The Hathershaw College

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Accelerated Reading at Hathershaw


 “The more you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

 - Dr. Seuss

Reading opens doors to information about any subject on earth. It satisfies a thirst for knowledge and feeds the imagination. It determines success not only in the classroom, but in life. In order to promote reading at Hathershaw and encourage the use of our brand new library, we have recently launched the Accelerated Reader programme.


What is Accelerated Reader?

Accelerated Reader (AR) is the nation’s leading reading programme.

Accelerated Reader works so effectively as the programme is tailored to each individual student. The students will each begin their Accelerated Reader journey by taking the Star Reading test at the start of year 7. The STAR Reading Test is a computer-adaptive assessment that tests reading comprehension and adjusts to each student’s unique responses; the test lasts approximately half an hour. Data is then immediately accessible for the Librarian to utilise, in order to establish a personalised book level for each student. The STAR reading test is completed multiple times a year.

The vast majority of books held within our school library mirror the diverse array of book levels each student could be provided with, whereby an easier book has a lower book level and a more complex book has a higher book level. The library is organised according to the Accelerated Reader book levels, making is as easy as possible for students to select the correct books.

When a book is completed, the student will complete an online quiz, specific to that book, and will be provided with a percentage score out of 100. Staff and students then use this information to track their successes and to assign higher book levels when 3 quizzes have been passed with an average pass rate of 85% or above.

Staff are also provided with additional key information such as the estimated time each student has read per day, the average percentage pass rate for each student and the amount of words each student has read. This information enables the Librarian and Literacy Coordinator to run many enthralling competitions and frequently give out tremendous prizes, not only celebrating attainment, but effort too!

This innovate method of reading and quizzing enable students to quickly process through the book levels and become more stable and confident readers.


How does AR work at Hathershaw?

All students in Year 7 and 8 are enrolled on Accelerated Reader; thus each student has a designated library lesson to read their books once every 2 weeks. Upon being assigned a book by the librarian, the students are then advised to read for a minimum of 20-30 minutes a day both inside and outside of school. Students are encouraged to read during form time, Literacy lessons and English lessons as well as at home therefore.

To further ensure the students are achieving their maximum potential, with regards to reading, we have recently introduced the ‘Improving Reading Scheme’. It is a hierarchical system that enables staff and students to set targets and develop a firm understanding of what needs to be done in order for each individual to become not only a competent reader, but a reader that thrives. The key areas of focus are Phonics, the ability to read words and understand their meaning, Expression as well as Plot and Storyline. Hence, the most able readers are able to succeed in all categories from the top to the bottom of the pyramid and may only experience isolated issues with reading.


We have incorporated these areas of focus into a fun, colour-coded game played each Accelerated Reader lesson, whereby a student spins the dial on the wheel and all class members practise the selected element of reading with their partner.



Each student is now also given a personalised Reading Record Bookmark that stays in their current reading book; staff record targets and triumphs on the records when we read with students. Parents and guardians are invited to also record targets and comments regarding their child’s reading, to aid their progression.




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