Getting all pupils up to speed in reading comprehension following school closures

So, you’ve had half a term to find out what went on during the months your pupils weren’t in school and, undoubtedly, there’s been good news and bad news. Some pupils seem to have coped surprisingly well with online learning (possibly with the advantage of parents who had the time and energy to support learning at home) and have returned to the classroom pretty well performing at the literacy standard you might have hoped they would be. Other pupils, who in the Autumn term of 2019 might have already been showing signs of a worrying gap between their achievement and age-related expectations, might have started this term well adrift of where you would like them to be. Dee Reid, co-creator of Shine:Targeted Interventions for Primary, discusses getting all pupils back up to speed in reading comprehension.

Pupils who need a ‘boost’

But what about the rest – all those pupils who do not need the intensive support of a catch up programme but certainly need a boost to their reading skills to get back on track? That’s where you’ll find Shine: Targeted Interventions for Primary invaluable, because it is pitched at exactly the right teaching level for those pupils whose assessment data reveals gaps in knowledge.

What might those gaps in knowledge be?

Lots of pupils struggle with reading comprehension but they don’t all struggle with the same components:

  • some find Retrieval of key information very difficult
  • some lack the range of Vocabulary to access age-related texts
  • some find it really hard to draw an Inference from a text or ‘read between the lines’ 

The great thing about Shine is that you can focus on whichever of these areas the pupils need support with. So, when you’re under pressure to be as effective as possible in as short a time as possible, a resource that is this targeted will save you time and effort.

Shine is an extremely flexible reading intervention to deliver. And when I say ‘flexible’, I mean it!

  • You can use Shine with small groups or larger groups (or even the whole class).
  • It can be delivered by the teacher or the Teaching Assistant.
  • It can be delivered intensively over a short period or in smaller blocks over a longer period. 

From test, to test analysis, to focussed intervention

The beauty of Shine Reading Skills is that it is not a ‘one size fits all’ intervention. You will not be second guessing which pupils need which aspects of intervention because you will put the result of your PiRA or NTS Assessments into MARK – the free online assessment and reporting tool (scores feed through automatically if using interactive tests) – which will identify the pupils’ knowledge gaps and suggest Shine intervention sessions. These sessions give pupils focussed support on the particular areas of reading comprehension they find challenging.

Not just ‘what can’t they do’ but ‘how to put it right’

Those of you who have been using PiRA/NTS Assessments will already know how helpful the termly tests are at assessing pupils’ progress against national averages and benchmarking pupil performance. The assessments clearly indicate pupil weaknesses, but with Shine you now have the follow-through from the assessment data to remediation.

So, what goes on in the Shine Reading Skills intervention?

Shine fits into a cycle of teaching and learning.


There are 2 strands in each Unit which basically follows the: I show you/You show me approach linking modelling teaching and supported practice.


Each Shine Reading Skills Unit has its own specially-written text which is:

  • not too difficult
  • not too long
  • and, just as importantly, not boring! With texts including traditional tales, non-fiction about such things as Great White Sharks and humorous contemporary stories, even your jaded readers will be engaged.

Easy-to-use setp-by-step notes

The Teachers’ Notes give a step-by step approach to each teaching sequence so Teaching Assistants will feel very supported and confident in the delivery of the intervention.

Support for modelling

Another feature of Shine Reading Skills that will engage pupils and make life easy for the supporting adult, is the Shine online modelling software which can be used to:

  • model text marking
  • illustrate question highlighting
  • demonstrate written answers

The modelling software can used with a large group, on an interactive whiteboard, or with smaller groups and individual pupils on desktops and handheld devices.

Why Shine?

So, if you’ve got concerns about your ‘middle-of-the-range’ pupils for whom 6 months out of school has been a real set-back to their progress and you’re looking to provide the most efficient reading comprehension intervention that joins the dots between assessment and teaching, then Shine Reading Skills has got it all. So, polish up those reading skills with Shine: Targeted Interventions for Primary!


Shine: Targeted Interventions for Primary is a 3-step solution designed to help you seamlessly assess understanding, identify knowledge gaps and deliver targeted individual and group intervention activities for the areas of weakness demonstrated in your pupils’ diagnostic test results. Find out more about Shine today.

Dee Reid



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