Accelerated Reader and Library Lessons

Accelerated Reader

Why we chose to work with Accelerated Reader?

What is Accelerated Reader (AR)? 

AR is a computer program that helps teachers and librarians manage and monitor children’s independent reading practice. 


1)  Your child picks a book at his/her own level and reads it at his/her own pace. 

2)  When finished, your child takes a short quiz on the computer - passing the quiz is an indication that your child has understood what has been read. 

3)  AR gives both children and teachers instant feedback based on the quiz results which the teacher then uses to help the child set targets and ongoing reading practice. 

Children using AR have a free choice of the books they read, rather than having one assigned to them. This makes reading a much more enjoyable experience as they feel in control and can choose books that are interesting to them.  Teachers and librarians will help your child choose books that are at an appropriate reading level.  These will be challenging without being frustrating and will also be at a level at which your child can pass the quiz and experience success. 

If your child does not do well on the quiz, the teacher may assist him/her by: 

• Helping choose another book that is more appropriate 

• Asking more probing questions as your child reads and before he/she takes a quiz 

• Pairing your child with another pupil or even having the book read to your child

In most cases, children really enjoy taking the quizzes. Since they are reading books at their own reading and interest levels, they are likely to be successful.  This is satisfying for most children. 

Best of all they learn and grow at their own pace. 


How much will my child read during the day? 

According to Renaissance Learning’s research, children who read at least 20 minutes a day with a 90% comprehension rate on AR quizzes see the greatest gains.  Therefore, your child should have at least 20 minutes set aside for reading during each day. 


How can I help my child become a better reader? 

As with anything, performance improves with practice.  Encourage your child to read at home. Create a culture of reading in your household by reading with your child, starting a home library, visiting your local library or bookshop on a regular basis and by letting your child see you reading. When reading with your child stop and ask questions to be sure your child comprehends what they have read and in general make a habit of discussing books that each of you has read. 

You can find out whether books your child has at home are compatible with Accelerated Reader by using this website. Click here.


How does the school determine my child’s reading level? 

Teachers determine your child’s reading level by using the STAR Reading test. 

What is a STAR Reading test? 

STAR Reading is a computer based reading assessment program that uses computer-adaptive technology.  Questions continually adjust to your child’s responses.  If the child’s response is correct, the difficulty level is increased.  If the child cannot answer a question or answers incorrectly, the difficulty level is reduced.  The test uses multiple-choice questions and takes approximately 25 minutes. 

What is a Book Level? 

Book Levels represent the difficulty of the text. For example, a book level of 4.5 means that the text could likely be read by a pupil whose reading skills are at the level of a typical of an 11 year old pupil. Normally, however, books are chosen based on their book range recommended for each pupil by STAR Reading. 


Library Lessons

English/Library Lessons

At the Henry Box School we place a huge value on promoting reading, with the school timetabling a fortnightly English lesson in the Library for all year 7,8 and 9 students.  This has allowed the students to take part in the Accelerated Reading Scheme, if you would like to know more about the AR programme here at The Henry Box School please click here and also visit the Accelerated Reader website.

The students are tested at the start of Term 1, during Term 3 and Term 6 to record their reading ages and monitor their reading progress. All the English Team, Literacy Team and the Library staff are trained to use the programme to make sure that the students are reading at the right levels.

Each Year Group has lessons specifically tailored to their requirements, during these lessons pupils benefit from the expertise of both their English Teacher and Library staff.

Year 7 – Silent reading, AR quizzes, choosing, renewing/taking out new books. 
For pupils requiring additional support with their reading they may take part in the Fresh Start Literacy programme (link pdf).

Year 8 - Silent reading, AR quizzes, renewing/taking out new books.  To encourage students to read across all genres they also take part in Genre Bingo throughout the year.

Year 9 – In this year we look to bridge the gap between KS3 and KS4 in readiness for GCSE’s.  Pupils have 20 minutes of silent reading and then look at extracts to extend their analytical skills and develop their creative writing.


It has been proven that 20 minutes of reading every day will make a massive difference to a child’s reading level. We have built in time in our school day for reading but having time set at home will be the key to their success.

You can find out whether books your child has at home are compatible with Accelerated Reader by using this website.