“The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.”― Mark Twain
The Accelerated Reader Programme is in its third successful year here at the academy. Last year saw enormous gains in the reading ages of our students, and has had a positive impact on learning across the academy:
“You feel better when you read a book and go up a level as you know you are improving. There is also a wide variety of books because in our amazing library.” Maria, Year 8
“I think Accelerated Reader is great because it doesn’t just improve your reading, it also helps your English skills and it gives you a large range of books to read from lots of genres.” Charlie, Year 8
“The non-fiction section has got practically every subject so it is very helpful for learning areas other than just English.” Toby, Year 8
All Year 7 and 8 students, and two Year 9 classes take part in the programme. Students test at the beginning of the year and are given a ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development), which is a numbered level they can use to see what level of book they should be reading. They then go and find a book at that level (all books have their level on their spine) and start reading.
When students have finished their book they take a quiz. If they achieve a pass rate of 90% or 100%, or if they achieve a certain number of points, they collect a prize on the day. There is also a class competition; every time a student gets 90-100% or gets a certain number of points they put a sticker next to their name on the boards in our LRC. At the end of the module, the class with the most stickers wins a Pizza Party or Doughnut Party!
In the 2011-2012 Academic year, the reading age gains were fantastic: 21.9 months were gained by the Year 7 cohort, 26.7 months were gained by the Year 8 cohort; and 19.9 months were gained by the Year 9 cohort.
In the 2012-2013 Academic year, the Year 7 cohort gained 10 months overall with a 23 month gain for students with special educational needs. In the Year 8 cohort there was also a 16 month gain overall with an 11 month gain for students with special educational needs. In the Year 9 cohort there was an overall gain of 8 months with SEN students gaining 12 months. There was also a small group of Year 10 students who were supported through the programme and there was a gain of 8 months overall with 11 months for SEN students.
The programme continues to be a major component of our strategy to ensure all students are highly literate and able to be successful across the curriculum.