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St. Patrick's Primary School, Pennyburn, Derry City

Accelerated Reading


Our Primary 5, 6 and 7 pupils are currently taking part in our Accelerated Reading Programme. AR is a computer programme that helps teachers manage and monitor children’s independent reading practice. It also gives children the opportunity to read books of their own choice, matched to their ability level, thus making reading a more enjoyable experience for them. 

To begin the programme, the children have taken a computerised reading assessment called a “Star Reading Test”. This test uses computer adaptive technology and provides each child with an AR Reading Age and a level of books most suited to their reading ability. This level is known as the ZPD Code or Range. Each level has a colour so it is easier for the children to understand.

There is a wide selection of AR Books is available in school and many popular novels which you may have at home, or titles available from the library are also AR books. Your child picks a book from his/her own level, records the Title and date borrowed in the AR Record Book in class and reads it at his/her own pace. When finished, your child takes a short quiz on the computer in school. (Passing the quiz is an indication that your child has understood what was read.) They then return the book to the shelves; record the date returned and choose another book.

AR quizzes can usually be taken at a quiet time in the classroom or in the computer suite before school starts. The computer suite is opened every morning from 8.30am-9.00am to allow children to take AR quizzes. Every book from the AR book list is given a point value. Children earn full points or a portion of the points allocated to their book depending on how well they do on the quiz. They can build up the points and exchange the points for prizes. The total points for each child are automatically stored on the computer but children are encouraged to keep their own record on the AR Record Book. The program also counts the number of words read by each individual pupil and class, and certificates are awarded to children who read 1,000,000 words.

You can help your child by encouraging them to read at home. When reading with your child, stop and ask questions to be sure your child understands what they have read.





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