We’re excited to announce that our headline sponsor for ‘Oxford Reading Spree’ is Rising Stars’ Reading Planet.

Reading Planet is a research based reading scheme designed to go from pre-reading skills (lilac banded) through fully decodable texts to to a range of exciting fiction, non-fiction poetry and plays for confident young readers.

All four stages of the programme are based in research from Coventry University showing that speech rhythm sensitivity is fundamental to children’s reading development. But what is it? Why is it so important?

Speech rhythm sensitivity is the ability to perceive aspects of spoken English, such as stress, intonation and timing, as well as the natural rhythm of language. Children who struggle with reading frequently lack this sensitivity, but research has shown it can be trained and enhanced with simple activities so that all children can become confident readers.

Prof. Clare Wood, Prof of Psychology in Education at Coventry University says;
“ We know that children’s sensitivity to rhythm, and to the rhythm of speech, is linked to their reading ability. What we are now seeing is evidence that not only is sensitivity to speech rhythm trainable in young children, but that such training benefits their early progress with word reading.”

Emily Harrison, PhD researcher Coventry University

“The results were fantastic – in both the beginning readers, and the older struggling readers, the speech rhythm intervention resulted in significantly greater gains in reading […] This means that speech rhythm training is effective both at the beginning of reading tuition and once children have already received some formal training.” You can read more about Emily’s research here.

You can hear more about their research from Care and Emily in this short video.