“Needless to say, we will continue to implement Accelerated Reader and Freckle maths for the long term.”
Pontygwaith Primary School, Wales
Pontygwaith Primary School introduced Accelerated Reader and Star Reading to their pupils during Spring Term 2019. The school has since gone on to also implement Star Maths and Freckle maths practice to support their numeracy development plan.
This is Pontygwaith Primary School’s Renaissance success story.
The pupils in Dosbarth Aur (year 5 & 6) and Dosbarth Oren (year 4 & 5) were initially assessed during the previous term (Autumn 2018), using the online Star Reading assessment. The results gave the pupils individual scores regarding book level, reading age, etc.
In January, years 5 & 6, pupils commenced daily 10min morning and afternoon reading sessions with pupils reading at their suggested book level. After the Spring half-term (March), year 4 & 6 pupils also commenced daily 10min morning and afternoon reading sessions with pupils reading at their suggested book level. In addition, some pupils completed the Star Early Literacy assessment, which generates “next steps”, for example, work on phonic sounds, blending, etc.
Pupils took an online Book Quiz once completing their book, documenting their scores throughout the Spring Term. After each quiz, pupils were encouraged to self-assess and consider a way forward. For example, pupils who achieved below seven correct answers out of ten would be expected to choose their next book at the same book (or lower) level and read that book again before taking the following quiz.
“The various reports [from Star Reading] enabled staff to identify where interventions are needed.”
All pupils were assessed using the Star Reading assessment at the end of the Spring term (May 2018). The results were very pleasing as many pupils had increased their reading age considerably and had moved up in book levels. Staff were able to access their class results in various reports from Star Assessments. The most popular report is the Class Summary report, where pupils can be ranked according to their scores, then the Growth Report. The various reports enabled staff to identify where interventions are needed.
“The impact on learners was so successful during that short period it was decided to continue throughout the 2018-2019 academic year, then again for the 2019-2020 academic year”
The impact on learners was so successful during that short period it was decided to continue throughout the 2018-2019 academic year, then again for the 2019-2020 academic year, which also included year 3; therefore, the whole of KS2 (4 classes altogether).
The Covid-19 pandemic hit during Spring 2020. We could not undertake the Star Reading until October 2020, due to school closures and social distancing. We compared results from their last assessment in December 2019 and found that many pupils had declined in scores or made very little progress (if any). The children, however, soon got back into reading for 10-20 minutes daily and book quizzes. At the end of the academic year, most pupils had increased their reading age to 12 months (average)!
“Since we have implemented Accelerated Reader at our school, we have seen a huge increase in reading age and ability.”
Since we have implemented Accelerated Reader at our school, we have seen a huge increase in reading age and ability. It has also increased the pupils’ efforts to read independently as they want to succeed. They don’t see reading as a chore anymore. They love completing the online book quiz so that they can change their book and move up the book levels. They enjoy taking ownership of their progress too.
Teachers can monitor their class/pupils’ progress, especially the book quiz results. We have found some children think it is a competition on how many books they can read and how quickly they can do the book quiz! Unfortunately, this did happen with a pupil, and she did not progress, scoring only five out of ten on quizzes. We only realised this after her Star Reading assessment results revealed she had stayed at the same reading age and overall scores whilst other pupils had increased theirs! Consequently, she was monitored closely and soon improved throughout the remainder of the term.
“After the success of Accelerated Reader, we decided to implement Freckle Maths during the 2021-2022 academic year … So far, the programme is remarkably successful, with pupils enjoying the Freckle Maths activities catered to their individual abilities.”
After the success of Accelerated Reader, we decided to implement Freckle Maths during the 2021-2022 academic year. All KS2 pupils completed the Star Maths assessment and can now access Freckle Maths daily for 20-30 minutes independently. So far, the programme is remarkably successful, with pupils enjoying the Freckle Maths activities catered to their individual abilities. As with the Accelerated Reader, the pupils do not see the math tasks as a chore and enjoy the online activities.
Overall, we cannot wait to see the end of year results for 2022. The pupils love it, and the staff enjoy seeing the results in black and white! Needless to say, we will continue to implement Accelerated Reading and Freckle maths for the long term.