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Changing the Story: 2023 evaluation

Added 27 Nov 2023 | Updated 30 Nov 23

Teacher reading with child.jpg

The Changing the Story Reading Programme is a reading programme for pupils in Key Stage 1 created in partnership with Hachette UK. Now in its second year, the programme brings together Hodder Education’s Rising Stars Reading Planet scheme, additional Hachette children’s reading-for-pleasure books, and the National Literacy Trust’s expertise and trusted reputation to support the schools and pupils in most need.

This report presents the cumulative findings from the first and second years of the programme, including data collected from both pupils and teachers.

Key findings include...

Pupils’ reading ability:

Data from Progress in Reading Assessment (PiRA) tests indicated significant improvements in pupils’ reading ability over the course of the Changing the Story programme:

  • Before taking part in the programme, on average, pupils' standardised score was 87.3. After taking part in the programme, this had increased to 96.7 for these pupils.
  • The percentage of pupils who were below the national average decreased from half (48.9%) at the start of the programme to 1 in 4 (23.0%) at the end.

Pupils’ reading enjoyment and confidence:

  • The percentage of pupils who said they enjoyed reading ‘very much’ doubled from 21.9% before taking part to almost half (46.9%) after taking part.
  • The number of pupils who rated themselves as ‘very good’ readers nearly doubled over the course of the programme rising, from 21.9% before to 42.2% at the end of the programme.

These changes are also evident from data collected from 10 teachers:

  • 9 out of 10 teachers agreed that pupil’s level of engagement with reading improved, and that pupils are now more confident in their reading.
  • 8 out of 10 teachers agreed that pupils enjoy reading more and read more often.

Benefits for the school:

  • 6 out of 10 teachers agreed that their school has put more emphasis on developing higher-order reading skills, since taking part in Changing the Story.
  • Half of the teachers agreed that they have been able to make links between Changing the Story resources and their wider curriculum.

The findings of this report suggest that Changing the Story is an effective way to improve pupils’ reading levels and confidence. The programme’s use of a variety of resources, including online platforms, physical books, and teacher training, was a successful approach to engaging pupils with reading.

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