At All Saints Academy we believe that reading is fundamental. We want our students to be confident, fluent and enthusiastic readers who are able to employ a variety of strategies in their pursuit of meaning and knowledge acquisition. The ability to read well, speak fluently and write competently for a range of audiences and purposes across the curriculum is absolutely vital to a student’s academic and social success. Reading underpins our whole school curriculum, as a core life skill, that will enable our young people to flourish in the 21st Century.
Implementation: Accelerated Reader
As part of our commitment to ensuring that all students maximise their potential and are equipped to access the rigors of our curriculum, Years 7 and 8 are learning to use an online reading intervention programme called Accelerated Reader by Renaissance Learning.
How does Accelerated Reader Work?
In the final year of primary school, students’ ages typically match up with their "reading age". However, on entry to secondary school, it has been reported that children are either stagnating or falling behind on their reading age. The research found that this trend was reflected across the UK suggesting students do not continue to read with such vigour and challenge in secondary school. Accelerated Reader is a programme that ensures the right level of challenge to secure progress; this is how it will be implemented.
Students are assessed 4 times a year using a Star Test, this gives the student their Reading Age at each point and from this baseline we monitor their development;
The data from the test ascertains what level of book the student should be reading and they are given a bespoke reading range called their ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development – see the ‘A Parents’ Guide to Accelerated Reader’ document below for more details);
Using their reading range (ZPD) we help each student choose books; fiction or non-fiction (and even articles) which are most suitable for them;
Having read their chosen book, students are expected to quiz at least once every three weeks and achieve 85-95% - this shows they have fully understood the book and that it has the right level of challenge.
Students should not STAR test at home but they can quiz. They must only quiz on books they have read recently (watching a film adaptation will not help you at all!). Once students finish a book, they should aim to quiz within 48 hours. If your child chooses to quiz outside of school, it should be done independently and without the reading book in front of them.
As you will be aware, GCSE examinations have become more rigorous and demanding in recent years, particularly in relation to the wording and ‘readability’ of the questions. This is the case regardless of the subject; from Biology to History to DT. The Accelerated Reader programme develops your child’s reading age and ability to access a range of GCSE papers, thus boosting their confidence and chances of success.
How often should students read?
Research shows that reading for at least 20 minutes a day will have a positive impact on progress. In school, students have the opportunity to read and quiz during their designated library time after school until 4pm.
Tuesday : Lower School 3.10-4pm
Wednesday: All Year Groups3.15-4pm (Reading Leaders Meeting Time)
Thursday Lower School: 3.15-4pm
Friday Upper School: Study Zone 3.15-4pm
As with anything, performance improves with practice. Encourage your child to read at home and complete reading quizzes. Students can check the reading range of any books they read outside of our school library and whether there is a quiz at https://www.arbookfind.co.uk/. Parents can also check their child’s progress and growing bookshelf through ‘Home Connect’. Details of how to do this are also in the attached guide below. Students will be set a weekly homework in English to also encourage them to read and quiz.
In addition, a helpful guide about how to log onto a student’s personalised account can be found in our Media Section on the website under ‘Support Videos’.
Celebrating student achievement in Accelerated Reader
As students’ progress through the programme they are awarded certificates, starting at Ready Reader and progressing through to Star Reader. Each time they complete a quiz with a score of 85% or above they receive an Achievement Point.
We also have half-termly prizes for inter-tutor and house competitions and for our Millionaire Readers there will be a Head Teacher’s award! We will post our impact display as they grow!
Reading Leaders’ Programme
Y9, Y10 and Y11 students, mentor Y7 and Y8 students on a weekly basis to help them develop their reading skills. They help to embed the crucial reading skills such as: activating prior knowledge, predicting, synthesising information, comprehension and inference. The Reading Leaders are also an integral part of running the library, acting as role models and ensuring stock matches students’ interests and abilities. They produce a display with new books each month to promote current topics.