Boosting Confidence in Reading with myON the Digital Library
Lyng Hall School, Coventry
Lyng Hall School has been using Accelerated Reader and Star Reading since 2017 to support reading engagement and understanding for pupils across Key Stage 3. In 2020, the school introduced myON the Digital Library from Renaissance to provide broader access to different types of texts on any digital device, at any time!
We spoke to Deputy Director of Learning for English and Whole School Reading Coordinator Stepheni about the impact that myON has made on students’ confidence in reading both at home and in the classroom.
“myON projects allowed us to discover texts relating to specific topics and assign them to students for further reading.”
When we heard about Renaissance’s new digital library, myON, it seemed like a good decision to invest in myON to support further reading access for our students as we have a small library but lots of IT tech. Having a digital library with an abundance of additional texts is invaluable.
Initially, we introduced myON to the school to support reading engagement and assign projects throughout the periods of remote learning due to the lockdown.
Throughout 2020 – 2021 we focussed heavily on improving pupils’ cultural capital. myON projects allowed us to discover texts relating to these specific topics and assign them to students for further reading, discussion, and homework.
Similarly, we’ve found myON equally as valuable as a resource for classroom-based learning. For example, with myON, we know all pupils with access to a digital device can read the current class book to support guided reading together.
As a pre-reading school, teachers in other subjects also use myON to support learning, including Science and Geography. In addition, the cross-curricular subject teachers can discover a range of non-fiction texts to aid their lesson content and provide further understanding.
Since pupils returned to full capacity in 2021, we’ve used myON as essential textbook support for subjects whereby if students have a question about a topic or if the teacher delegates a question to research or answer, myON acts as a useful encyclopedic tool.
“We’ve even discovered some core texts on myON, including Christmas Carol and Macbeth.”
We’ve even discovered some core texts on myON, including Christmas Carol and Macbeth, which supports English lessons in class and assign further reading and homework in between lessons.
We hold fortnightly library lessons with Year 7, and during these lessons, students are free to utilise myON or Accelerated Reader to read and quiz on their completed books at their leisure. We’ve found that healthy competitive quizzing on books on Accelerated Reader and myON support reading for pleasure.
In addition, as a result of our fortnightly library lessons, we’ve found students want to read more at home on myON and use their library lessons to complete their Accelerated Reader quizzes or choose a new book.
I’ve seen for myself that students elect to use myON the digital library over hard copy books because they’ve grown up with digital devices and feel more comfortable with reading via a device.
“With myON on every device, no book looks intimidating.”
In some cases, I’ve seen students being dissuaded by reading due to a thick hard copy book that looks intimidating. But, with myON on every device, no book looks intimidating; instead, they appear engaging and interactive, which students love.
As a result of the success of library lessons, we’ve also set up a library lunch club giving students more time to read and quiz. The vast majority of students who attend the library lunch club participate on their own free will; such is their enthusiasm for reading!
Most students who attend the library lunch club are in the bottom sets for English. This period gives me a chance to talk one to one with students to ask about their interests and explore their passions to encourage reading different texts to keep them engaged in reading.
We’ve subsequently set up a positive reading culture around the school to encourage pupils to read more and quiz more. There are now loads of posters around the school with QR codes printed on them, allowing pupils to scan these codes on their devices to find different books on myON.
Every half-term, we celebrate students success with reading. We hand out certificates to students who’ve made the most progress and the number of words read.
By commemorating these metrics, we can share the success of all pupils, not just the strongest readers, every week. So we focus on a celebration of progress rather than strictly success.
“[Star Reading] Data provides valuable insight into students’ progress and even help staff allocate set changes.”
Students also carry out their Star Reading assessments every half term, which are extremely useful for staff as the data provides valuable insight into students’ progress and even help staff allocate set changes.
We’ve found that Reading Age data from Star Reading is a significant indicator of students’ ability and, subsequently, what set they need to be in. The data from Star Reading also heavily support our subsequent intervention strategies to support the students making the least progress.
As a result, we’ve set up several intervention strategies in the school. We have literacy leaders who are KS4 students and sixth-formers who read with young students that Star Reading assessments identify as needing urgent intervention. They sit and read with them once a week and test their comprehension skills to better their independence when reading alone.
In addition, we also support pupils in need of urgent intervention by utilising Accelerated Reader, myOn and PiXL stamina exercises. The combination of these strategies and 1:1 reading time with literacy leaders has shown positive outcomes for students between their half-termly Star Reading assessments, which the progress data corroborates.
One student in particular who took part in both strategies improved their reading age by a whole year in just seven months. We found that this has a lot to do with confidence. The more reading they do each week with literacy leaders and the more quizzes they take on Accelerated Reader; eventually, they feel comfortable and confident with reading.
Literacy Leaders fits into the long-running initiative that we’ve labelled ‘the sixth period’, an extra hour at the end of the day where students can come to read with Associate Teachers to take advantage of more time to read and quiz. We invite specific students needing additional support to this initiative, but again, many students who attend do so voluntarily.
A recent initiative is our Literacy Newsletter, where we share reading strategies with staff. This newsletter is to be sent out fortnightly. It will utilise Star and Accelerated Reader data to inform our spotlight segment where we will highlight which pupils need greater support and how this can be achieved, using Star Reading Instructional Planning Report’s subsequent strategies in Focus Skills. This newsletter includes the data that identifies students who need intervention and the Star Reading Instructional Planning Report’s subsequent strategies in Focus Skills.
“Since providing myON to every student to access reading on any device at any time, we’ve seen a noticeable difference in reading engagement.”
Overall, since providing myON to every student to access reading on any device at any time, we’ve seen a noticeable difference in reading engagement and confidence amongst students.
Our KS3 students are supported by the reliable Star Reading assessment data and myON library lessons providing additional homework to drive reading for pleasure and maintain confidence and self-motivation with reading for all students.
With Renaissance’s Complete Literacy Solution, our students can see their reading age increase as they engage more with reading, including reluctant readers and English Additional language students.
All demographics are making strong progress in reading, and we aim to maintain this solid and continuous improvement.
“myON is my favourite piece of homework. It has an amazing variety of books that I never knew I would like. I look forward to doing it. I also like the quizzes on Accelerated Reader because it helps you improve your memory and comprehension skills.”
“At the start of the year I didn’t read a lot but this year I go to lunch club and I read on myON and do tests on AR.”
“I was already reading before but now I read every day and I think its because of myON because the books are free.”
“At the start of the year I didn’t read a lot but this year I go to lunch club and I read on myON and do tests on AR”