Evidence of Support and Intervention with the Complete Literacy Solution
Finham Park 2, Coventry, England
Finham Park 2, part of the Finham Park Multi-Academy Trust, have been using Accelerated Reader and Star Reading since 2017 to support their reading development strategy across Key-Stage 3 and the transition into Key-Stage 4. In addition, in 2020, the school implemented myON the Digital Library, from Renaissance to support reading engagement for all students while learning at home. Since then the school has continued to utilise The Complete Literacy Solution to support classroom-based learning.
We spoke to School Librarian Jo Kerr about why the Complete Literacy Solution from Renaissance is crucial in supporting the school’s wider reading development strategy, particularly for cross-curricular gains.
Once a week, I go around with the ‘myON trolley’, a trolley full of iPads for students to access their myON accounts. Once students are logged in to myON, they can choose to read one of the thousands of online digital texts and also take a quiz on that myON book or the current book they’re reading via Accelerated Reader thus demonstrating their understanding of the text.
The myON trolley is a once a week treat for students. They will be reading from hard-copy books throughout the rest of the week and completing their Accelerated Reader (AR) quizzes on the designated library computers, in their break or lunchtimes or before or after school They can also access myON and AR at home.
We’ve introduced a three-tiered system of bronze, silver and gold awards for students to work towards which are awarded based on words or books read and only if the student has achieved the 80% required ‘pass rate’ on these books.
We have a massively diverse cohort. 50% of the cohort comes from within one mile of the school, in one of England’s top 10% areas of deprivation. The other 50% comes from outside of the one-mile boundary, incorporating some of the most affluent areas of Coventry. Because of this vastly diverse catchment area, the attitudes to reading can be very mixed. Not all pupils have been brought up with books in their home with an experience of a daily reading routine.
“Our students are performing so well in our reading reward programme thanks to Accelerated Reader and myON.”
Our students are performing so well in our reading awards programme thanks to Accelerated Reader and myON. As a result, we’ve had to introduce two new tiers to the reward system, including master and master plus!
We offer many incentives for students to meet their reading targets and go above and beyond the basics. For example, if a student achieves gold tier or above, they get to go on a special school trip with all the other high flyers, with destinations including Harry Potter world and the British Library.
“The great thing about rewarding students based on either total words or books read is that any student can achieve each week.”
The great thing about rewarding students based on their either total words or books read is that any student can achieve each week, not just the most comfortable or proficient readers.
Since we introduced myON to the school, which gives our students considerably more access to reading and different texts, both within and outside of school it’s not hard to achieve the top tiers of my award scheme. Plus, it helps that thanks to the engaging features of AR and myON, our students have really bought into this new, highly ambitious reading culture throughout the school.
“AR and myON make reading targets attainable.”
AR and myON make reading targets attainable. Especially for those students who wouldn’t normally consider themselves as being up for achieving an award in reading. This greatly helps keep students motivated to develop their reading proficiency.
When students are in their mentor time, they have the opportunity to take an AR quiz on the book they’ve most recently finished. And, during mentor time, if a student passes their quiz, they get an instant chocolate reward, which is an excellent incentive for them to properly comprehend the text they’ve just finished as they must demonstrate this understanding to pass the quiz!
Since introducing the Complete Literacy Solution to Finham Park 2, I’ve noticed lots of students choosing to read books in their own time who wouldn’t have done before, something that would never have been seen before these incentives and motivators!
“The data from our termly Star Reading assessment provide valuable insight into each student’s reading understanding and ability or group of students.”
The data from our termly Star Reading assessment provide valuable insight into each student’s reading understanding and ability. For example, our SEND department finds Star Reading assessments especially useful for identifying how much intervention each student requires to help improve their literacy and therefore better access all areas of the curriculum.
Across the school, we’ve instilled an ethos that good reading equals success across the curriculum. If students can’t read well in general, they are more likely to struggle reading questions or texts in maths, science, or any other subject!
We’ve drilled down on intervention within our English specialist teaching system. Based on the evidence provided from AR and Star Reading data, we’ve since acknowledged that more cross-curricular progress is evident where AR and myON are used to support intervention.
“The reliable and detailed progress data from our four Star Reading assessments conducted throughout the year help us identify barriers to reading enjoyment such as dyslexia.”
The reliable and detailed progress data from our four Star Reading assessments conducted throughout the year help us identify barriers to reading enjoyment such as dyslexia and help us to support pupils where English is not their first language.
We can use the accurate data from Star Reading to see which students need support in specific areas of reading such as comprehension, vocabulary acquisition or SpaG and subsequently offer them the necessary intervention pitched at just the right level.
As a school, we’re always trying to do our best to improve the reading culture and reading success for all students. We’re not quite perfect yet, but we can see that the Complete Literacy Solution from Renaissance undoubtedly impacts.
For example, AR has already had a significant impact on reading perceptions and progress for students, which has been acknowledged in our most recent Ofsted inspection report.
“Ofsted wants to see that we’re aware of the students that need more support and how we do support them. With the reports from AR and Star Reading, we now have this crucial evidence. “
Ofsted wants to see that we’re aware of the students that need more support and how we do support them. With the reports from AR and Star Reading, we now have this crucial evidence.
Accelerated Reader doesn’t have to be labour intensive at all. In fact, with AR, students become self-motivated and take ownership of their own reading development and attainment.
As always, incentives help make this self-motivation! for instance, our year elevens prepared a three-course meal, and the top AR readers throughout the school go to dine with them in the library – very exclusive!
Accelerated Reader allows us to think outside the box when it comes to incentivising students with all sorts of different interests and ability levels. We just need to think about why this student or group of students would want to take an AR quiz and how we can give them a sense of achievement if they score well.
We now have plenty of AR and myON displays throughout the school to ensure students and staff have their own reading development in the back of their mind at all times. Many teachers in Key-Stage 3 are now setting homework with myON projects.
“Even cross-curricular teachers know that they can find appropriate texts for their respective subjects, such as geography or history, in myON’s online digital library stocked full of informative non-fiction texts.”
Even cross-curricular teachers know that they can find appropriate texts for their respective subjects, such as geography or history, in myON’s online digital library stocked full of informative non-fiction texts.
More teachers are engaging with and embedding myON in their lessons now. Plus, they can report on or print out progress data for their students reading to see how well students have understood non-fiction cross-curricular texts.
Reading isn’t a standalone skill; it is integral to all students learning across all subjects, which is why the Complete Literacy Solution from Renaissance is so vital to our whole school reading development strategy.