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title readingrecovery
Reading Recovery is a research-based intervention with the prime goals of accelerating literacy learning and reducing reading and writing failure difficulties by targeting those students performing in the lowest 20% of Year One. 

It was developed in New Zealand by educator and psychologist Dame Marie Clay.  Clay used evidenced from her intensive research and observation of good classroom practice to develop Reading Recovery.

Reading Recovery was developed and trialled in New Zealand in the early 1980s. By 1988 it had reached national coverage in New Zealand and had expanded not just to Australia. It has also been adopted as an effective literacy intervention in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland, Bermuda and Denmark.

Reading Recovery implementation is systematic and comprehensive.  It encompasses professional development for teachers, a network of professional support for teachers and administrators, and a research and evaluation component to monitor program effectiveness and ensure accountability.  As a result, Reading Recovery has been heralded as a catalyst for change in literacy practices in schools.

Reading Recovery: 


  • identifies students experiencing reading and writing difficulties after their first year of school
  • provides an intensive, individually designed and individually delivered series of lessons for 30 minutes each day
  • is supplementary to the ongoing literacy activities in the classroom

The early years are critical for students who are at risk of failure, as this period sets the stage for later learning. Without such intervention, students often require expensive long-term intensive support and assistance. 

By intervening in Year 1, the second year of school, Reading Recovery can prevent a cycle of failure for students at risk and, through intensive daily instruction, generally brings the lowest literacy performers up to average classroom levels within as short a time as possible.

Reading Recovery’s goal is for students to fully participate in classroom activities with their average peers. 

Therefore, Reading Recovery is not a remedial reading program. Rather, it is based on early identification to prevent reading failure occurring.