The Summer Active Reading Programme aimed to improve reading skills and particularly comprehension by raising children’s engagement in, and enjoyment of, reading at the transition from primary school to secondary school. The programme was delivered by Booktrust, an independent charity that aims to change lives through engaging people with reading.
Participating pupils were gifted four book packs and invited to attend two summer events led by Booktrust staff at their new secondary school. The first book pack was gifted towards the end of the child’s final term at primary school, the second and third packs at the summer events and the final pack in the first term of secondary school. Volunteers, recruited by Booktrust, gifted the book packs and supported activities, including one to one reading, at the summer events.
The trial examined the impact of the programme on 205 pupils from 10 schools in the north of England who had been identified as unlikely to achieve Level 4a or above by the end of Key Stage 2. Pupils who were not likely to gain at least Level 2 were not included in the trial.
The study was funded by the Education Endowment Foundation as one of 24 projects in a themed round on literacy catch-up at the primary-secondary transition. Projects funded within this round aimed to identify effective ways to support pupils not achieving Level 4 in English at the end of Key Stage 2. The project was one of four funded with a particular focus on reading for pleasure.