At Northmead we use Accelerated Reader, a reading scheme, which is designed to encourage and promote successful reading. At the beginning of Year 3 and then at the end of each term, each child will take an online Star Reading test that determines his/her appropriate reading level.
This is a computer-based test that measures a child’s reading ability through a series of 34 questions.
Every test for every child is different, and the computer selects different questions for each child dependent on how well they answer the previous questions. Essentially, the computer adapts the test to suit each pupil.
The questions test the child’s understanding of vocabulary, their ability to make predictions, draw conclusions, explore the plot, setting, character, theme, and point of view in text, the characteristics of different genres and children’s understanding and analysis of an author’s use of language and literary devices to create certain effects.
Once the star reader tests have been completed teachers are provided with an individual report for each child such as the one below.
The ZPD is the information which tells the teacher which colour band would best suit each child.
The lowest number is the lowest level of book the child should be choosing. The highest number is the highest level of book the child should be choosing. If the ZPD spans over two colour bands, teachers, using their professional judgement and knowledge of each child, will decide the colour band each child should read.
Children can then choose books from the colour-banded sections of our extensive school library.
When books are finished, children take a short (5 to 10 question) quiz on the computer. Passing the quiz is an indication that the child understands the material. Quizzes can be completed on most books read. All library books have a sticker in the inside front cover which details the quiz number. If this is missing for some reason we can use www.arbookfind.co.uk by typing in the name of the book read and it will bring up the quiz number. Quizzes are only taken at school.
For every quiz passed children receive a raffle ticket which is entered in to a prize draw at the end of the term.
A display board in the library corridor details the numbers of words read by each class in the school and the names of those children who have individually managed to read over a million words. These children also receive a certificate and metal lapel pin.