“I would definitely recommend the audit to other MAT leaders – the process from start to finish has been straightforward”
Cambridge Primary Education Trust
Cambridge Primary Education Trust (CPET), formed in 2012, is an outstanding partnership of like-minded schools committed to offering an exceptional learning experience for all pupils and, in turn, preparing them for a successful future.
Comprising of Hatton Park Primary School, Histon & Impington Infant School, Histon & Impington Junior School, Somersham Primary School and Trumpington Park Primary School, and with over 1,500 pupils on the roll, the Trust is “passionate about sharing vision, best practice and resource to deliver the best possible primary education for our children”.
It is this over-arching ethos that saw CPET complete the Scholastic Reading Audit, which is designed to challenge and support Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs) and schools in the teaching and learning of reading. Designed to be taken by school headteachers, literacy coordinators or reading managers, the online audit covers every type of instructional reading type as well as assessment, home links and reading for pleasure.
CPET, and its five primary schools, commissioned the audit in November 2019 following an initial meeting with Scholastic. The timing could not have been better, explained CPET Executive Principal Lesley Birch. “As a MAT we have revisited our approach to reading over the past 12 months, looking at this in much greater depth and with the new Ofsted education inspection framework front of mind,” she said. “Our ambition is for every child to leave our schools as a confident, accurate, reader. However, we also recognise that different cohorts of children have different needs, so we need to understand the most efficient or effective way to approach different groups. We want to give teachers the tools to do their jobs, and so this was the perfect time to complete the reading audit.”
Having completed the audit – each school responding individually – the Trust received a MAT-wide pedagogic development report which included a simple ‘red, amber, green’ rating system, with supporting commentary highlighting reading strengths and opportunities for development. Scholastic then met with the Trust’s Executive Principal, and school leadership teams, to explore the emerging findings in January 2020.
“The report has provided some useful detail on each school, and some clear considerations for us across the MAT,” Lesley said. “These include specific opportunities around reciprocal and close reading which we will work towards over time, and to share some highlighted good or outstanding practice in areas such as the teaching of phonics and guided reading sessions across all our schools. The Scholastic Reading Audit, and its core principles, have given us the platform to start conversations and explore possibilities. It has also helped us to identify staff professional development needs in some areas.”
Having completed the Scholastic Reading Audit, which is completely free for MATs and schools, CPET has received a model reading policy around instructional reading and reading for pleasure developed by independent reading experts and links to best practice research and resources. The audit is supported by the NAHT headteachers’ union and accompanied by a Reading Charter – backed by the prestigious International Literacy Centre at the Institute for Education, part of University College London.
“I would definitely recommend the audit to other MAT leaders – the process from start to finish has been straightforward, and the fact there is no cost for an audit developed by independent experts means it is really a ‘win win’,” Lesley added.
Case study developed: February 2020