Power of Reading in the Early Years research project findings published
Power of Reading in the Early Years

Power of Reading in the Early Years

Funded by the Mercers’ Company, the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education in partnership with Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, the Institute for Employment Studies  and the Sutton Trust, publishes its research on the Power of Reading in the Early Years. The research project, which spanned three years, focused on improving young children’s communication and language development in early years settings and reducing the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers and built on CLPE’s evidence-based Power of Reading programme with its emphasis on quality texts.    

32 schools from three London boroughs, with high indicators of social deprivation took part, and the research reached 88 teachers and 1,461 reception and nursery pupils.

Key Findings:

  • Early Years teachers benefit from a specifically designed, resourced and sustained professional development programme aimed at increasing both content and pedagogical subject knowledge.
  • Reading, revisiting and responding to a high-quality text over a sustained period improves communication and language development and supports authentic writing processes and opportunities.
  • Book ownership increases parental engagement and opportunity for home reading experiences as well as building reader identity.
  • Social reading experiences of a wide range of quality texts at home and school increases children’s enthusiasm and motivation as independent readers.
  • Active approaches to storytelling support children to engage independently in imaginative play and storymaking and better understand narrative structures, characters and themes.
  • Children are more engaged by high quality texts with strong human themes, especially those in which they see themselves reflected in the characters or story worlds.
  • Poetry is integral to early language and literacy development.

For further information on the Power of Reading in the Early Years see the full report.

Learn more about the Mercers’ Company Young People & Education Programme here.