Accelerated Reading

Pupils in all years are monitored on their reading with the use of Accelerated Reader and STAR reading systems.

Accelerated Reader (AR) produces an average of two years’ reading age growth in just one academic year while promoting reading for pleasure. It is a powerful tool for monitoring and managing independent reading practice. With AR, teachers can create a reading programme to meet the needs of every pupil. Using information generated by the software, teachers and librarians can help pupils to select books that are difficult enough to keep them challenged, but not too difficult to cause frustration. In addition, it helps teachers to monitor pupils’ vocabulary growth, literacy skills development and reading skills taught through other reading schemes.

The original intention was to roll out AR for Year 7 pupils only, but the success of the scheme led to a whole school uptake in 2014. Pupils visit the LRC once a fortnight for a dedicated reading lesson, although they are encouraged to complete the quizzes within 24 hours of finishing a book to achieve optimal results. If a pupil passes a quiz with 85% or more, they can choose a book higher up their identified ZPD range (Zone of Proximal Development).

Reading ages and number of words read by each pupil are monitored on a weekly basis to ensure pupils are using the AR system to their full potential. We encourage every child to read at home for pleasure, as well as academic development.

Click here to access the Accelerated Reader book finder

STAR Reading is a computer-adaptive assessment, using sophisticated item calibration and psychometrics to adjust dynamically to each child’s unique responses. The tests are taken termly to determine the reading age of each pupil and to monitor their progress.

The STAR reading assessment allows a personalised Zone of Proximal Development to be allocated to each pupil, encouraging them to read books within their ability range. Each book within the LRC is colour coded depending on the level of ZPD, allowing pupils to easily identify books within their range. This encourages pupils to take ownership of their own progress within independent reading.

The College encourages pupils to read for at least 20 minutes per day. However getting your child to do this can be difficult with all the modern distractions most young people have at their disposal.

Research carried out by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development on education and reading revealed that reading for pleasure as a teenager is the most important indicator of the future success of the child. So what can you do to help encourage your child to read?:

  • Be a positive role model for reading
  • Have lots of reading material at home
  • Make their bedroom a tech-free zone at bedtime - that means no phones/IPads/games consoles etc!
  • Take them to the local library
  • Allow them to choose their own books
  • Give your child a bookstore gift card as a birthday or Christmas present
  • Buy your child a book related to their interests
  • Declare a no-tech day