← Return to Blogs

The Reading Pledge 2024: Drive Success in Primary Schools with PLD

Show your support by adding your name to the list of people who support an evidence-based action plan to get all children reading by the end of primary school by signing the pledge and follow #readingpledge on social media.

In 2024, the Reading Pledge was updated to extend its framework and guidance across both primary to secondary education. Five From Five and Learning Difficulties Australia collaborated to create the Reading Pledge which aims to ‘reduce to near zero the number of children who finish primary school unable to read, or who struggle with reading in secondary school’. Continue reading to learn how your school can use PLD to achieve the pledge’s goals.

In 2023, almost 90,000 Year 7 students were placed in the lowest two standards of reading proficiency. This reflects a system struggling to meet the needs of its students, a challenge the Reading Pledge aims to address.

“Thousands of children each year are being denied the basic right, most of whom are casualties of a system that has become accustomed to an unacceptable rate of failure” (Reading Pledge, 2024).

To achieve their goal the Reading Pledge provides four key areas schools need to action:

1. Evidence-based instruction of literacy for all students

Utilising an evidence-based approach to literacy instruction gives all students, including those with learning difficulties, the instruction and support they need to learn to read and spell. PLD is one of the programs recognised by the Reading Pledge as an evidence-based program for Foundation to Year 6.

2. Data-based decision making and progress monitoring

Teachers create effective teaching plans by utilising student’s data and monitoring their progress to determine ‘next steps’. PLD’s termly data collection and grouping of students according to their data ensures all teachers are practising data-informed teaching and decision making. The Reading Pledge recommends if students fail the Year 1 Phonics Check a standardised phonic decoding assessment and language assessment should be completed. 

3. Targeted intervention

The results of testing should be used to determine the subskill deficits that underlie a student’s reading difficulties and directly inform the intervention goals. 

PLD’s screening and tracking manuals provide teachers with the ability to investigate what pre-literacy skills (alphabet sounds, blending, and segmenting) may be impacting their ability to read and spell through the ‘Difficulties Acquiring Stage 1 Target 1-3’ tests. Teachers can then use this information to inform targeted goals for intervention. Refer to the Reading Pledge’s list of standardised assessments for a list of appropriate tests to investigate.

4. Use of the Response To Intervention (RTI) or Multi Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) model 

The RTI model should be used to deliver teaching/intervention at increasing levels of intensity (e.g., small groups and one-to-one setting). 

The Reading Pledge recommends students in Tier 2 are provided with the same or similar program which is used for Tier 1 instruction. However, students are given more opportunities to practise in small groups. Tier 2 students require more intensive instruction to progress and therefore, the Reading Pledge recommends these groups should be provided 4-5 times per week in addition to whole-class Tier 1 lessons all students receive. 

Early intervention at this level of intensity is designed to enable students to get ‘back on track’ and progress at a similar level to their classroom peers. Tier 2 support within the PLD program is ideally focused on their in class learning. A small group additional intervention session may be structured in this manner: 

1. Repeated reading of the phonic dictation passage aligned to the phonic concept students are learning.

2. Read and spell 4 words from the word list/dictation passage.

3. Complete dictation and provide corrective feedback to students.

Tier 3 intervention is described by the Reading Pledge as more intensive and tailored support. Students who continue to struggle despite at least 6 months of targeted intervention at Tier 2 stage will require more intensive instruction at the Tier 3 level. 

Show your support by adding your name to the list of people who support an evidence-based action plan to get all children reading by the end of primary school by signing the pledge and follow #readingpledge on social media. 

← Return to Blogs