“Of the subjects taught in school, reading is first among equals – the most singular in importance because all others rely on it” 

Lemov, Driggs & Woolway

At Smith’s Wood Academy, we believe all students, whatever their background, are able to become competent and confident readers. Students will develop both an imaginative and critical view of the world in which they live, preparing them to fully engage in all subjects and deepen their knowledge.

This learning will secure a successful place in society for our students. They will go further than they ever thought possible.

 We can turn every learner into a reader.

Why is reading important?

Reading is the basis of all GCSE subjects, but more than this, it is the basis of everyday interactions and information. For our pupils to access their community and world fully they need the skills to read and interpret text. At present, English teenagers are the most illiterate in the developed world, yet 16 year-olds who choose to read are two times more likely to secure a high paid job after school. We want to ensure that all Smith’s Wood pupils fall into that second group of teenagers.


What is Accelerated Reader?

AR is a national reading programme designed to monitor, encourage and facilitate reading for pleasure. The programme has two components: S.T.A.R. reading assessments and accelerated reader quizzes.

S.T.A.R. reading assessments are taken three times a year by all pupils from years 7-9. It is an online assessment, which takes approximately 30 minutes. We use it to generate valuable information about the pupils reading ability such as: their reading age, their ideal ZPD range and their overall understanding.

AR quizzes are completed by pupils after they have finished a book, they are a comprehension-style quiz assessing what the pupils remember about the book they have read. Tutors check pupil data weekly, to ensure that quizzes are being completed and that pupils are achieving a minimum of 80% in every quiz.

Quizzes can be accessed via: https://ukhosted58.renlearn.co.uk/3506725/

  • How does Accelerated Reader work in practice?

    After the S.T.A.R. reading data has been complied, pupils are given an individual ZPD range. This number tells them what books to select from the library, ensuring that they are able to progress during the year.

    There are three steps to accelerated reader, once the pupils are given their ZPD range:

    Step 1: choose a book within the pupils ZPD range.

    Step 2: read the book (sometimes twice if it is a short book)

    Step 3: take a quiz


  • How can I support my child at home?

    Encourage your child to read for pleasure at home, perhaps before bed, as a routine. Complete quizzes at home. All children have a personal login to access the accelerated reader quizzes, these can be taken at home on a mobile, computer or other internet accessible device.

    The login details, for the majority of pupils, are as follow:

    Username: first letter of their first name and the last four letters of their last name

    e.g. Emma Hassall = ehass

    Password: abc

  • Additional support

    For specific year 7s a Pupil-Parent reading group has been created to support those with a low reading age, by equipping parents and pupils with reading strategies. If you feel your child would benefit from attending these events, please contact Mrs Meachin.

    If you have any queries, concerns or questions please do not hesitate to contact the school and request to speak to Mrs Meachin.