Renaissance Blog - Page 3

An Alternative to 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 […]

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’?

EEF launches nationwide effectiveness trial for Accelerated Reader

It was recently announced that the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) will be launching a full effectiveness trial of Accelerated Reader in 200 schools, involving 18,000 pupils in the project. This will be carried out as part of a £4m scheme, comprising of 6 different projects, involving 920 schools and over 48,000 students. The programme will […]

Reading Millionaires at Neston High School

Each student at Neston High School in year 7, 8 or 9 is enrolled onto the Accelerated Reader system. Students can log into this program in school or at home and log their reading progress and success. The librarian, Miss Pearson, along with the English department run this system in school to allow students to track their reading and stretch themselves academically. Amongst other data, the system counts how many words a students has read in each book they have read. The Reading millionaires have all read more than 1 million words since starting this academic year in September 2015.

A ‘Rolling Stone’ gathers no moss

By Margaret Allen, Strategic Education Manager

According to an old proverb; ‘A rolling stone gathers no moss.’ And in more recent times, it is the rock band, the Rolling Stones, that we have to thank for being ‘free to do what we want’…

So as the UK prepares to celebrate #librariesday on Saturday 6th February, I’m on a personal mission to encourage primary teachers to give children even greater reading freedom and in doing so, help ensure that they ‘gather no moss’ when it comes to reading development.

Renaissance Learning Accelerates Primary Reading at Bett 2016

Renaissance Learning, a world leader in cloud-based assessment, teaching and learning solutions, is bringing its flagship Accelerated Reader and STAR Reading products to BETT 2016 this week (Stand B50); to kick-start a 2016 programme which will support primary schools in address Assessment without Levels, encouraging reading for pleasure and meeting age-related expectations. Margaret Allen, Strategic […]


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