Renaissance Blog - Page 3

Guest Blog #2: Judy Grevett, Headteacher, River Beach Primary School

By Judy Grevett, Headteacher

In the second and final instalment of our current guest blog series, Judy Grevett, Headteacher at River Beach Primary School in Littlehampton, returns to finish her Accelerated Reader (AR) story so far and explains why: ‘Practice what you preach’ has played a pivotal role in embedding such a positive reading culture throughout the whole school…

Sharing is Caring

By Margaret Allen, Strategic Education Manager

In the last week alone I’ve visited a School Library Service (SLS) in Essex, a Teach Meet in Marloborough and joined a session with a Federation of Small Schools in Buckinghamshire. From each and every one of these I’ve taken away a top tip for sharing – which I want to share with you.

Guest Blog #1: Judy Grevett, Headteacher, River Beach Primary School

By Judy Grevett, Headteacher

After a successful short Ofsted inspection last month, Judy Grevett, Headteacher at River Beach Primary School in Littlehampton, has taken the time out to share some poignant learnings with us here at Renaissance Learning. With the development of a positive reading culture a topic very close to her heart, Judy has some touching advice on how to inspire a love for reading (even with the most reluctant readers). In Part 1 of her guest blog series, Judy shares her experience as to why: ‘Reading is a journey, not a destination…’

Testing times for pupils necessitates a re-think in our approach to primary assessment

By James Bell, Director of Professional Services

A recent piece of research published by the National Literacy Trust and Coventry University into the effectiveness of AR in improving children’s enjoyment of reading found that children who use the AR programme enjoy reading “quite a lot” more than those who do not (58% enjoy it compared with 51% who do not). This is significant as it shows that assessment, when implemented formatively, can help increase children’s enjoyment of learning and literature.

What reading level does a child need to have to read a piece of text?

By Margaret Allen, Strategic Education Manager

Level a piece of text and calculate the readability level? This free piece of software does just that. The ATOS readability formula is a research-proven tool to guide students to appropriate-level books. ATOS takes into account the most important predictors of text complexity—average sentence length, average word length, and word difficulty level. http://bit.ly/1Xos0LY 

How to: Accelerate Progress with Guided Reading

By Margaret Allen, Strategic Education Manager

More haste, less speed. It’s a well-known fact of life. But what about when you’re faced with a class full of primary children and a school-led directive on guided reading? All of a sudden the pressure of time and need to address mixed abilities compounds… and in my experience, it can leave you with an uncomfortable feeling in your stomach as to how you can possibly fit this in to the timetable, in a meaningful way that the children will also enjoy…

Guest post from Scream Street author Tommy Donbavand

By Tommy Donbavand, Author

On 10th March 2016, I was diagnosed with inoperable throat cancer, and my entire world turned upside down. For those of you who don’t know me – my name is Tommy Donbavand, and I’m the author of over 90 books for children and teenagers including the 13-title Scream Street series (now adapted for CBBC), Doctor Who: Shroud of Sorrow, Wolf, Uniform, Cyber Shock and dozens more books for reluctant and struggling readers of all ages. Most of them already quizzed for the Accelerated Reader scheme! I visit scores of schools, libraries and book festivals every year to teach creative writing and promote the love of reading for pleasure.

Cooking the books…

By Margaret Allen, Strategic Education Manager

A Recipe for: Reading for Pleasure

This is possibly one of the simplest yet most effective ways of encouraging children to read for pleasure… it’s also one of my favourites as it works equally well for all ages of Primary pupils. The key ingredient in the recipe is choice – the more diverse, the better. By giving children access to lots of different genres, both fiction and non-fiction, it helps them to explore their own preferences. How does that old saying go, ‘you’ll never know unless you try’… and it couldn’t be truer for younger readers. And that’s why this recipe is so great. It helps you to create a reading culture where books are not judged by their covers and encourages everybody to try something new. Including you!

What’s your story?

By Margaret Allen, Strategic Education Manager

I often reflect on how very fortunate I am to be working in education – first as a Primary teacher in the classroom followed by time in the corporate world helping schools to harness the power of technology to support learning…

More than a token gesture…

By Margaret Allen, Strategic Education Manager

With World Book Day (3rd March 2016) almost upon us, there are undoubtedly parents up and down the country conjuring up a literary costume for their children to be proud of… and teachers gearing up for a day of frenzied excitement in the classroom… but what happens after all the fun of the ‘big day’?


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