Renaissance Blog

Guest Blog: Teaching can be a blind alley without accurate assessment

By Gary Alexander, Deputy Head Teacher

Teaching and learning is the core function of any school. We all know that without accurate assessment, teaching can be a bit of a blind alley and that we have to assess what the children already know, and then assess what they have learnt to be effective as educators. This is why for years teachers […]

Guest Blog #1: Going beyond AR with Star…

By Joe Neale, English Subject Leader

This eureka moment was the catalyst for introducing set assessment periods. This means all the children will now sit their Star tests at the same time, five times a year, which is recorded in Star as a designated ‘assessment period’. Now, that might sound like a tall task, but with the right planning and communication we’ve succeeded in completing our first whole school assessment for years two to six. It took us a month to do, which Star classes as an acceptable period to make the data accurately comparable. We’re now armed with some really powerful insights, which has been further enhanced by adjusting our benchmarks…

International Women’s Day 2018

By Kerry McGuire, Editorial Assistant

With International Women’s Day coming up this Thursday the 8th of March, we thought it was time to highlight a selection of books with Accelerated Reader quizzes, written by females and (most importantly) about females. You’ll find below a mixture of new publications as well as some older favourites. You’re probably aware that the theme […]

The 2018 Quiz Writers’ Choice Award winners revealed!

By Krista Culbertson, Assistant Editor

2018’s What Kids Are Reading event was a smashing success. We celebrated 10 years of our What Kids Are Reading report, which looks at the reading habits of school children. Also at the event, the two winners of the Quiz Writers’ Choice Award were announced. We had two astounding and very different winners this year. […]

WKAR Quiz Writers’ Award nominees for 2018!

By Krista Culbertson, Assistant Editor

Each year, the What Kids Are Reading report shows us the book-reading habits of students across the United Kingdom. We can see which books are most popular in every year group, and which are the most highly rated by students. Sometimes, though, the most exciting new books don’t reach the top of the list in […]

KS2: Years 3 and 4 Non-fiction

By Kerry McGuire, Editorial Assistant

Happy New Year from the Content team! We are kicking off 2018 with the second non-fiction blog. This time we wish to highlight a selection of recently-quizzed books relevant to Year 3 and 4 pupils, based on Key Stage 2 topics from the National Curriculum. You can find these, along with all other books we […]

Guest Post: Why data can help you find the story…

By Chris Thomas, Acting Deputy Head

Like every other school in England, the removal of levels left the leadership team at Herne Bay Junior School, Kent, with the challenge of how to accurately track pupil progress without creating a mountain of paperwork that would drown teaching staff… having found a robust and reliable solution in Star Assessments, Acting Deputy Head, Chris […]

It was on a Star-ry Night…

By Margaret Allen, Strategic Education Manager

The Christmas carol concert season is in full swing which has inspired me to make a token gesture at a parody: It was on a Star-ry night When assessment shone so bright It was easy screening Screening calm and still… Then in a click or two We delved in deeper too All the reports are […]

Non-fiction AR quizzes are important too!

By Kerry McGuire, Editorial Assistant

Welcome to the first curriculum based non-fiction blog! I am sure that when you check your students’ Accelerated Reader quiz results, you notice that the number of fiction quizzes taken greatly outweighs the non-fiction. Here at Renaissance, we would like to address this imbalance. Quizzing non-fiction can be a fun way for students to revise […]

Reading as a precursor to Assessment

By Margaret Allen, Strategic Education Manager

We wouldn’t ask a child to run before they can walk… so why would we ask them to sit an assessment if they don’t have the reading skills to be able to decode what is being asked of them?
Well, in primary schools we wouldn’t dream of this. But when reading is one of the hardest skills to assess objectively, how do we truly know what level of reading comprehension a child possesses?

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