chapter  1
19 Pages

Introduction

WithAlex Quigley

The reading gap between primary and secondary school can see many pupils unprepared for the changing demands of academic reading in secondary school and with too little time to catch up. Reading gaps can open quickly and near imperceptibly. Research in the United States by Jessica Logan and colleagues, from Ohio State University, calculated that children who were read to daily (around five children’s books) would hear well over a million more words (an estimated 1.4 million more) than their peers who were not read to daily. The school day is typically crammed full of academic reading: from young children reading about magical journeys at story time to teenagers reading dense textbooks. The reading gap emerges early, before pupils attend school, typically worsening over time without significant intervention. At points of transition, such as between primary and secondary school, the gap can become more acute and problematic.