"Every child deserves the chance to become a reader. For many children, including those growing up in a household where reading is not valued, school will be the key place where they come into contact with books. Children who are not introduced to books are missing out on a lifetime of enjoyment." (Building an Outstanding Reading School, Oxford School Improvement)
What is Accelerated Reader?
AR is part of the Renaissance Reading software package recently adopted by the school to encourage and improve reading, measure growth of the individual reader and to provide quality reading for all. It allows for personalised learning targets to be set up and for progress to be easily monitored. This short guide explains the system so that families can support children with their reading.
The pupil will choose a book at their own level and read it at their own pace. When finished, they will take a short quiz on the computer in school. Passing the quiz is an indication that your child has understood the book and is developing the different reading domain skills too.
AR gives both children and teachers feedback based on the quiz results, which the teacher then uses to help set individual goals and direct ongoing reading practice.
AR is used as part of a comprehensive reading programme in place at Our Lady and St Brendan's Catholic Primary School for children in Key Stage 2 and those in KS1 who have mastered the Little Wandle Phonics Scheme. While we continue to teach the skills of reading in class through guided reading lessons and whole class texts, the AR books chosen by your child will provide them with the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills they have developed.
Pupils using AR are encouraged to progress at their own pace and they have personalised targets based on their reading ability. The aim of AR is for all children to succeed in achieving their targets and to motivate pupils to read and enjoy the books they access.
What are STAR Reading Tests?
Every child taking part in AR will complete a STAR reading test at the beginning of the year and at the end of each half-term. It is a twenty minute multiple choice reading assessment completed individually on the computer. Questions continually adjust to the child’s responses so if their response is correct, the difficulty level is increased. If they miss a question or give an incorrect answer, the difficulty level is reduced.
The STAR reading test, along with teacher judgement assists us in identifying a child’s ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development) range.
What is a Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD)?
After a child takes a STAR reading test, the teacher will assess the results and give them a ZPD reading range. The range aims to challenge a child without causing frustration or loss of motivation.
Your child will know their range and the books they should be choosing and this is also detailed on the bookmark that the children take home each day. A ZPD can change throughout the year based on STAR reading tests, professional judgement and quiz results.
To ensure children experience success from the outset they begin each year by taking books at the lower end of their ZPD range.
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