The Librarian Files: “We had a day long external SEND review”

By Denisha Polin

by Sharan Kaur and Denisha Polin

Sharan Kaur, a secondary school librarian, has been using Accelerated Reader and Star Reading for over a decade to help keep students engaged and on track with reading development. 

As the sole librarian in her school, the high-accountability role can be isolating and intense. That’s why we’ve invited Sharan to write a blog series for Renaissance covering a new topic each month: we hope this blog series will give other secondary school librarians practical tips for library reading engagement and tracking strategies. In addition, Sharan hopes this blog will provide some comfort to other school librarians. 

A confident and capable school librarian is integral to all students’ reading development.

Earlier this month, we caught up with Sharan where she detailed her experience delivering an unexpected SEND review.

“I was able to show how we support our SEND reading group. This consisted of explaining what Accelerated Reader is.”

*With Accelerated Reader, a student reads a book, takes an online quiz, and gets immediate feedback. Students respond to regular feedback and are motivated to make progress with their reading skills.

The ZPD Breakdown

* A child’s ZPD (The Zone of Proximal Development) defines the readability range within which they should read to best develop their reading ability, while avoiding frustration.

I explained how we have taught our students the value of Star Reading and Star Early Literacy and how this gets their ZPD, how ZPD is a recommendation of what they are good at, and reading regularly in their ZPD accelerates growth. Students know that their ZPD gives them a target and are aware of what to read and how much to read by the end of a given date range, whilst matching books to their current level.

myON in action

myON has a multipurpose at Cardinal Wiseman school. There are several features’ educators can utilise to overcome barriers, we benefit from:

  • access to thousands of titles
  • books with narration
  • books for EAL
  • the dictionary

Sharing feedback with students and motivating them through analysing their quiz scores

Explaining that feedback is consistent and regular, either through the diagnostics report or sharing the records, books and targets page, students know we are looking for accuracy, as well as engaged time. I was able to show how we use the instructional planning report in Star to inform other parts of the school on reading domain scores, suggested skills and focus skills to improve on.



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