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Latest success stories from Renaissance Learning

How Star helped us become a full primary school

Southtown Primary School, Great Yarmouth

When we were preparing to transition from infant school to primary school, we decided to introduce Star Assessments. We’re really lucky to have a wonderful librarian who helps out a lot with Star and Accelerated Reader. The teacher workload has been minimal because she’s always making sure that the programmes work as they should! Star produces so much data, but we don’t feel overwhelmed.

– Susan Miles, Deputy Headteacher, Southtown Primary School

How we use Star in our school

We carry out Star tests with the children four times a year – once right at the beginning of the academic year in September and then at the end of every term. Obviously, it’s great at helping us find the children’s ZPD scores, to help them choose what to read, but the information and data it gives us are so valuable to help us see children’s progress too.

A valuable part of the picture

When we’re having our Pupil Progress Meetings, we can see and use the data that Star provides alongside other information to check where the children are up to and whether they’re likely to need intervention or not. It also helps us support the teachers, because we can see exactly who’s reading in which class, and the progress that they’re making. Having numbers and data makes it so much easier to see quickly what changes might need to be made.

Spotting trends in groups

We have a percentage of English as an Additional Language (EAL) students here at Southtown, and Star is great because it lets us look at the group as a whole entity, and see not only how the individual students are doing, but how they are improving compared to other non-EAL children.

Star from the outset

Because we began using Star at the same time as we brought KS2 pupils into the school, we don’t have any ‘pre-Star’ time to compare with. We’re very lucky to be able to have not known life as a primary school without Star, and as time goes on we know it will become more and more useful – for example, we can begin to look at Star data as a predictor for SATs scores, which is something that we haven’t started yet.

A consistent approach

I think Star and Accelerated Reader together give a consistent approach which is so valuable. Thanks to Star and Accelerated Reader, we know that our children are reading books that are challenging, but not too hard so they don’t understand them. Instead of the children getting any old book from the library, we can be confident that they’re reading material that’s appropriately challenging for them.


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