Phonics has an important role within Reading Recovery.
• 2007-2012, Reading Recovery in England was supported through the Every Child a Reader (ECaR) programme.
• Reading Recovery was developed in the 1970s by New Zealand educator Dr Marie Clay. It is now used world-wide.

The full list of winners for the 2013 Reading Recovery Awards is as follows:-

Children's Competition
• Bradley Davies, Oak Green School, Buckinghamshire (5-6 age range)
• Karl Murphy, English Martyrs Catholic Primary School, Lancashire (7+ age range)

Regional Reading Recovery Teacher of the Year Awards
• Barbara Conneely, Wallsend St Peter's C of E Primary School, Tyne and Wear, for the North East region
• Dee Griffiths, Cledford Primary School, Cheshire East, and Lynn Edwards, Roundthorn Community Primary School, Oldham, for the North West region
• Helen Shearn, Birchen Coppice Primary School, Worcestershire, for the Midlands region
• Anne Goree, Cabot Primary School, Bristol, for the South West region
• Caitriona Ward, Foxes Piece School, Buckinghamshire, for the South East region

Inspirational Manager of the Year Award
• Stephen Fallon, St Stephen's Roman Catholic Primary, North Tyneside

Reading Recovery School of the Year Awards
• Birchen Coppice Primary School, Worcestershire, for 'Effective working with parents/carers/guardians to support literacy in the school'
• Lainesmead Primary School, Swindon, for 'Working with community to support the principles of Every Child a Reader (ECaR) in school'
• Roundthorn Community Primary School, Oldham, for 'Innovative practice to sustain the gains made through literacy intervention'
• Walwayne Court Primary School, Wiltshire, for 'Developing practice to enable all children to read with enjoyment'
• Diamond Hall Infant School, Sunderland, for 'Growth of professional learning about early literacy throughout the school'
• St Martin's Garden Primary School, Bath, for 'Governors proactive in supporting literacy in their school'

The Institute of Education is a college of the University of London that specialises in education and related areas of social science and professional practice. In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise two-thirds of the publications that the IOE submitted were judged to be internationally significant and over a third were judged to be "world leading". The Institute was recognised by Ofsted in 2010 for its "high quality" initial teacher training programmes that inspire its students "to want to be outstanding teachers". The IOE is a member of the 1994 group, which brings together 11 internationally renowned, research-intensive universities.

Website: http://readingrecovery.ioe.ac.uk/

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