Accelerated Reader at Albany

Students who are eligible for the Year 7 catch-up premium receive additional support to develop their literacy and numeracy skills, such as through a nurture group and small classes. This is helping to support their learning across a range of subjects and ensures rapid progress is being made by many, particularly in their reading ages, where some have made 12 months progress in just three months.
— Ofsted 2014

What is Accelerated Reader?

Accelerated Reader is a software tool purchased by the school which allows us to assess progress in reading.  The system assesses individual pupils’ reading age in relation to their chronological age and provides them with a personalised reading programme.   

Why participate in Accelerated Reader?

  • Pupils make significant progress and their reading comprehension has been shown to improve
  • It allows pupils to foster a ‘reading habit’ for enjoyment
  • It encourages regular reading and helps pupils to prepare for the increased reading content for the new reformed GCSE examinations
  • Pupils can read at their own pace and select books which are appropriate for their ability
  • Pupils can ‘accelerate’ their own progress by reading regularly and increasing their ‘reading age’
  • The scheme allows pupils to be rewarded for their reading efforts as well as progress

How Accelerated Reader works

  • Pupils take an initial ‘Star Reading Test’ in school which will give them their individual starting point
  • Pupils choose a book from their ZPD (their Zone of Proximal Development or their ideal reading range)
  • Pupils read for twenty minutes a day outside of school and for fifteen minutes during their English lessons.
  • Pupils take a quiz at the end of each book and points are awarded for good pass rates.
  • Certificates are awarded based on the points system and are presented to pupils in a celebration assembly once a term. 

What we provide

  • We devote fifteen minutes of all of our KS3 English lessons to private reading.
  • The English department have purchased ipads for the pupils to use in class which allow them to take quizzes on their books and review progress.
  • The school supports the Accelerated Reader Scheme by allocating twenty minutes reading time during afternoon tutor sessions.
  • Part of the Key Stage 3 weekly homework is for pupils to read for twenty minutes a day outside of school
  • Reading logs for pupils to record their progress and keep track of their reading age as it improves
  • A rewards assembly each term to give out certificates and special prizes for achievements, efforts and improvements in reading.

What is the impact?

Here are just some of the school’s highlights which demonstrate the success of the scheme:

1)     Last year’s Year 7 Nurture group:  11/12 pupils increased their reading age by between 2 months and 2 years in one particular case.  The other pupil maintained his reading age throughout the year by devoting time to regular reading.

2)     Significantly more boys borrowed books than girls in all three year groups which deviates from general reading trends nationally:

                 Girls                               Boys

Year 7       3565                              4055

Year 8       2431                              3012

Year 9       2145                              1900


3)     The pupils read a significant number of books last year (2015-16):

         No. of books read

Year 7      7620

Year 8      5443

Year 9      4045

4)     100% of the sample of Year7-9 pupils questioned said that they would have read ‘a lot fewer’ books if they had not been participating in the Accelerated Reader scheme, with many adding that they probably would not read at all.

How parents can help

1)     Support the Accelerated Reader scheme by ensuring that your child reads for at least twenty minutes every day.

2)     Ensure that your child has a quiet area to read comfortably. 

3)     If your child has a lower than expected reading age, spend time listening to them read and discuss content of the books with them. 

4)     Model reading yourself.

5)     Help them to choose engaging and enjoyable reads by discussing what genres/topics in particular they like to read/read about.

6)     Encourage them to read.  Speak openly about the value of reading and the enjoyment. 

For more information about Accelerated Reader, please visit the website below:

 Some additional reading websites