Accelerated Reader Advantage (AR) is a reading practice component used at Maltings Academy as part of the reading curriculum; it is combined with a daily progress-monitoring assessment tool and the STAR Reading program to allow staff to instantly assess students reading levels, reading ages and national curriculum levels in reading as well as measuring growth.
- Support the curriculum by providing resources in all media at all levels of age and ability.
- Provide students with the necessary information skills to successfully utilise these resources.
- Promote the enjoyment of books, fiction and non-fiction.
- Provide a pragmatic and successful use of Information and Communication Technology.
- Give students the in-class guided independent reading practice needed to become successful readers.
- Inspire the love of reading in all students, including reluctant readers.
- Enhance the joy of teaching and love of learning.
- Build student's self-confidence and develop self-directed learners.
- Guide students to read books at their appropriate level to maximise growth.
- Improve student's critical-thinking skills.
- Boost student's performance in all academic areas.
- Improve student's attendance and reduce discipline problems.
Literacy at Maltings Academy
Learning how to read, write, speak and listen appropriately are lifelong skills and central tenets of teaching and learning here at Maltings Academy. Not only do we, as teachers, strive to ensure that our students are constantly pushing themselves to improve in these arenas, but also, we try to help our pupils foster a love for literacy which will remain with them throughout their lives. Each and every curriculum area nurture students and help them grow with their literacy skills. From this care, success is born.
At KS3, students learn the skills they will need to guarantee successes within the school in all subject areas. The acquisition of these skills is essential for the best possible progress at all key stages. Students do not stop building upon these, but develop and fine tune the skills needed to access Literacy at all stages of life.
At KS4, students learn how to apply these skills to situations which arise in their day-to-day lives. These imperative skills, and the desire to be wholly literate, as well as the ability to apply literacy, is further built upon at KS5.
Drop Everything and Read time (DEAR)
This is a daily compulsory 20 minute slot which is timetabled half termly, on a rolling basis. The students in years 7 – 10 follow this timetable with students/teachers/LSAs alike all reading for the first 20 minutes of the specified lesson, with the only exception being Food Technology, for obvious reasons. The years 11 also participate but do so in tutor time.
Dedicated Accelerated Reader Assemblies take place at the end of each half term. The intention here is to celebrate the success of our students and their reading, and to share it with SLT and tutors. This is also an opportunity for tutor groups to hear how their fellow tutees in other groups are performing, and so of course the inevitable element of competition creeps in. This however, only adds to the fun. It is very encouraging (and quite rare) to see students applaud others for reading, just part of the magic of Accelerated Reader.
The Impact of Accelerated Reader
Accelerated Reader has been with us at Maltings Academy now for 8 years, being first introduced in September 2008. It has undoubtedly made an enormous impact on all those participating, having helped create a strong culture of reading through the school. All students in year 7-9 participate and have a timetabled lesson in the Library during which they quiz and are guided in their reading. They do the large majority of their quizzing in their own time, during breaktimes etc, which is a testament to how engaged they are with the programme. During these lessons we also take this opportunity to let the students share their opinions of what they have read with others in the group. They now speak freely of specific authors, and different genres of writing, which is very refreshing to hear – it’s cool to read at Maltings Academy.
Participation in AR averages 85 – 95%, and the success rate with which they quiz (the percentage achieving 85% +) sits at approximately 65%. Both genders participate equally well.
Testing is carried out twice yearly, with the initial star test in year 7 providing a base-line position for each student. Growth has been very promising with the recent tests showing growth as follows:
* First retest for growth will be in December for Year 7.
December 2017 Update
Accelerated Reader continues to flourish at Maltings Academy. Several weeks ago we had our half-termly assemblies where 110 students in Year 7 alone received certificates. I’m delighted to be able report that 17 of our students are already Word Millionaires, with 5 of them having read in excess of 2 million! Since returning in September those participating have already quizzed an incredible 122m words, so it’s all good news on the reading front at Maltings, and it all bodes well for another successful and exciting year on AR!