Condition category
Not Applicable
Date applied
Date assigned
Last edited
Retrospectively registered
Overall trial status
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
Rhythm for Reading is a ten-week course of weekly ten-minute lessons in which children take part in rhythm-based exercises while reading musical notation. The sessions are delivered by specialists who will later train teachers. The programme was designed by Marion Long. Rhythm for Reading is being tried in order to see whether the programme can improve the reading ability of Year 7 students who have low literacy and/or reading abilities. Should this research discover that Rhythm for Reading is a successful method, then it is hoped that the scheme will be offered to other pupils within the school, as well as hopefully being rolled out to other schools in the future.

Who can participate?
Year 7 students with suitably poor reading/literacy skills can participate in this study.

What does the study involve?
Participants sat a reading ability test in March/April 2013, before being randomly allocated to either attend Rhythm for Reading sessions or to carry on with their normal school curriculum. In July 2013, the students will sit another reading test to find out whether the programme has improved reading/literacy levels above and beyond the improvement gained by the standard curriculum.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
The main benefit to taking part is the chance for pupils to be involved in a new scheme that intends to improve their literacy and reading abilities. There are few disadvantages and risks. The reading and spelling assessments do take a little time to complete but we will ensure they cause minimal disruption to your child’s school work. The assessments may feel challenging and some children may feel a little self-conscious about completing them (for example, if their reading is not as good as they would like it to be). However, all results will remain confidential to the research team and test administrators try to put the participants at their ease throughout.

Where is the study run from?
Six secondary schools in South East London, UK can participate in this study.

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
The study began in December 2012, with the final report due in October 2013.

Who is funding the study?
It is being funded by the Education Endowment Foundation, UK.

Who is the main contact?
Dr Ben Styles

Trial website

Contact information



Primary contact

Dr Ben Styles


Contact details

National Foundation for Educational Research
The Mere
Upton Park
United Kingdom
01753 637386

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number number

Protocol/serial number


Study information

Scientific title

Randomised trial of the “Rhythm for Reading” programme for 11-12 year olds considered to be ‘vulnerable’ Level 4 English achievers



Study hypothesis

Does the use of the “Rhythm for Reading” scheme improve reading ability in 11 and 12 year-olds with low reading ability.

Ethics approval

The pattern of headteacher consent followed by parental opt-out consent was approved by Sarah on behalf of the Code of Practice Committee on 23rd Jan 2013

Study design

Randomised trial with baseline and follow-up reading test

Primary study design


Secondary study design

Randomised controlled trial

Trial setting


Trial type

Quality of life

Patient information sheet

Not available in web format; please use the contact details below to request participant information sheet and parental consent letter


Struggling readers/low literacy levels


The project will be run as a randomised controlled trial, with a minimum of 400 individual Year 7 pupils across 6 South East London secondary schools randomly assigned to two groups – Rhythm for Reading (treatment group) or standard English curriculum (control group). It will focus on the weakest readers. Children will be extracted from classes and taught in groups of 10 for 10 minutes, once a week. Children in the treatment group received the intervention between April and July 2013, whilst the control group carried on with their normal English lessons. All pupils will be tested using the NGRT at baseline (March/April 2013) and at follow-up (July 2013).

Intervention type



Not Applicable

Drug names

Primary outcome measures

Overall reading ability [as measured by the New Group Reading Test (NGRT)]
Both primary and secondary measures come from the NGRT. This was administered to all pupils in the study twice, once in late March/early April 2013, the follow-up in July 2013

Secondary outcome measures

1. Reading ability (NGRT subsection)
2. Reading comprehension (NGRT subsection)

Both primary and secondary measures come from the NGRT. This was administered to all pupils in the study twice, once in late March/early April 2013, the follow-up in July 2013

Overall trial start date


Overall trial end date


Reason abandoned


Participant inclusion criteria

Year 7 Pupils that were below National Curriculum level 4 in English and/or below level 4 in reading at the end of Key Stage 2. If necessary for sample size, low level 4 readers will also be included.

Participant type


Age group




Target number of participants

400 minimum

Participant exclusion criteria

Year 7 pupils with National Curriculum level 4 or above in English and reading. Parental opt-out.

Recruitment start date


Recruitment end date



Countries of recruitment

United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

National Foundation for Educational Research
United Kingdom

Sponsor information


Education Endowment Foundation (UK)

Sponsor details

c/o Camilla Nevill
Millbank Tower
21-24 Millbank
United Kingdom

Sponsor type




Funder type


Funder name

Education Endowment Foundation (UK)

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype


Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

Not provided at time of registration

Intention to publish date

Participant level data

Not provided at time of registration

Results - basic reporting

Publication summary

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes