“Students are embracing the power of reading” at North London school

“My school is a modern community comprehensive,” explains Gary Beck, the Learning Resources Centre manager at Friern Barnet School in North London. Because many students join the school with low reading ages, staff found that they were struggling to access the curriculum. Accelerated Reader™ (AR™) was introduced in 2012 to support ongoing reading practice and target intervention where it was needed. There has been a noticeable impact across the school.

“Since the implementation of AR™, many students have seen a rapid increase in their levels across a number of subjects. Our EAL learners, who are at the earliest stages of English, do particularly well with the programme.”

There is a significant intervention programme already in place at the school, which AR™ has complemented well. Gary uses the reports from AR™ and the STAR Reading™ assessment programme to inform his teaching and identify students in need of intervention. “I produce and print reports each month for all of my students. I seek early intervention on those highlighted and identify specific areas to assist the student.”

“Since we launched AR™ in the Learning Resource Centre the enthusiasm for reading in the school has seen unprecedented levels of students reading and borrowing books.” In the last six months, students have read 1730 books between them, amounting to over 46 million words.

The programme has proved to be highly motivating for students, providing regular opportunities for praise and encouragement. In addition to the intrinsic sense of achievement gained upon successfully passing a reading practice quiz, wider initiatives foster a sense of competition and help to maintain perseverance with continued growth in reading skills. “The students absolutely love taking quizzes! I run a monthly ‘Accelerated Reader™ of the Month Competition’ which has been enormously successful as prizes are given to the overall winner and two runners-up. Prizes so far have included an electronic dictionary bookmark and a summer trip to Thorpe Park.”

Gary is pleased with the transformative impact AR™ has had not just in fostering a reading culture at Friern Barnet School, but also in developing literacy skills that are helping students to make progress in other subject areas. Along with motivational initiatives and an effective intervention strategy, AR™ has helped even the most struggling students to make strong progress across the curriculum. Gary concludes, “A complete transformation has occurred since implementing AR™, and our students are embracing the power of reading.”

Accelerated Reader™ and RM Books

We’ve now made it really easy for you to use Accelerated Reader™ with your students. Using RM Books, our free ebook platform for schools, schools can search by reading level so you know your students are reading appropriate content and all quiz number listed against the title. Students can read ebooks on any device, anywhere, anytime.

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Using the safe online environment, RM Unify students can seamlessly take the quiz in Accelerated Reader™ without needing a separate using name and password. And what’s more RM Unify will link to your school’s server so all your users will be automatically managed in Accelerated Reader saving you time setting up your student accounts.

If you’re not an existing RM Unify user but are interested to find out how RM Unify could help you address your school priorities, email rmunify@rm.com.

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