The good news:

  • Many more pupils are quizzing with Accelerated Reader.
  • Difficulty of books bounces about a little, but in general shows a slight upward trend.
  • The accuracy with which books are read is rising slightly, although less so in the upper years.
  • The accuracy of reading by low ability readers is rising slightly.
  • On average, boys are performing at lower levels of difficulty to girls.
  • Children read highly motivating books at a far higher level of difficulty, with accuracy.

The less good news:

  • There is a marked downturn in difficulty of books at secondary transfer. Although there are some signs that schools are addressing these issues, more needs to be done. Secondary teachers and librarians need to get better at encouraging children appropriately.
  • The difficulty even of highly motivating books declines in secondary school.
  • Struggling readers are seriously under-challenged, but their level of accuracy is low as well.
  • High-ability readers are seriously under-challenged in the secondary school.
  • Non-fiction readers are seriously under-challenged, especially in secondary school where they choose male-dominated books.
  • Year 7 pupils in Scotland who are still in primary school show a marked decline in difficulty. This raises the prospect that maturational factors rather than change in type of school are causative.