Assistant Head Teacher and Literacy Leader, Michelle Jeffery, explains the effect that the introduction of Accelerated Reader has had on attitudes towards reading at her school:
We’ve always found that students are reading well at our school. However, there were some questions over comprehension skills. In an attempt to further develop our students’ understanding of what they were reading, we decided to invest in Accelerated Reader. Our headteacher had used this programme at her previous school, and knew it could give us a deeper insight into our students’ reading habits and be an effective launch pad for us to measure and improve their comprehension skills.
“Every class at our school is a Renaissance Master Class, and we’re very proud to be a Master School too.”
At our school, fiction books are particularly popular, but we ensure we monitor every pupil’s reading to ensure they read an appropriate balance of fiction and non-fiction texts. Favourite authors at our school include David Walliams, Jacqueline Wilson and Roald Dahl, and the popular books are Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Tom Gates and Dog Man.
We have a ‘Wish List’ where the students request books for us to buy, as well as a ‘Coming Soon’ poster where students can sign up to be first on the list for when the new books arrive! We like to celebrate our students as much as we can, so we reward students who have read the most books and words with t-shirts and badges, which they love.
Since we started using AR, the reading culture at our school has changed dramatically. We found that reading is much more tangible, and students are visibly walking around reading. Our library is now a much busier and more popular place for students. Even in between classes, students can be found with their nose in a book. We can safely say that Accelerated Reader has made a great impact at our school.