Accelerated Reader at Wilmington Academy
“When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did when I was young.” – Maya Angelou
The Accelerated Reader Programme is one of our main reading interventions to improve literacy at Wilmington Academy. Accelerated Reader is a very successful programme because it is designed to meet the reading needs of every individual student. Out of the 16,000 books in our library, reading books are selected to meet individual levels and through the programme, we are able to monitor student progress throughout the academic year. Each year we see fantastic gains in the reading ages of our students, having a positive impact on learning across all subjects in the academy.
All Year 7 and 8 students participate in the programme. Students are assessed at the beginning of the year to determine their ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development), which is their personalised reading range. Reading and quizzing usually start at the lower level and students then work their way up to the higher level. Every student reads a book of their choice at the correct level for their ability. KS3 students have a designated one hour lesson of AR each week in the LRC.
Every book in the library which is included in the scheme, has been labelled with a book level and colour coded to assist students in their choice. Once students have chosen a book at their level, they engage in reading it first, then a quiz is taken. Passing the quiz is an indication that they have understood what they have read and their results will determine whether they can move up in their reading level.
At regular intervals in the academic year,we test students through the STAR test (Standardized Testing And Reading). This tests the chronological reading age of each student when they commence the year, during the school year and at the end of the school year to enable us to closely monitor any changes to their reading ability.
Year 7 and 8 Parents – Are you confused about the reading books your children are bringing home to read for Accelerated Reader? Please click on the link below the picture which helps explain the STAR tests and Accelerated Reader Programme.
myOn Online Platform
“One technology doesn’t replace another, it complements. Books are no more threatened by Kindle than stairs by elevators.” – Stephen Fry.
In 2020, during the pandemic, we launched our new online digital library myON and since then , our student engagement has gone from strength to strength.
myON, is a new digital platform which allows our students unlimited access to thousands of enhanced digital books. This forms an integral part of our commitment to support home learning, to increase student engagement and to further develop reading skills in our students especially in the present climate of uncertainty.
MyON is a significant part of our school’s digital strategy allowing access to a ‘24/7 student -centred personalised literacy platform which matches students with the right book and at the right reading level based on their interests.’ This has enabled our students to access a digital library of 7000+ books and age-appropriate news articles all year round. In 2020, our students engaged with over 10,441 books using myON! Furthemore, myON also offers fabulous features like the ‘Daily News’ Articles’ which can be translated into French and Spanish to support the close reading skills of our students as well. Moreover,the platform allows staff to remotely set reading and writing projects and MyON also offers an exciting homework feature as well.
At Wilmington, we have firmly embedded the Accelerated Reader ethos over a period of many years, so we are now able to link myON to the pupils’ ZPD ( the child’s ZPD defines the readability range from which they should be selecting books in order to achieve optimal growth in reading skills without experiencing any frustration) so students can continue to enjoy quizzing and earning points. With MYON, our students can have pages, sentences or words read to them. Subsequently, they also look up words they do not understand and highlight and annotate passages. Each book contains discussion questions and writing prompts which support their progress with reading.
MyON has allowed our students to flourish both in and out of the classroom and we look forward to continuing on our digital journey as we embrace the future of reading at Wilmington Academy!
“To understand their world we must be willing to immerse ourselves in that world. We must embrace the new digital reality. If we can’t relate, if we don’t get it, we won’t be able to make schools relevant to the current and future needs of the digital generation.” – Ian Jukes