BBC and the BBC Library are passionately committed to improving student's reading abilities. Reading is a powerful tool to help children grow their vocabulary, language skills and imagination. It helps children to develop life-long skills that will support their future growth and learning. Therefore we have introduced the globally popular Accelerated Reader program.
The Accelerated Reader scheme (AR) which has been introduced for Year 7, is an individualised program geared towards motivating students to read suitably challenging books, fostering reading for pleasure and having the potential to produce measurable reading growth.
When students join us in Year 7, they have different reading ages – roughly half have a reading age of up to 11 and the other half have a reading age of 11 or over.
Children with a reading age below their actual age sometimes stop reading fiction completely when they start secondary school. This means their reading age doesn’t improve and in some instances actually declines. So by the time students are ready to start their Senior years of schooling, if their reading age is below their actual age it puts them at a real disadvantage. We want to start helping students now so that their reading has improved by the time they reach Year 10.
Every child – whether reading at, below or above their actual age – needs encouragement to read. This encouragement needs to come from school and home. The motivation to read and a good range of books will encourage them to retain a reading habit. Sometimes, as children get older it’s harder to set aside time to read and other interests take over but if school and home deliver the same message, then we can keep the pleasure of reading alive into adulthood.
We chose Accelerated Reader so that every child can reach their full potential and we know from seeing Accelerated Reader in other schools that it encourages and motivates students to read and enables teachers and parents to monitor students’ reading.
Being a good reader will help students in every area of the curriculum, not just English. Helping students to read with confidence should improve their chances in their Senior studies too.