Top-rated programmes

Beginning reading

Educator's summary

As a PDF document

As web pages:
- Key findings
- Top-rated programmes
- Programmes with limited evidence
- Other programmes
- Review methods

Full report

As a PDF document (168 pages)

Strong Evidence of Effectiveness

At least two studies, one of which is a large randomised or randomised quasi-experimental study, or multiple smaller studies, with a sample size-weighted effect size of at least +0.20, and a collective sample size across all studies of 500 students or 20 classes.

Success for All
Provides schools with a reading curriculum for pupils aged 5-11 that focuses on phonemic awareness, phonics, comprehension, and vocabulary development, beginning with phonetically-controlled mini-books from the age of 5-7. Co-operative learning is extensively used with all ages. Tutoring is provided to struggling readers, and parent involvement is encouraged.
Type Curr + IP Available in UK Yes
Contact/ Website
(Product training provided)
Reading Reels
A form of multimedia used within the Success for All programme (see above), in which video content is embedded within teachers' lessons. Brief animation, puppet sketches, and live-action segments, about five minutes daily in total, model beginning reading strategies for children and teachers.
Type IP Available in UK Yes
Contact/ Website
(Product training provided)

Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies (PALS)
A technique in which children work in pairs, taking turns as teacher and learner, to learn a structured sequence of literacy skills, such as phonemic awareness, phonics, sound blending, passage reading, and story re-telling.
Type IP Available in UK No
Contact/ Website US website:

Moderate Evidence of Effectiveness

At least one randomised or two matched studies of any qualifying design, with a collective sample size of 250 students or 10 classes, and a weighted mean effect size of at least +0.20.