This five week project took place in Worcestershire in May 2012 with nine Foster Care Co-operative foster carers – eight female and one male and two trainers.
Although the material was originally designed for carers with young people aged from eleven years upwards, the carers who participated in the project had children in the age range of 5 -16 years. The material was therefore amended slightly to allow for this and some information included from the previous course delivered.
The project was designed to help carers support the education of children and young people in their care and to explore how they can enable them to become more confident and effective learners. It covered a range of educational issues including:
- overcoming the barriers to learning
- ways of supporting and encouraging learning
- ways of engaging children who have become disinterested in reading
- the importance of the emotional and social aspects of learning
Weekly feedback from the foster carers was very positive. They enjoyed the group discussions, sharing ideas and experiences with each other and learning from others’ experiences. The targeting praise session proved to be very beneficial in building self-confidence for all age groups.
Carers’ feedback regarding the paired reading showed that the technique was more successful with younger children and less fluent readers. This was borne out by our reading assessments which took place pre-project and post project, as there were some very successful results with the younger children involved, showing an increase in reading ages of up to 2.1 years and comprehension ages of up to 3.4 yrs in a seven month period.
Carers with younger children reported increased interest and confidence with reading in the children they worked with and one ten year old boy won the Head Teacher’s Reading Prize at his school.
What is paired reading?
Paired reading is when you read with a child, with both of you reading at same time/ pace.
Benefits Of Paired Reading
- A child who is assisted with paired reading can improve three times more quickly than a child without.
- It encourages fluency in reading and reading with expression.
- It helps improve word recognition.
- It promotes a better understanding of what is read.