Students learn the English alphabetic code: the 150+ graphemes that represent 44 speech sounds.
They experience success from the very beginning. Lively stories and non-fiction texts are both age appropriate and closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and ‘tricky’ words and as students
re-read the texts, their fluency increases.
9 to 13-year-old pupils still learning to read
1 hour a day
Taught by teacher or TA
2 to 8 pupils in a group
Students write every day, rehearsing out loud what they want to write, using their knowledge of the alphabetic code and the ‘tricky’ words they have learnt.
They learn to write compositions based on their own experiences and ideas from the story, drawing upon new vocabulary and grammar.
The EEF reported that Fresh Start shows ‘considerable promise as an effective catch-up intervention for low-attaining readers at the transition phase from primary to secondary school.’
Pupils on Read Write Inc. Fresh Start made 3 months additional progress in reading, measured using the New Group Reading Test, during the five and a half month trial.
Day 1 content:
- Speed Sounds Set 1, 2 and 3
- Word reading and spelling
- Baseline and ongoing assessment
- Assessment and Grouping with Head Teachers, Heads of Departments of English, SEN, EAL, MFL, Fresh Start Leader
Timings: 9am to 3.30pm
Day 2 content:
- Reading activities – reading to build accuracy, speed and comprehension
- Writing activities – spelling words, writing sentences and writing composition
- Fresh Start timetables
Timings: 9am to 3.30pm
Fresh Start is an intervention programme for older struggling readers in Y5, 6, 7 and 8 with a reading age of 9.5 and below.
Fresh Start works on the same teaching and learning principles as Read Write Inc. Phonic and includes the same activities. The resources are age appropriate to capture the interest of older students. We aim to get children reading accurately and fluently as quickly as possible so they can access literacy and English lessons.
Yes, we have many schools where children with SEN are taught to read with Fresh Start. SEN students with significant delay will benefit from being taught one-to-one by a teacher or teaching assistant. Some students might be better placed on Read Write Inc. Phonics.
Yes, EAL students new to English make speedy progress and should be taught alongside other students. Always group EAL students according to their phonic progress. They are not held back in the programme because they are new to English.
For maximum progress we suggest teaching Fresh Start for an hour per day, 4 days a week. However, we know that an hour is not always possible and indicate on the timetable how to adapt for 35-40 minutes.
Students are assessed every half term to ensure they are grouped according to reading progress. This is vital to ensure each student makes the fastest possible progress.
We suggest that teachers take groups of up to 8 children and teaching assistants teach 1 or 2 students at a time throughout the day.
All students in Years 5, 6, 7 and 8 who are below National Curriculum expectations for reading are assessed using our Entry Assessment. Students are placed in reading groups and reassessed and regrouped every 6-8 weeks.
Note: students are grouped by their word reading and fluency – not by comprehension or writing, or by their age.
Some schools also choose to use a commercial reading age test before and after Fresh Start teaching to measure the impact on their reading age.
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