Library at Leeds West Academy
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one.”
George R.R. Martin (American novelist and short-story writer, screenwriter, and television producer. He is the author of the series of epic fantasy novels A Song of Ice and Fire, which was adapted into the Emmy Award-winning HBO series Game of Thrones)
At Leeds West Academy, the library is a fantastic space at the heart of school with a large selection of fiction and non-fiction books, Manga and graphic novels as well as copies of Children’s newspaper The Week Junior. The library is a popular place to meet friends, play games, chat, read or draw during break and lunchtime and the computers are well used for completing homework. All students can borrow books for two weeks and these can be renewed at any time. There really is something for everyone.
All students in Year 7 and 8 have a weekly Reading Lesson with an English teacher which focusses on promoting a love of reading for pleasure and enhancing vocabulary and comprehension skills by listening to a high level class text. Students are expected to have a reading book and begin each lesson by reading and reflecting in their Review logs on what they have read.
All our new Year 7 students are given a book to read before they join us – this is currently Wonder by RJ Palacio - which is used for their learning across all subjects when they start with us in September.
Year 8 participate in Book Buzz; a reading scheme from Book Trust. Students choose their own book to keep from a list of 17 suitable titles which have been selected by a panel of experts. The book is wrapped up for them and they receive this in time for the Christmas holidays. Students are expected to read this during personal reading time at the start of each reading lesson.
The LWA Book Club meets every Thursday for biscuits, juice, bookish chat and activities. The group also enjoys participating in both the Carnegie and Leeds Book Awards by reading the short-listed titles, posting reviews on the official websites and celebrating the prize-winning ceremonies.
Starting in Year 8, students are welcome to apply to be a Student Library Assistant. This is a fun position that teaches teamwork, organisation and responsibility. Our library assistants play an important role in the library promoting activities and choosing new books.In addition the library hosts various celebrations and competitions throughout the year linked to the LWA Year of Reading. These include Holocaust Memorial Day, Blind Date with a Book, World Book Day, Mental Health Awareness Week.
Every day before school and after school
Break and Lunchtime
Renaissance Accelerated Reader
Students in Year 7 and 8 participate in the Accelerated Reading Programme, during their weekly English timetable. This programme ensures stduents are reading to develop reading skills, which happens most effectively when they read appropriately challenging books – difficult enough to keep them engaged but not so difficult that they become frustrated. This is known as their ‘Zone of Proximal Development’ (ZPD), which pupils use to help them select suitable books.
Students read a book, take an online quiz, and get immediate feedback. This allows them to respond to regular feedback and are motivated to make progress with their reading skills. Because students receive regular feedback from Accelerated Reader, teachers and librarians are given many opportunities to praise students for their successes and to discuss with them what they have been reading. Many reward systems are in place such as most words read and most quizzes passed, allowing all pupils to celebrate their achievement in reading.
Your guide to Accelerated Reader – ‘If you read, you will succeed.’
All students in Years 7 and 8 complete Accelerated Reader. Accelerated Reader is reading software that develops your child’s reading skills in a fun and engaging way. It is crucial to your child’s educational success, as well as their future career, that they learn to read a range of texts and understand what they are reading.
Here is some key information about your child’s Accelerated Reader experiences at Leeds West Academy:
What will my child do using Accelerated Reader?
-One English lesson a week will be an Accelerated Reader session. Your child must also read outside this time to improve their reading age. The advised time is 20 minutes per day.
-Your child should always have their own reading book in English lessons. They can get a book from our school library, their local library or they can read one of their own books.
-All Accelerated Reader books have a reading book level shown in our Library through a coloured sticker on the book binding. This links with the child’s ZPD that they are given by their English teacher.
-Your child should start reading at the bottom end of their ZPD and then move towards the top of the ZPD over time as long as they are getting at least 80% on quizzes on average. The higher level of ZPD they are encouraged to read, the more challenging the books are. Students should read 70% of their reading from within their ZPD range but of course can also read anything that they are interested in.
-You can check if a book is an Accelerated Reader book by using the website: www.arbookfind.co.uk
Once your child has read their book, they log onto Accelerated Reader through the icon on the VLE and quiz on their book. The quiz tests how much your child understands what they have read. Your child is aiming to achieve at least 80% average pass rate on quizzes over the year; the higher the pass rate, the better. -We recommend your child reads for at least 20 minutes per day where possible.
Students receive stamps and prizes for their average quiz score each term as well as certificates for their progress on Accelerated Reader.
How Can I Help My Child Progress using Accelerated Reader?
-By reading and quizzing with your child as often as possible.
-By stressing the importance of reading with your child.
-By using ‘Renaissance Home Connect’ to check your child’s progress. Use your child’s log in details to receive e-mail alerts about their progress on Accelerated Reader. Use the link: https://Ukhosted13.renlearn.co.uk/2242336/HomeConnect
Photo: Poetry Slam workshops with Andy Craven-Griffiths.