First Model Project Managers of 2014/15 awarded

By Chris Jarosh

Photos of Mary-Jane King, Eileen Bolton and their programme managers

Congratulations to Mary-Jane King and Eileen Bolton, who have become the first Model Project Managers of the 2014/15 academic year! They were presented with plaques marking their success at the recent What Kids Are Reading Awards ceremony aboard a boat on the Thames.

Model Project Manager status is part of the Certification scheme that schools become eligible for as they meet the research-based excellence criteria for Accelerated Reader best practices. Each class becomes eligible for Model Class status as criteria for participation, engaged time and average per cent correct are met. Classes meeting these standards are in the best position to make accelerated growth in students’ reading ages. To recognise their success, students receive a lapel badge each and teachers receive a coveted Model Class mug.

Achieving success with RSP

Both of the schools awarded plaques for their Certification success are part of the Renaissance School Partnership (RSP) programme. Mary-Jane and Eileen have worked with their RSP programme managers (right, above) to meet the excellence standards in each of their AR classes, and have received guidance and training towards these goals as part of the programme.

Eileen Bolton (centre, above) is the AR co-ordinator at Duke’s Aldridge Academy (formerly Northumberland Park Community School) in North East London. She has made Certification an integral part of the implementation of Accelerated Reader. She has encouraged healthy competition between classes as they have striven to make Model Class status the quickest, finding that teachers are as enthusiastic for the recognition as students are. Commenting on her award, Eileen said:

We’re really pleased with our success with Accelerated Reader so far. To achieve Model Project Manager in such a short space of time with our Year 7 cohort is a great testament to their English teachers, form tutors and of course the students themselves.

Excellent progress at East Point

Mary-Jane King (left, above) is the literacy lead at East Point Academy in Lowestoft, Suffolk. She has worked with her programme manager to train each member of staff in diagnosing problems with students who have not been achieving their potential with AR. Using personalised feedback from AR and the intrinsic motivation of working towards Model Class status, Mary-Jane has helped to guide members of staff towards an excellent quality of implementation.

Because over 75% of classes using the programme have reached Model Class standard, East Point Academy has been awarded Model School status in addition to Mary-Jane’s Model Project Manager award. “We’re all very proud of the pupils’ fantastic achievement,” Mary-Jane said. “I am consistently impressed by the enthusiasm and commitment to reading from the pupils and staff at East Point Academy.”

Students at East Point Academy have seen excellent growth in their reading ages so far this year. The school has seen an average of eight months’ growth in reading ages for the three months September – December. This remarkable achievement demonstrates how the ongoing training staff have received is helping them to implement AR successfully, with clear benefits for their students’ learning. Read East Point Academy’s success story to find out more about the progress students are making under the RSP programme.

East Point Academy reading age growth September to December 2014 by class

How to work towards Certification

As these schools have found, Certification is a highly effective way to embed best practices into AR classrooms. You can find out more about Certification at, where you can also see an Honour Roll of classes that have achieved Certification status this academic year. Lauren Shapiro, the Senior Programme Manager responsible for overseeing the RSP programme, has put together a useful how-to guide for schools new to Certification: Top tips for achieving Model and Master Class Certification… from teachers and librarians who have done so.

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