Literacy Skills for Secondary School with Louise Harding

Nov 21, 2022 | SEND & Inclusion

Home > Literacy Skills for Secondary School with Louise Harding

Last year I was fortunate enough to be able to collaborate with a school in the authority looking at children struggling to read in secondary school due to lost learning in the Covid lockdowns.

My main concern was that secondary school staff are not taught how children learn to read and more importantly how to teach a struggling reader to read. Therefore, when a child is in secondary school and is a poor reader, secondary school staff do not always have the skills and knowledge that they need to help that child, even if they have the passion and determination.

As a *Reading Recovery teacher (and now teacher leader) for many years I have successfully taught hundreds of young children to read. Every child I have ever worked with has taught me something new, as no child learns to read in the same way and one size never fits all with a struggling reader. My background and knowledge led me to puzzle over whether my knowledge of Reading Recovery could help these older children learn to read.


On the 31st of October 2022 Ofsted published a report: ‘Now the whole school is reading’: supporting struggling readers in secondary school – GOV.UK (


This report looks at successfully teaching older children to read in secondary school. The main findings were:

  • staff need to receive specialist training in teaching a child to read
  • schools need to accurately identify gaps in pupils reading knowledge
  • schools need clear procedures in place to monitor this teaching and its impact on struggling readers


Using my experience as a Reading Recovery Teacher and now a Teacher Leader I can offer secondary schools a package that will help them to give their struggling readers a chance to succeed and thrive in secondary school and the world. Using my knowledge, I have devised a programme called Literacy Skills for Secondary (LSFS)


The Literacy Skills for Secondary intervention is a bespoke programme for each individual child because every child is different, and every child should have the chance to learn to read and be taught in a way that suits them. The Teaching Assistants/ Teachers will receive a yearlong course, and, in that year, they will work with children daily and be supported and coached by me. I will teach them to accurately assess the children and identify the gaps in the children’s knowledge. I will track and observe each child and help the adult they are working with plan a bespoke programme to help the child close the attainment gap. By the end of the year, the adult will become a deeply knowledgeable reading expert for your school.


Please contact me at to discuss the intervention in more detail.

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