The real world impact of reading fluency instruction

    Published: 19 July 2022
    I didn't realise how much of an impact Fluency would have on ... the life chances of the children we serve.


    Becoming an English Leader in 2018, I didn’t realise how much of an impact learning about reading fluency would have on my practice as a teacher and leader – most importantly, on the life chances of the children we serve.

    My school at that time was part of the HMI trial inspections and reading fluency was one of our points for development. So, like any reflective practitioner and learner, I sought out research, information and examples of practice that would benefit the children on their reading journeys. Reading fluency for the most part is something I had practised through modelling - naturally and organically; however, I didn’t realise it was an element of reading practice that had so much research behind it.

    Through the Herts for Learning Primary English Team (@HertsPrimaryEnglish), I discovered the Godfather of Fluency Tim Rasinski. Rasinski’s research was central to implementing and embedding Reading Fluency practice successfully through the following strands of work:

    • fluency professional development meetings – supporting research informed practice
    • facets of fluency – teacher knowledge was developed in order for them to enable children to read aloud and enhance their reading for pleasure – through CPD, training, coaching, mentoring and
    • trialling fluency practices in classrooms
    • fluency and phonics – at the end of each Phonics session, the children start walking the bridge between decoding and comprehension by practising phrasal reading
    • authentic texts were integrated as part of phonics sessions so there was a greater focus on fluency development through early reading practise – children have the opportunity to apply their growing phonic knowledge as well as reading aloud to read for pleasure as well as understanding
    • fluency practice features at the beginning of each reading lesson – facets of fluency are taught discretely when needed, alongside echo, choral, paired and repeated reading
    • fluency resource banks created and shared with all five primaries across the trust
    • fluency focus integrated into reading lessons – a range of fluency strategies were developed, shared and implemented to develop reading for pleasure and practice the skill of  reading using an inclusive, fun and engaging pedagogical approach
    • modelling videos – best practice shared
    • multidimensional Fluency Scale is part of the formative assessment cycle of Reading
    • fluency is fun – lessons are joyous, inclusive, and further enable the children to become fluent, lifelong readers

    Because of the implementation and high-quality delivery of Fluency practices across the curriculum, the school achieved its highest progress score to date in reading, which meant we were ranked first for progress in the local area. After this success, and as part of my Reading Honorarium, which has now manifested into my role as Primary Trust Literacy Lead, Fluency practice was implemented across all five primaries within the Trust.

    Fluency practice has had a significant impact on every reader within the primaries - several children in particular, across the primaries have been enabled to become successful and confident readers – without techniques such as fluency trees, repeated reading and echo reading, I believe they would not have made the progress they have.

    The fruits of Fluency are boundless and bountiful. Thank you @HertsPrimaryEnglish for being the spark that set off the Fluency fireworks – lighting the path for a whole new generation of readers. 

    Hear more from ‘the Godfather of fluency’ Professor Tim Rasinski, together with an essential line up of expert practitioners at our Reading Fluency Expo 2022.

    Guest blog authored by Kiran @KSunray3

    The Herts for Learning Reading Fluency Expo 2022

    This online event is designed to help teachers by bringing together expert voices, world renowned in this field.

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