How Reading Cultivates Academic Success: Insights from Rydal Penrhos
August 15, 2023

As we share the findings of our latest round of Accelerated Reader data, Rydal Penrhos would like to take the opportunity to explain the crucial impact reading development is having on academic attainment across the school. 

At Rydal Penrhos, academic improvement is a core feature of our educational offering. As our Value Added statistics demonstrate, as a school we excel in unlocking the innate ability in our children and young people. As we look forward to this year’s A-Level Results Day, set to take place on Thursday 17 August 2023, it is worth remembering the huge amount of work over several years that goes into preparing pupils to succeed.

Long before any GCSE or A-Level content is studied, or GCSE Revision Courses are attended, critical progress is being made that will have a transformative effect on pupils’ eventual results. One key example of this reading development. If a child’s reading age is not sixteen by the time they sit their GCSEs, their results suffer across the board, not just in English or the Humanities. As such, one of our key areas of focus in the Prep and Key Stage 3 is to develop a real confidence and assuredness in our pupils when it comes to the written word.

Thanks to the latest data from Accelerated Reader for the previous academic year, we can demonstrate once again the strong reading skills developing across the school and laying a foundation for impressive GCSE and A-Level results in years to come.

Our Year 7 pupils have truly impressed us with their reading progress. On average, they are reading at a level half a year ahead of their age. Together, they have managed to read an impressive 19,797,763 words, with each pupil averaging nearly 900,000 words. To put that into perspective, that is around 11 books designed for 12-year-olds. Their engagement is reflected in their completion of 341 Accelerated Reader tests, showcasing not just quantity of reading, but also strong comprehension.

Moving on to Year 8, their dedication to reading remains strong. With an average reading age advancement of 7 months beyond their chronological age, their enthusiasm for reading is evident. They have collectively read 14,657,725 words, averaging around 610,000 words per pupil. They have also tackled 323 Accelerated Reader tests, indicating their growing ability to dive into more complex texts.

Beyond the numbers, Rydal Penrhos has taken a personalised approach to reading support. From the data collated in March 2023, the school identified a group of pupils who could benefit from targeted reading interventions. After just three months, we were thrilled to see 7 out of 9 pupils improving their reading age by more than 3 months. This tailored approach reflects our commitment to each pupil’s unique learning journey.

These accomplishments underscore the undeniable link between strong reading skills and academic achievement. Reading is not confined to specific subjects; it fosters critical thinking, analytical skills, and a lifelong love for learning.

At Rydal Penrhos, our dedication to cultivating a reading culture goes beyond just boosting literacy. It is about nurturing curiosity and encouraging a genuine appreciation for knowledge. As we move forward towards a new academic year, we are excited to continue guiding our pupils towards success, armed with the invaluable power of reading.