Accelerated Reader - A Parent's Guide


Accelerated Reader


At Tower Hill, we are committed to developing a culture of reading for pleasure and creating a lifelong love of reading. We use Accelerated Reader as a way of promoting reading and supporting children to experience success in achieving their reading goals.


What is Accelerated Reader?

Accelerated Reader is a computer-based reading program designed to encourage children to read and promote the love of reading. It is designed to help children become successful readers. Children choose books and take quizzes and AR gives teachers feedback based on these to help children progress further. This program helps children to progress at their own pace. 


How does Accelerated Reader work?

All children from Y2 to Y6 will take a STAR Reading test  which will give them a score. This score is called their Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). Once your child knows their ZPD, they will be able to choose books from within this range from their classrooms and the school library. This will ensure that they are reading books pitched at the correct level. Choosing books from within the ZPD will ensure that each child is challenged with their reading but without feeling overwhelmed or frustrated.

Eg: if a child has a ZPD between 2.2 and 4.5, they can choose any book between these levels. The books at the lower end will be easier (Exploration Zone) for them and become harder (Deep Dive Zone) at the top.  The best progress will be made if children read books within their ZPD. 

How are books put into levels?

Every book has been assessed by Accelerated Reader for the level of difficulty, interest level and the number of words. Based on this information, each book is given a book level (ZPD) and an interest level. Children will be shown what these mean and supported by their teachers so that they choose books of appropriate levels.

There are three types of interest level:

LY - Lower Years - Key Stage One/Lower Key Stage Two

MY - Middle Years - Key Stage Two

UY - Upper Years - Year 6/Key Stage Three








What happens in school?

Children are given time to read in school each day. They will progress faster if they read at home as well. Every time they finish a book, they can take a quiz (5 to 10 questions) to test their understanding of the text. These quizzes will take place in school and it is important that they take them as soon as possible after completing a book so that it is still fresh in their minds. The number of words that they read in their books is also counted up. These are checked by class teachers and special certificates can be achieved eg: for reading one million words!



All children should feel successful and will if they are reading books which challenge them but aren’t too difficult! When doing the quizzes, the children are obviously aiming to achieve 100% but will hopefully be able to achieve 85% or more as this will show that they have really understood what they have read.

Teachers regularly assess children and help them to find ways to improve their reading ability. They will be retested on STAR Reader at regular intervals and you will be updated via their reading records if their ZPD has changed.


How can you help at home?

Please make sure your child brings their reading book and reading record to school every day.

Encourage your child to read at home as much as possible and record this in their reading record. You can ask them questions about their book to ensure they understand the story.

Ask them how their Accelerated Reader quiz went – they will love it that you are interested.

Share books with your child and be a reading role model.