Team Up's new primary reading programme

Team Up's new primary reading programme

Teach First participant and curriculum developer Phoebe Rudgard introduces our new primary tuition programme in reading which launches this September.


Catherine Miller, Programme DirectorPosted by Catherine Miller, Programme Director Team on 17 August 2018

This Autumn, Team Up are launching their new primary tuition programme in reading for Year 6 pupils. I have spent the last few weeks working with the charity to develop a curriculum which aims to promote a keen interest in reading, build students’ confidence and ensure that they are well prepared for their SATs assessments in the summer term.

According to the Department for Education, in 2017, only 56% of children on free school meals achieved the expected standard in reading at the end of Key Stage Two. Team Up aim to address this stark gap in attainment, ensuring that pupils master reading fluency and basic comprehension skills in preparation for tackling more complex texts in Key Stage Three.  

After graduating from the University of Bristol in 2016, I began Teach First’s Leadership Development Programme, teaching Key Stage One pupils in a primary school in Essex. Many of my pupils came from lower income backgrounds; they had no books at home, parents often struggled to listen to them read due to long hours at work and temporary housing environments were not always conducive to learning. The barriers these children faced were having a clear impact on their academic progress, and so I developed strategies which used reading to build children’s confidence and increase their independence and vocabulary.

Alongside this, I saw the significant benefits that weekly Philosophy for Children (P4C) enquiries had for my class; our discussions covered topics ranging from fairness to dreams, and the pupils loved the opportunity to articulate their opinions and disagree with their peers. Books and images provided rich stimuli for an enquiry, and so increasingly I saw how a combination of reading and P4C were helping my pupils to make strong academic progress.

After finishing the Teach First programme in July, I was given the opportunity to bring my teaching experiences from Key Stage One to Team Up, where I have worked with Catherine Miller, Team Up’s Programme Director, to apply a similar approach to the Year 6 reading curriculum. Each session focuses on one of the key National Curriculum skills for reading, but also aims to engage students and promote discussion through mini P4C enquiries and games. The texts we have chosen intend to spark pupils’ interest in reading, through a wide range of both fiction and non-fiction, modern and traditional works.

During my time here I have heard countless success stories from primary schools across London, where pupils have already benefited from Team Up’s writing and maths programmes, building their confidence and raising their levels of attainment. Team Up now intend to use a motivating and imaginative programme to replicate this success in reading.


If you're interested in working with Team Up's inspirational role models to deliver reading tuition in your school, please contact