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Reading at CMS

A Parent's Guide to the Accelerated Reader Program

Accelerated Reader is part of the Renaissance Reading software package recently adopted by the school to encourage and improve reading, measure growth of the individual reader and to provide quality reading for all. It allows for personalised learning targets to be set up and for progress to be easily monitored. This short guide will help you to understand the system better so that you can support your child with their reading.

How can parents help?

It is recommended that everyone reads for a minimum of 35 minutes a day. Please find a quiet place for your child to read at home free from disturbances. Talk to them about their book and hear them read if appropriate – help with reading strategies, if needed, but don’t over correct.
Ask questions about the story and the characters – look at the difficulty of the chosen book and give advice about book choices. Encourage your child with the quizzes and try to monitor from home.
Personalised targets and individual reading achievement can be accessed on the Home Connect site (Details enclosed).

How does accelerated reader work?

Star Reading Tests
Each pupil takes a short computer- adaptive test to establish reading ability. The results identify individual book level reading ranges (ZPDs) which support teacher judgements on guiding pupils to Accelerated Reader books.


A range of books recommended for pupils - their “Zone” or ZPD code is given to each pupil. Ideally they should begin choosing books at the beginning of their range and work their way up.
Our stock of reading books in the Library have been assessed and labelled with Accelerated Reader colour codes according to level of difficulty:

  • Green = 0.0-1.9
  • Orange= 2.0 -2.9
  • Blue= 3.0-3.9
  • Yellow=4.0-4.9
  • Red=5.0-5.9
  • Black= 6.0 +

Book Level and Interest Level and Points

An estimate of the reading difficulty of the text is expressed as a Book Level. (The book Level is based on average sentence length, average word length, vocabulary difficulty and frequency of words). Each book is worth points according to the length of the book. 
Interest Level indicates a book which is for younger, middle or higher age groups.
Teachers guide pupils to select books within their ZPD range and according to their interests.


Once a book has been read, pupils take comprehension-based quizzes in school. (It is recommended that they take a quiz no longer than 48 hours after finishing a book), this is not a memory test and children are able to use the book to help them.

Teachers monitor quiz results and adjust ZPDs as necessary. 85% and above average score on quizzes indicates good comprehension and will lead to greater progress in reading. There are Reading, Vocabulary and Literacy Skills quizzes available on most books. A report is prepared after each quiz to show progress towards targets and any certificates earned.

Home Connect

Parents can track reading progress from home using the internet site, HOME CONNECT. (There is a direct link from our school website).
There is a facility to set up email addresses to receive automatic feedback and you can view “My Bookshelf” displaying all the books read and quizzed.

AR Book finder

Accelerated Reader Book finder allows you to search for books included on the system so that books from home can be used. You can also create a wish list for future reading.

Certificates and Rewards

Three House Points are awarded for 100% in a quiz and there are 8 categories of achievement certificates. Also, if pupils achieve their point targets in a term, a prize will be awarded.

35 z 90

This motto helps us to remember “Read for 35 minutes a day within our zone and aim for 90% on quizzes”.

Useful Websites – AR Book Finder search engine for all books with quizzes. - Further research information and resources about Accelerated reader and other supporting products. - To log onto your childs account. 

Recommended Reading 

Another good resource for parents is 'Book Finder' which can be found on the Book Trust website, which allows you to filter book lists by age and by genre/theme, etc.

Recommended Reads for Year 7

Recommended Reads for Year 8