Reading Recovery teacher wins national prize

August 16 2016

GRACE Wakelin, from Fishponds Church of England Academy, has been named national Reading Recovery Teacher of the Year.

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GRACE Wakelin, from Fishponds Church of England Academy, has been named national Reading Recovery Teacher of the Year.

Mrs Wakelin received the award at the annual ceremony at the UCL Institute of Education’s International Literacy Centre.

Reading Recovery is a concentrated programme designed to help six-year-olds in danger of falling behind to catch up with their peers.

Mrs Wakelin told how when one of her Year 2 students started the course he felt completely despondent about reading and didn’t believe he would ever be able to read at the same standard as his friends.

After 18 weeks of daily lessons he had caught up with all his peers and was able to read along with the rest of the class

Grace said: “It is thrilling and, at times, quite emotional to see the way he responds to text, chuckling at humour and gasping in surprise when reading amazing facts about some animal we are reading about.”

Julia Douetil, director of the IOE’s Reading Recovery programme, said: “It’s the joy you notice - these children are reading and writing not just for pleasure, but with pleasure, and that is amazing for children who were, just a few months ago, the lowest attaining in their class for literacy. That’s what makes Reading Recovery teachers so special, they don’t just teach children how to read, they do so in ways that make children feel good about being readers and writers”.

The programme is shown to help 85 per cent of participants to catch up. At 11 the children maintain their progress and achieve the expected Key Stage 2 reading test results for their age.

Claire Hiscott, Bristol’s Cabinet member for Education and Skills said: “Initiatives like Reading Recovery are key to using our resources effectively and improving areas where we know there are specific issues, like reading in young children.

“I want to thank all our Reading Recovery teachers across the city for the hard work that they do. Reading is an essential skill for modern day life.