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St. Mary's Primary School, Stewartstown

Accelerated Reader

31st Oct 2016

Funding from Extended Schools has made it possible for P4 and 5 pupils to access the popular Accelerated Reader programme. The AR programme is a powerful tool designed to meet the individual reading needs of pupils. It is most effective when the school and home work together to promote individual reading. 

So How does it work?

1) Star Reading

Pupils take a reading assessment called a “STAR TEST”. This is a computerised reading test which is used to identify the pupils reading age. Based on this reading age the pupils will receive a special score. This is a decimal based score covering a specific range e.g.1.5-2.5. This is very helpful as it helps students select books that are difficult enough to keep them challenged, but not too difficult to cause frustration.

2) How does this decimal score help my child to select an appropriate book?

All books in the accelerated reading scheme have a corresponding book level describing how difficult they are. This can be seen on the inside or front cover of the book. For example if a book level (BL) is 2.2. As this falls between the decimal range in our example (1.5-2.5) this would be a suitable book for this pupil to select.


3) What if my child doesn't understand the decimal system?

To simplify the process of selecting books for pupils who perhaps do not understand the decimal system, the books in our school library have been separated into colour bands. Each band is identifiable on the spine of the book. The teacher will let each pupil know what colour band they should be reading.

4) Now what?

Once the child has selected a book they will be provided with a numerical target e.g. 18.5. This target is generated by the computer based on the child's Star Test result and the time period over which the scheme will run e.g. 8 weeks. Targets are specific to each pupil so that the programme meets the needs of every individual reader.

The pupil's will be made aware of this target when they select their first book. To score points towards the target the pupils must take a computerised test based upon the book they have read. This will examine the individual's comprehension of the book they have read.

5) How many points will my child score towards their target?

This differs depending on two factors:

A) How difficult the book is. Similar to the book level this information can be found on the inside or front cover of the book. In our sample book opposite the book is worth 0.5points. This can be seen labelledAR PTS: 0.5.

B) The number of questions answered correctly when taking the computerised assessment based on the book read.

6) How can I track how my child is doing?

Accelerated reader generates a wealth of information that will allow teachers and parents to assess how pupils are performing. The teachers will keep you informed about your child's progression.