Reading Recovery Software Package enhances teachers productivity

"The custom built database is simple and intuitive to use. It streamlines all aspects of the Reading Recovery data collection process. The strength of the package is that it uses 21st Century computing efficiency to save valuable teacher and tutor time without impinging on the integrity of the Reading Recovery program," said Michael Frith.

Reading Recovery is a research-based early intervention program to reduce reading and writing failure for students in Year 1. The program identifies students experiencing reading and writing difficulties after their first year of school and provides intensive one to one teaching for 30 minutes each day to supplement the ongoing literacy activities in the classroom.

In 2008, Michael Frith, Assistant Principal at Blaxland East Public School, began his training to become a Reading Recovery teacher. Michael was impressed by the program itself but noticed many inefficiencies in the way data was captured. Teachers would need to hand write, transcribe and record the same data on multiple forms, resulting in duplication and wasted time.

Michael quickly saw the need to streamline this process of capturing information, tracking progress and reporting, so began developing a custom database, using FileMaker as the platform.

Michael said: “The software package allows Reading Recovery teachers to work much more efficiently than with the paper based system. Each piece of information is entered only once, increasing teacher productivity, whilst, removing the possibility of unintentionally altering data through double handling.”

In 2010 the NSW Department of Education and Training commenced a state wide trial of the Software Package, initially with 330 training teachers participating. Trained Reading Recovery Teachers
were given the option to try the software or to continue handwriting their paperwork. By the end of 2010, an additional 500 trained Reading Recovery teachers had voluntarily joined the training teachers already using the database solution. In 2011, more than 1,000 Reading Recovery teachers across the state will be actively using the software package.

“The custom built database is simple and intuitive to use. It streamlines all aspects of the Reading Recovery data collection process. The strength of the package is that it uses 21st Century computing efficiency to save valuable teacher and tutor time without impinging on the integrity of the Reading Recovery program,” continued Michael.

“To me, the real success is that by greatly enhancing productivity, teachers and tutors have more time to concentrate on their core responsibility, teaching children to read and write,” Michael concluded.

For more information on the Reading Recovery Program Email: Michael.Frith@det.nsw.edu.au