Renaissance Blog

Using granular data to drive progress and attainment

By Margaret Allen, Strategic Education Manager

Over the past few weeks I’ve been driving around the UK visiting schools who use Accelerated Reader and have been talking to them about how they are using data that’s derived from the Star tests… and as always, it’s got me thinking. Star reports are a bit like going on a car journey, and here’s why…

Essential Reading for Whole School Assessment…

By Margaret Allen, Strategic Education Manager

Having spent much of the last year visiting schools and spending time both in the classroom and with school leaders, a common theme began to emerge around the use of Star Assessments. While Star is widely used to support the Accelerated Reader programme, when I explained that it can actually play a much wider role […]

Guest Post: My teachers have more information than ever on learning and progress, and a lower workload

By Gary Alexander, Deputy Head Teacher

Following the abolition of National Curriculum Levels in 2014, Deputy Head Teacher Gary Alexander took the opportunity to innovate his school’s practice with Renaissance Star Assessments. In this post he details how he uses Star to assess reliably throughout the year and determine which students are on track to meet expectation.

Guest Post: A new lease of life in the school library

By V Dewhurst, Head of Library

Following their implementation of Renaissance Accelerated Reader, Queen Elizabeth Grammar School have seen huge improvements in library use and reading motivation, alongside increased opportunities for collaboration both within the school and across Lancashire.

Golden Oldies

By Margaret Allen, Strategic Education Manager

If you’ve read any of my recent blogs, you might have noticed that I believe picture books are vastly undervalued when it comes to the contribution they can make to supporting children’s reading development. So, as picture books appear to be a recurring theme as part of other blog topics, I thought it was about time I gave the ‘power of the picture’ book some dedicated ‘airtime’. With that in mind, I want to share with you ‘part one’ of my picture book series, where I’ve pulled together my top three list of ‘Golden Oldies’ along with some ideas as to how you could use them to support whole class reading.

Creating cross-curricular literacy links using Renaissance Accelerated Reader

By Lauren Shapiro, Senior Programme Manager

During my time at Renaissance, I’ve been fortunate to work very closely with the schools on our Renaissance School Partnership Programme. During my visits to these schools, similar questions and concerns emerged; Literacy Coordinators, who were responsible for Renaissance Accelerated Reader, wanted to find ways to embed its success across the curriculum.

Guest Post: Books and Boots at Millisle Primary School

By Ian McManus, Vice Principal

Millisle Primary School in Northern Ireland have introduced a new literacy scheme, monitoring reading achievement using Accelerated Reader and rewarding children with football coaching sessions from local team captain Jamie Linfield.

Access All Areas

By Margaret Allen, Strategic Education Manager

Access arrangements have hit the headlines recently, with the media focusing on ‘compare and contrast’ between independent and state schools. While the ratio for access arrangements is higher in independent schools, which has been attributed to ‘proper resourcing’ by the HMC, a group representing independent schools, Margaret Allen, Strategic Education Manager at Renaissance, believes that Star Assessments have a vital role to play in helping all schools to identify those children who need additional support.

What Kids Are Reading Awards 2017

By Renaissance UK,

At 3pm yesterday, whilst Doris was wreaking havoc across the UK scores of teachers, librarians, authors, publishers and a good helping of Renaissance staff were raising the roof at Sadler’s Wells for the launch of the 9th annual What Kids Are Reading report and 3rd annual awards.

How to: use AR quizzes as a backdrop for whole class reading

By Margaret Allen, Strategic Education Manager

As part of my role here at Renaissance UK, I’m very fortunate to be able to visit schools and spend time in the classroom working with primary teachers to explore exciting new ways that Renaissance Accelerated Reader can be used ‘beyond the norm’. A recent example of this saw us using the Accelerated Reader quizzes as a backdrop to whole class reading in KS1 and lower KS2. The response was quite simply phenomenal, so I just had to share the approach with other primary schools so you could try it too…

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