At British Council School Madrid, located in Madrid, Spain, the promotion of a reading culture has always been a priority, says Jo Parkes, Deputy Head. As an institution committed to bilingualism and biculturalism, the school recognises the significance of reading in preparing its students for academic success and personal growth. Since 2021, the British Council School has been utilising Renaissance Learning's Accelerated Reader and Star Assessments to enhance their reading programs and foster a love for literature among their diverse student body.
The British Council School Madrid embraces a mission centred on promoting literacy and the joy of reading within their community of teachers, form tutors, support staff, and parents. The school consistently endeavours to keep their libraries exquisitely stocked with the latest print and digital media, placing them at the heart of their educational environment. The school encourages pupils to select the best books and supports them in every aspect of their reading journey.
Recognising the power of technology, the school is proud to utilise Renaissance Learning's products, including the Star Reader and Accelerated Reader suites, to identify areas for improvement, motivate students, and track their progress both inside and outside the classroom.
Over the past academic year, British Council School Madrid students have achieved remarkable milestones. They have completed over 5506 AR quizzes and more than 1995 Star tests in the 2022-2023 academic period. These numbers reflect the unwavering commitment of the students, teachers, and parents to fostering a reading culture that extends beyond the boundaries of the school. Programs such as the Word Millionaire's program and the annual We Love Books festival further ignite the students' passion for reading and reinforce the importance of literacy, describes Jo Parkes.
Ruby Compton-Davies, Teaching and Learning Leader of English explains, in The British Council School Madrid's outstanding team of librarians and student helpers is vital in organising the library and creating an engaging reading environment.
They have implemented a sticker system that allows students to set goals, monitor their progress, and explore texts that align with their interests and reading levels. Since implementing the Accelerated Reader and Star Reading programs, the student's confidence and ability in reading have flourished. Considering that the majority of their students are bilingual or multilingual, this achievement is especially significant as it enables effective communication in multiple languages.
"We are delighted to share our success in promoting a culture of reading across secondary education, and the Accelerated Reader and Star Reading programs have been pivotal to this success" Ruby concludes.
Recognising its impact, the British Council School Madrid has integrated reading and literacy into every stage of their educational journey, from early years to secondary education. By embracing Renaissance Learning's Accelerated Reader and Star Reading programs, the school has witnessed remarkable progress in their students' reading skills, fluency, comprehension, language development, and vocabulary expansion.
"We are delighted to share our success in promoting a reading culture across secondary schools, and the Accelerated Reader and Star Reading programmes have been instrumental to this success," says Barbara Dunlop, Assistant Teaching and Learning Lead in the English Department. She explains that these innovative programmes empower both students and teachers. Students can select books that match their individual reading abilities and interests, while teachers can track progress, provide personalized support and set goals that inspire growth.
As the school continues to prioritise reading and literacy, they are confident that Renaissance Learning's solutions will remain integral to their student's educational journey to nurture a generation of lifelong learners. By empowering students with the skills and joy of reading, the British Council School Madrid prepares students to succeed academically and thrive personally.