Accelerated Reader is a program designed to boost achievement in literacy and across the curriculum. It does this by encouraging students to read regularly at exactly the right level, and by carefully monitoring every student’s individual progress. As a result student reading ages are boosted more quickly than normal.
When students join us in Year 7, they have different reading ages – roughly half have a reading age of up to 11 and the other half have a reading age of 11 and above.
Children with a reading age below their actual age sometimes stop reading fiction completely when they start secondary school. This means their reading age doesn’t improve and in some instances actually declines. When a student starts their GCSEs, if their reading age is below their actual age (pupils start year 10 at age 14 and above) it puts them at a real disadvantage. We want to help students during KS3 so that they have the best chance possible when they reach their GCSEs.
Most children – whether reading at, below or above their actual age – need encouragement to read. This encouragement needs to come from school and home. The motivation to read and the availability of a good range of books will encourage them to maintain a reading habit. Sometimes, as children get older it’s harder to set aside time to read and other interests take over but if school and home deliver the same message, then we can keep the pleasure of reading alive into adulthood.
We chose Accelerated Reader so that every child can reach their full potential and we know from seeing Accelerated Reader in other schools that it encourages and motivates students to read and enables teachers and parents to monitor students’ reading at KS3.
Being a good reader will help students in every area of the curriculum, not just English. Improving pupils’ ability to read and access texts at a higher level helps them to understand reading material in all subjects, especially when it comes to interpreting exam questions (this goes for Math’s too).
How does it work?
Students in Years 7, 8 and 9 have already begun the process and they will engage fully with the program at the beginning of the New Year.
First of all, every student in KS3 has already sat a short online reading test (STAR Reading Assessment) and this matches them to a range of books at exactly the right reading level – they then practice and consolidate their reading. Students should have their Accelerated Reader book with them at all times – just like they would have their pen, pencil or planner. This will become an integral part of SMART Start.
Our library stock has a wide range of books which have been labelled so that pupils can find reading material at their appropriate reading age. Pupils will be informed of their reading level and should be able to choose an appropriate book to suite their reading age and their interests. Once they have finished their book they can access the library and choose another book.
As soon as students finish a book, they take an on-line quiz which provides instant feedback for the students – and allows staff to monitor progress and pick up issues. There are rooms available at different times during the day to allow pupils to access these quizzes. Pupils are aiming to achieve 85% or above in each quiz they take. The higher the percentage scored the more they have understood the text. Success in the quizzes really depends on reading at the right level for each student to gain points – the emphasis is on regular reading practice.
In school students will have a 20 minute timetabled reading session each day but they are encouraged to read outside of these sessions and of course at home. The more a child reads the better. We would like parents and carers to support us by ensuring that you see your child reading their Accelerated Reader book at home for at least thirty minutes per week – look on it as an on-going homework task. If your child ever says “I’ve got no homework!” reply with “Yes, you have – you’ve got your Accelerated Reader book!”.
Rewards for reading include certificates and other incentives linked to the schools rewards scheme.
You could support us by reading a book at home in front of your child or talking to your child about the Accelerated Reader book they are reading…
Together, we can ensure your child becomes an accelerated reader.