New York Primary School 

North Shields Collaborative Teaching School

Lanark Close, North Shields, NE29 8DP

​​Telephone: 0191 200 6338

Mrs G Hibbert - Reading Recovery teacher

Reading Recovery

​What is Reading Recovery (ECAR)?

Reading Recovery (ECAR) stands for Every Child A Reader. It is an accelerated learning programme designed to boost individual pupil’s reading and writing performance. This Literacy intervention strategy is designed to target the children who are working below age related expectations and who need an additional push in the . Four pupils receive an individual 30 minute lesson every day of the week. Reading Recovery is strictly time limited to a maximum 20 weeks per child so two different sets of children can be supported over the school year.

Target Pupils

Research has indicated that Reading Recovery is most effective when it is delivered to Y1 pupils between the age of 5y 9mth and 6y 3mth at the start of the programme. The programme starts with a series of detailed diagnostic assessments ranging from Letter Identification, Word Recognition, Hearing and Recording Sounds in Words, Writing Vocabulary, Concepts about Print, Reading Tests and Running Records based on continuous texts. Results are standardised and an Observation Summary is compiled to bring all the results together. This helps to inform the selection process.


Reading Recovery has a positive impact on standards of achievement in both Reading and Writing. So far all of our target pupils have made good or significant progress and this in turn has raised their self esteem. Once children are discontinued from Reading Recovery, tracking procedures are put in place to ensure that progress is maintained.

Parental Involvement

Reading Recovery assumes a high level of parental support and I speak individually to each parent before their child began the course. They all sign a contract agreeing to give a few minutes each day to read with their child and to help them to reconstruct the cut up sentence in their homework book every night. I give each child a home/school diary that I write a comment in at the end of every session. This helps parents to understand how they can help at home and raise awareness of positive reading behaviours.


The first two weeks of the programme are designated to Roaming Around the Known .This is an opportunity to establish confidence and to get to know the child by focussing on what they already know. Subsequent Instructional Lessons follow a set pattern tailored to each pupil’s individual needs.

The Daily Lesson

This begins with a quick outline of what the focus of the lesson will be.

1. Familiar Read

The lesson starts with reading one or two familiar books. This helps to promote a confident and smooth start for the child as they choose books that they enjoy and feel happy and confident in reading.

2. The Running Record

A third book is read and the teacher takes a running record of this to analyse reading behaviours. This third book has been discussed, and a little bit of it read, at the end of the previous day’s lesson. When the teacher takes a Running Record no, or very little, teacher input is given when the child is reading. This enables the teacher to see what strategic activities the child uses on their own and whether what has been taught previously has been assimilated. After about 100 words read, a positive discussion can then take place based on the focus for the lesson. This book is sent home to be read again with parents to build up self esteem and promote enjoyment of reading. This may then become a ‘familiar’ book chosen by the child to read another day.

3. Letter and word work at the board.

This is a 2 minute look at letters and/or words identified by the teacher as needing attention. We might sort letters or look closely at known words, looking at how they can be broken up into parts.

4. Writing a sentence or ‘story’

The second part of the lesson is devoted to writing a sentence. Again the approach is highly prescriptive. Once the sentence is composed orally by the child, they are then encouraged to write it down, using the’ practice page’ to promote self help strategies during the writing process. Links are made at every stage between reading and writing as reciprocal functions. The teacher subsequently writes the child’s sentence on card and cuts it up as they reread it. Finally the child is asked to reconstruct this sentence before it is sent home as a homework task.

5. Introduction to a new book

The final part of the lesson is used to introduce a new book each day. Some, or all, of this book (in early lessons the books are short) will be read once by the child and be carried over to the next lesson where it is reread as the focus for the Running Record. The introduction to the new book is important as it ‘de- bugs’ this unfamiliar text, highlighting new, perhaps unusual, words like ‘jetty’, ‘coal’, ‘rescue’ etc.