myON Ticks all the Boxes
St John's School & Sixth Form College, County Durham, England
St John’s Catholic School & Sixth Form College, County Durham, have been using myON, the digital library from Renaissance, since 2021 to support the reading development strategy of all students across Key Stage 3.
Since August 2021, the students at St John’s Catholic School & Sixth Form College have read more than 30,000 minutes of myON digital books, equating to more than 5.5 million words read! Following these amazing statistics, we got in touch with Learning Resource Centre Manager Linzi, who explained how myON had become such an integral part of the school’s reading routine.
I was asked to trial myON to feedback to the schools within our multi-academy trust. Following the success and impact myON had with our students, we now use it all the time, including during a weekly timetabled reading lesson with Year 7. In this lesson, students can choose whether they want to read a book in the library or read their digital texts on myON.
With myON, I can also set projects for intervention groups. Setting the projects guides students to more subject and age-appropriate books. I believe that getting students engaged in their reading and helping contextualise their learning is the key to success with myON.
“Getting students engaged in their reading and helping contextualise their learning, is the key to success with myON.”
myON allows me to support my small nurture groups. For example, we were doing a project on the Holocaust, so I looked at the relevant texts on myON and assigned them to the group using myON projects to facilitate the learning.
I’m also surprised by how many students use myON at home. When we had children who were isolating, it was easy to set reading assignments and specific texts to read on myON to support learning from home; this was especially beneficial if students didn’t have books at home, which many of our students don’t.
Our students find myON incredibly easy to access and use. I’ve set up all their profiles with the same usernames and passwords as their Accelerated Reader accounts. Therefore, students have the same login credentials to access their entire reading profile. So now, all the information about their reading age, development, book interests and suggestions are all in one place.
“For reluctant readers and those who aren’t typically enthusiastic about reading, myON is an amazing tool.”
For reluctant readers and those who aren’t typically enthusiastic about reading, myON is an amazing tool. It works like an Amazon or Netflix profile; when they log into their myON profile, they can see which books they’ve read and have book suggestions given to them.
Furthermore, because we have myON linked to Star Reading, students will also find their current ZPD range and reading progress information within their profile. Having this information available encourages students to take ownership of their reading development.
Sometimes I think there is a stigma attached to using a library, especially for some boys and they have no motivation to come into the library, pick a book off the shelf and just start reading; but now if they’re reading on a computer, reading becomes more accessible and exciting for them.
“Now they run into the library, grab a Chromebook, open up myON, and are engaged for the whole hour!”
I have to say it’s mostly boys who are excited to read with myON, and it’s mostly the boys who said in September that they hated reading! Now they run into the library, grab a Chromebook, open up myON, and are engaged for the whole hour! Even more satisfying is listening to them recommend books to their friends.
Many of our low-level readers enjoy using myON and the audio function. We’ve got headphones in the library so students can listen and follow a text as the words are being said aloud. In addition, the corresponding words are highlighted as they’re read by the narrator, which can be slowed down or sped up to meet the student’s unique requirements. This is a great function for our EAL students too.
I also encourage students to use the tools on myON, allowing students to highlight words if they need a specific colour overlay for reading. Similarly, students know that they can click on any word within a myON text and view a dictionary definition and a thesaurus of synonyms for the respective word.
“For a secondary school, myON has ticked all of the aims that we had as a school by promoting reading for pleasure and encouraging students to read more non-fiction.”
At the beginning of every term, I hold a reminder session for students showing them how to use all of the various helpful tools and features in myON. This top-up session ensures every student gets the most out of myON for their own individual needs.
The key to myON’s success in our schools is that students and staff have been shown how to use it correctly and that everyone is aware that myON isn’t just for use in the library or during English lessons – it’s a cross-curricular tool. Our MFL teachers love the books that students can read and listen to in Spanish.
I also wanted to encourage students to read around the topics they are studying. So, for example, if students are studying something in history or science, I can recommend and assign informative non-fiction texts on that subject for further reading.
I’m confident that our students who don’t have access to books at home will have an opportunity to read throughout the summer with myON. What’s more, I can monitor how much reading engagement they’re generating throughout the holidays.
For a secondary school, myON has helped to fulfil our requirements of promoting reading for pleasure, encouraging students to read more non-fiction and supporting learning across the curriculum.
To find out how your school can use myON to support your reading development strategy, click here.
|myON by Renaissance
|Independent Reading, Motivation, Progress Monitoring, Reading Age, Reading At Home, Reading Culture, Reading for Pleasure, Staff Engagement, Staff Workload, Student Engagement, Target Setting, Whole-School Literacy