Latest success stories from Renaissance Learning

“Ahead of expectations or well above them” – what Accelerated Reader did for Charlotte House

Charlotte House Preparatory School, Rickmansworth

Broadening horizons

In September 2018, we set up a new school library and decided, at the same time, to also begin a new approach to reading. We had encountered two main issues relating to reading that we were hoping to solve: one was that, whilst most children had developed a love of reading early on in their school careers, there was always a core group of children who had not. The second was that it was difficult for teachers to convince the parents of pupils who actually could decode well what level of book would be best for their child.

Accelerated Reader and Star Reading assessments have more than answered these two problems. Through regular quizzes, aiming to be a Word Millionaire or “Queen of Quizzes” in class has become a key motivating factor for the more reluctant readers. After a Star Reading test, the programme sets an individual target for each child: because of this, every child knows that their target is achievable. They all love being able to see their progress towards meeting it every time they finish a book and do a quiz!

The wide range and choice of books to read at the different levels has also broadened their view of what could be fun to read. In regular class discussions, children discuss enthusiastically what they’re reading and recommend authors and books to each other in a way which did not happen so much before.

Regular empirical evidence

Teachers now have regular empirical evidence to show children’s progress to parents as well as clear indications of the reading level at which they can comprehend the text. This enables staff to give advice about which authors and genres better matches the child’s ability, and, as a result, both parents and teachers can support the child more appropriately in finding something they’ll enjoy.

Following the introduction of the programme, the improvement of reading as shown by the Star Reading assessments across all year groups has been ahead of expectations or well above them. The growth reports, student record reports, and diagnostic reports all help teachers keep track easily and focus closely on the best way to help each child.

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