It is essential that all our students are able to access the full curriculum as they progress through the school. To ensure this happens they need to be secure in their reading and comprehension skills.
Accelerated Reader is a reading scheme designed to support our Key Stage 3 students as they become competent learners. A computer-based STAR test assessment gives each student a ZPD (reading range). This guides them towards books which they should find matches their current reading level but also challenges them to improve. Many students fail to enjoy reading because they either read books which do not require much effort, and therefore do not engage their interest, or they overestimate their current ability level and are overwhelmed by the text. Hopefully they will find that they are enjoying the titles they have chosen because they are at an appropriate level of difficulty.
Having read their chosen book they are able to quiz on it, both in school and at home. These quizzes test the student’s understanding of the text but also explore their ability to infer details and information from what they have read. If they have chosen well they should enjoy success in their quizzing. Over time we encourage our students to progress up their reading range but also to choose books of greater length so that they can build firm foundations to face the challenges of the curriculum In KS4 and beyond.
Throughout the year we recognise the achievement of our students, with certificates and rewards, as they reach their targets.
For many of our students the structure of the Accelerated Reader program is invaluable in helping them consolidate the skills they have already learnt while encouraging and supporting them in taking the next steps forward. For some this recognition of achievement, together with exposure to many different authors and genres, leads towards a lifetime of reading for pleasure.
We do not underestimate the importance of engaging our students’ parents and carers with this program. We offer our parents access to HomeConnect - a part of the program where you can see how your child is using the program. You can view their bookshelf to see what they are reading, see how well they are quizzing and also their progress towards their targets.
Each week every KS3 English class has a dedicated AR lesson in the library. The students have an extended period of time to read their book, they discuss their choices and progress with their teacher or the librarian and they undertake writing tasks designed to explore and expand their understanding of language and literature.
Please do not hesitate to contact the English Department with any AR questions or concerns.