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Accelerated Reader Programme



 What is accelerated reader?

Accelerated Reader is a programme designed to boost achievement in literacy and across the curriculum. It does this by making students 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.


Why has John Ruskin School decided to use Accelerated Reader with Year 7 and Year 8 from September 2013?

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 or just over.

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 GCSE’s, if their reading age is below their actual age it puts them at a real disadvantage. We want to start helping students now so that their reading has improved by the time they reach KS4.

Every child – whether reading at, below or above their actual age – needs encouragement to read. This encouragement needs to come from school and home. The motivation to read and a good range of books will encourage them to retain 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 delver 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. Helping students to read with confidence should improve their chances at GCSE level too. 

How does it work? 

Students in Year 7 and Year 8 will begin the programme in September.

First of all, every student sits a short online reading test and this matches them to a range of books at exactly the right reading level – they then practise 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. Form tutors will check this at registration time.  

Every book in school now has a reading level so when they finish a book, they will be able to access the library and choose another one that has the appropriate reading age.

Students should be reading for a minimum of thirty minutes a day – most of this will be done in school, either at registration time, during English lessons or a ‘rolling programme of reading’ in other subject areas week by week.

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 on-going homework task. If you’re child ever says “I’ve got no homework!” reply with “Yes, you have – you’ve got to read your Accelerated Reader book!”

As soon as students finish a book, they take a fun on-line quiz which provides instant feedback for the students – and allows staff to monitor progress and pick up issues. The quizzes will be available in some English lessons and on certain days in the library before and after school and at lunchtime. If students succeed in the quiz, they can select a new book…

Success in a quiz is rewarded with points and the points received by each child depends on the number of words read.

Each book read is worth points – and points mean prizes! These rewards or treats will be for individuals and for sub-groups – like boys and girls, Brantwood and Thurston, Year 7 or Year 8, individual tutor groups. 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.  

Your child’s English teachers, the SENCO and learning support department and the school librarian will all have access to your child’s reading progress. This will be shared the students and parents too at appropriate times during the year.

We hope to make reading at John Ruskin School a day-to-day activity for students; to encourage them to read with stamina and enjoy books for pleasure…

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…

IW – JUNE 2013