Reading for Pleasure
At Beacon, our expectation is that all students continue to read for pleasure throughout their time at the Academy. At Key Stage 3, in particular, we encourage and support students to develop their confidence and enjoyment in reading. Therefore, all students are expected to have a reading book with them as part of their daily equipment and all students are encouraged to borrow from our fantastic Library.
At home, students should have experience of reading fiction for around twenty minutes per day, in addition to any homework set by teachers.
Students in Year 7 and Year 8 are enrolled on a computer programme called Accelerated Reader (AR) which enables English teachers and parents to manage and monitor children’s independent reading practice. Our school’s unique Accelerated Reader page can be accessed by all via the ‘links’ section of EduLink or by clicking here.
Our Library offers a variety of over 4,000 books, most of which are registered on Accelerated Reader. These books are all labelled with accurate ZPD levels to ensure that students can find the book which is right for them.
The Accelerated Reader Process:
- Students take a STAR reading test (four times a year) and are provided with a reading age and a ‘Zone of Proximal Development’ (ZPD) book level range to choose a reading book from.
- Students pick a book at their own level and read it at their own pace.
- When finished, students takes a short quiz on the school-based AR website. Passing the quiz at 85% or higher is an indication that the student has understood what has been read.
The Accelerated Reader ‘reading practice’ quizzes provide the best indicator of a student’s reading ability as the quiz tests their understanding of the book they have just read. Dedicated reading sessions during English lessons provide teachers with time to prioritise reading and discuss quiz results with students. Ultimately, students who are reading books from within their ZPD and are passing their quizzes at 85% or higher should make the most progress.
Please watch the video below for further information about Accelerated Reader at Beacon Academy.
How to help your child to continue to be a reader
- Ask your child about the book they are reading (E.g: What do you like about this character? How would you describe this character? What do you think will happen next? How do you feel about what has already happened? How do you think the character feels or will react? Are there any clues as to what will happen next?).
- Encourage your child to quiz on Accelerated Reader (AR).
- Discuss the results of your child’s quizzes by monitoring their results on AR.
- Help create a regular time and place so reading happens every week.
- Use www.ARbookfind.co.uk to ensure your child’s reading book is within their ZPD.
- Use our brand new Library app, Accessit, to help your child choose a book within their ZPD level.
- A subscription to an audio book library streaming service e.g. Audible can encourage reluctant readers – a great idea when travelling.
- Become a member of East Sussex Libraries.
- Read the same book as your child so you can talk about it.
Recommended Reading Lists
Inevitably, the material we have suggested – particularly for Years 9 and above - will deal with a wide range of themes. Some of these will be of an adult nature. We are sensitive to the values of the many different families that make up our community, and we know that not all texts are right for all students. Consequently, we have worked hard to provide a wide selection of titles in our reading lists to provide breadth and depth. We recognise that parents/carers will want to make choices with their children about what is suitable for them to read.