Latest success stories from Renaissance Learning

myON now part of the fabric of reading at Park Lane Primary School

Park Lane Primary School, Nuneaton, Warwickshire

Park Lane Primary School, part of the Griffin Schools Trust, has been using Accelerated Reader and Star Reading since 2018. In 2021, the school introduced myON from Renaissance.

After discovering that the pupils of Park Lane Primary School had read over twenty-two million words in myON throughout the 21/22 academic year, we got in touch with Deputy Headteacher Laura to find out why the school introduced myON and the impact it’s since had on the school’s whole-school reading culture.

Who we are

Situated in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, Park Lane is an over-subscribed primary school, part of the Griffin Schools Trust’s family of schools, predicated on the vision of Proud Traditions, Wide Horizons and High Achievement.

More than 30% of Park Lane Primary School pupils are eligible for free meals. The school currently has an above-average percentage of pupils with Special Needs and/ or disabilities enrolled.

The school’s most recent Ofsted inspection report, published in November 2019, described the school’s successful reading development strategy:

“Staff place a high priority on reading throughout the school. From the very start, staff teach phonics well because of whole-school training. They provide extra help for any pupils who fall behind. As a result, most pupils read confidently from an early age. Pupils of all abilities continue to develop as readers throughout their time in school.”

Laura explains

Why we introduced myON

“We already use Renaissance solutions which has proven to be successful in motivating reading for pleasure and decided to implement myON throughout the school.”

We have been implementing Accelerated Reader since 2018 to promote reading for pleasure within our school. Our Executive Head had previously used AR and knew it was effective, and that started our journey with Renaissance.

 

Throughout 2020 during the lockdown, we identified a need to further promote reading for pleasure through alternative means. Supported by the digital device rollout from the DfE, we decided to seek an online dictionary to promote reading at home: we then came across MyON. After an initial demonstration of the solution, we thought it was an ideal fit to not only suit the demands of lockdown but beyond this: acting as a digital library for our children. We already used Renaissance solutions, which has proven to be pivotal in motivating reading for pleasure and decided to implement myON throughout the school.

 

We found immediately after introducing myON to the school that reluctant readers, who were often disengaged with reading hard copy texts, were suddenly more engaged with reading via their digital devices. 

 

As a school, we wanted to be clear that the introduction of myON was not to replace hard-copy texts, but to supplement reading engagement initiatives, particularly for otherwise disengaged or unconfident readers. 

“myON is a roaring success at our school. The students absolutely love it!”

myON is a roaring success at our school. The students absolutely love it, and it has been key in contributing to the improved attitude towards reading for pleasure: we’re very fortunate to have wide access to technology, such as digital devices, to enable the use of myON.

Reading for pleasure is one of our trust-wide priorities to create a culture where reading is immersive and part of the fabric of a school. Every corridor at Park Lane is designed around a classical text: we’ve got a magical Narnia corridor, a  leafy-green Jungle Book corridor, an Alice in Wonderland ‘rabbit hole’ and even a Peter Pan boat area.

Furthermore, our library is now a fully dedicated Accelerated Reader library. All books will have AR book labels informing pupils what ZPD range each book is in addition to how many AR points they can accumulate from reading it. To reward and recognise children’s attitudes, we’ve invested in a personalised book vending machine, which the pupils love!

We were proud to have started the journey with Renaissance through Accelerated Reader and to know that positive attitudes towards reading were embedded. Now, children love carrying out book quizzes within AR and myON! They love the fact that Renaissance solutions are very motivational. It’s that reward and recognition they love, and we celebrate that enthusiasm in half-termly recognition assemblies.

Conclusion

“myON is just what we do now: it’s part of the fabric of reading at school.”

myON is just what we do now: it’s part of the fabric of reading at school. Having the opportunity for children to access a digital library is just a massive addition, especially in current times, where technology is ever-changing, and reading is evolving.

Some of our children are now more engaged with digital devices and absorb more learning and value from using them. If that means interactive digital books like the ones in myON help them become active readers, then we’re all for it.

More important than anything else, with myON, children are reading, and it’s wonderful. Reading is essential, and our job as teachers is to ensure all pupils are engaged with reading because they reap the benefits and the means to escape to an alternative world through the pages of a book (or through a touch screen).  It’s about promoting that love of reading, and myON has supported us in achieving that.

What was initially a lockdown purchase continues to support our culture of reading at home and in the classroom. And I know it has also helped our family of schools across the Griffin Schools Trust to achieve our trust-wide reading-for-pleasure ambition.

Evidence

 

To find out how your school can utilise myON to support your whole-school reading culture, click here.


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