Renaissance Learning Accelerates Primary Reading at Bett 2016

By Gareth Andrews

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 Education Manager for Primary Schools at Renaissance Learning, explains: “Accelerated Reader is already widely adopted in Secondary schools as a powerful tool for monitoring and managing independent reading practice and supporting intervention programmes. However, the recent changes to the national curriculum, more specifically Assessment without Levels, make Accelerated Reader more relevant for primary schools than ever before.”

“As a result, we’ve consulted our existing Primary customer base and worked with our own education specialists to evolve the solution. We’ve also established a new and dedicated team whose focus is to identify how we can further support Primary schools in the wake of change – from leadership level through to the classroom – whilst at the same time engendering a love for reading. In doing so, we’re well equipped to deliver a series of new user groups and school events throughout 2016 which are aimed exclusively at the Primary audience.”

The Accelerated Reader (AR) programme helps to inspire a love for reading in Primary pupils and motivates them to make progress. At the same time, AR gives Primary teachers valuable information so that they can monitor reading practice and make informed decisions on future learning.

At a leadership level, the insight and reporting available in AR makes it easier to track the impact of Pupil Premium funding while for parents, the free AR BookFinder tool ( is a quick and easy way to identify the right books for their child’s reading level.

A proven yet simple process, the child reads a book, takes an online quiz, and gets immediate feedback. With over 28,000 reading practice quizzes on books from more than 300 publishers and imprints, Accelerated Reader allows pupils to choose from a wealth of fiction and non-fiction titles – promoting reading for pleasure from a young age.

Accelerated Reader has made a hugely positive impact on our whole school family: children, staff and parents. It has established a reading culture that is thriving and the improvements in standards are evident through the data produced, but more importantly in the smiles of parents and children alike. A tremendous success.” – Principal, St. Peter’s Primary School, N. Ireland

While AR provides insight on pupil progress as a by-product of reading activity; STAR Reading is a computer-adaptive assessment which is designed to bridge the gap between assessment and learning. Administered on PCs or tablets, a STAR Assessment can be completed in approximately 20 minutes or less. Importantly for Primary schools, STAR Reading is aligned to the new national curriculum which provides a valid and robust method for assessing whether children are meeting age-related expectations.

Margaret concludes: “Primary schools have undergone a period of immense upheaval and change. On the one hand the new curriculum levels the playing field for pupil potential, but on the other hand has created its own challenges for school leaders and class teachers. By using Accelerated Reader and STAR Reading, these challenges become much easier to overcome. The tools also give greater piece of mind; especially as STAR Assessments have been found by over 50 independent research studies to be valid and reliable and in use by over one million children in Primary and Secondary schools across the UK and Ireland.”

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