Welcome to English

KHCA Library - 'The Nest'

The Kirk Hallam Library is an exciting place to be – students are able to borrow books, take part in reading awards, become Reading Ambassadors, join reading clubs, games club and much more – and I am really looking forward to welcoming to your child.

Accelerated Reader

The aim of the Accelerated Reader Programme at Kirk Hallam Academy is essentially to help students read for pleasure. In doing so they will increase their vocabulary, improve their comprehension skill, build their self-confidence, and develop their independence, among many other benefits.

What is AR?

AR is a computer program that helps teachers manage and monitor a child’s independent reading practice. When a student has finished reading a book, they take a short quiz on the computer - passing the quiz is an indication that the child has understood what has been read. If they are reading at the recommended level for them, then most children are likely to be successful and enjoy the books and quizzes. Best of all they learn and grow at their own pace.

AR is an online programme, that students can use in school and at home. Many, many thousands of books (old and new) are now part of the Accelerated Reader Library which means that most of the books your children might want to read will be accessible.

You may check if the book your child is reading is on Accelerated Reader by looking at www.arbookfind.com.

Books in our library are labelled with a coloured dot and a number. This information tells us the reading level of the book. They are easy to see on the bookshelves.

The Star Test

At the start of September your child completes a Star test in school. This is computer adaptive and responds to your child’s own answers. This means the questions will get harder if they answer questions correctly, or the questions will get easier if they answer questions incorrectly.

The Star test should take between 30-45 minutes. If your child takes less than 20 minutes to complete the Star test they will be asked to take it again.

The Star test will provide your child with a Reading Zone. This will be two sets of numbers, for example 4.5-5.3. Your child will be recommended to read books within these two numbers.

This Star test is repeated two more times throughout the school year to show the progress made by your child.

The Reading Zone

Reading within the Reading Zone will ensure that your child is reading books at the right level for them. This means:

  • they will enjoy what they are reading
  • it won’t be too easy
  • it won’t be so challenging that it is off putting
  • it won’t cause frustration or loss of motivation

Wherever possible we would ask you to support us in encouraging your child to read within their Reading Zone.

AR quizzing

As soon as your child has finished reading a book within their Reading Zone, they are encouraged to take a quiz. They will be shown how to do this in their Library lesson.

Each quiz takes approximately 5 minutes and will have either 5, 10 or 20 questions.

Most students are likely to pass the quiz if they are reading within their Reading Zone.

Renaissance Home Connect

This allows you to monitor your child’s progress. If your child reads regularly, for at least 15 minutes every day, and takes each quiz within a day of finishing it, their Reading Zone is likely to change throughout the year. Your child, and you, will be able to monitor progress throughout the year by logging onto your child’s AR account. An email will be sent to you with details of how to logon to Home Connect.

How can I help my child?

You can help very easily by promoting reading at home. You don’t need a big bookshelf to do this. Simply:

  • encourage your child every day for at least 15 minutes
  • encourage your child to read to you
  • read to them too (you’d need to be a David Walliams or Stephen Fry) your reading voice is good enough!
  • let them see you reading (books, newspapers, letters, magazines)
  • encourage them to carry their book and read wherever they go
  • have conversations about the books your child is reading (they don’t need to be University Challenge style questions – just a comfortable chat)

Every opportunity you can find to encourage reading can have a significant impact on your child’s attitude towards reading as well as the progress they make.

There are lots of other initiatives across the school to help your child read for pleasure as well as for study. The library is open Weds-Fri before school, at each break and lunch, and after school until 4.00pm so there are lots of opportunities for your child to simply relax and read whilst at school.

Please look out for Library updates on the website, and on social media.

April 2024


View the calendar in full

English News

View more news stories