At The Marches School we want every child to have freedom of choice when it comes to careers and be able to take up great opportunities offered to them. No child should be prevented from having a fulfilled life and future by not having the necessary skills especially in literacy. Parents will know that literacy is fundamental to their child’s wellbeing. It enables them to function in their everyday lives whilst giving them the lifelong skills to be able to communicate effectively, articulate their ideas and understand and interpret the ideas of others. Over the past 4 years, we have developed a range of strategies to increase the status of literacy within our school environment, such as our Reading School, World Book Week, author visits and a range of competitions including our recent house competition that focused on essay writing skills.
Exciting events that promote improving literacy at The Marches School
In recent years, we have held a fantastic range of events to develop out students’ reading, writing, speaking and listening. These include:
- Celebration of World Book Week with a range of activities and events celebrating reading throughout the school
- All Year 6 students receiving an independent reading book for our summer transition project and Summer Reading Challenge
- Visiting writers Frank Cottrell Boyce, who promoted his new novel ‘The Adventures of Broccoli Boy’, and both Paul Dowswell and Linda Newberry, whose short stories featured in the ‘Stories of World War I’ anthology
- A range of debating competitions
- A young writer’s Club
- Our daily Reading School session
- The success of our Reading Rangers programme, where Year 7 and 8 students are supported by our Year 10 and 12 students who act as their reading buddies.
- Participation in ‘Talk the Talk’ workshops with Year 9 students to develop their confidence in speaking and listening.
Accelerated Reader at The Marches School
What is Accelerated Reader?
Accelerated Reader (AR) is a computer program that helps teachers and librarians manage and monitor children’s independent reading practice. Renaissance Learning, the manufacturer of AR, claim that the program can produce an average of two years’ reading age growth whilst promoting a culture of reading for pleasure. Our students will select a book at his or her own level and read it at their own pace. When finished, they will take a short quiz on the computer. Passing the quiz is an indication that our students have understood what was read and we expect all students to achieve at least 85% in these tests.
AR gives children, teachers, and librarians feedback based on the quiz results, which the teacher and librarian will then use to help your child set goals and direct ongoing reading practice. Children using AR choose their own books to read, rather than having one assigned to them. This makes reading a much more enjoyable experience as they can choose books that are interesting to them. A reward system is put in place to encourage students to read and enjoy books and this will be embedded within the whole school rewards system.
Take a sample AR test at http://www.renlearn.co.uk/accelerated-reader/sample-quizzes/
How do students access Accelerated Reader?
Students access the Accelerated Reader software by clicking on the link here (or on the school homepage) which takes them directly to The Marches School dedicated AR Website. They have been given a dedicated username and password in order to access their own Accelerated Reader profile. This should be input into the log in screen.
Students will also complete a Star Reading test online every half term. This allows us to monitor a student’s progress and ensure that their reading level is updated regularly.
You can also download the Accelerated Reader app onto an iPhone or iPad through the iTunes store: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/accelerated-reader/id440734561?mt=8