Students choose a book, and Sparx Reader will regularly check their understanding of the story throughout the book.
Teachers know exactly who is reading, and can focus on those that need intervention and support.
Yes, students read whole e-books on the platform, not just short excerpts. Each story has been carefully broken up into passages, and at the end of a passage, a student will be asked a few questions about that part of the story. When they complete the questions, they will move onto the next part of the book.
We have e-books from a Sparx Level 1, which is roughly equivalent to a reading age of just over 6 (read a sample passage below) up to 16+ (classic literature such as Wuthering Heights). Gold readers can read any paperback book from their school library - some books require teacher validation before they can be read. There are enough books so that students at every level always have a choice of books to read.
Sample passage from a Sparx Level 1 book:
Ben yawned loudly. He had been excited about this trip. The zoo was a fun place, but not with school.
He was bored. He knew about habitats already. His best friend Ted was trying to make him laugh. Ted was good at making silly faces and doing funny voices. But even Ted wasn’t funny today. Nothing was fun.
Even the animals looked bored. All they did was eat. The chimps were next. Ben had hoped they might be playing, but they were just sat in the trees. Bored too.
Students who are new to Sparx Reader will be given a selection of carefully selected e-books which they can work through over several weeks. This allows us to understand whether they are able to read carefully and are motivated to independently finish a book. Those that demonstrate they can do this will then be able to add their own books to the system. We do not use students' level or reading age to decide when to unlock this feature, meaning weaker readers will be able to add their own books if they are reading carefully and are motivated to complete books independently. Similarly, if stronger readers cannot demonstrate that they can read the e-books carefully and remain motivated to complete books, they will continue to only have access to the Sparx Reader e-books.
Students earn Sparx Reading Points (SRP) when they read a book using Sparx Reader. The number of points they earn reflects the amount of time and effort they spend reading. It means the number of points students are able to earn is independent of their reading speed or ability.
This is up to you as a school. Sparx Reader is flexible, allowing you to use it as a tool for reading in class, or to set reading homework. For example, some schools use Reader to set 30 minutes of reading practice to be done at home each day. Others have a weekly library lesson where students use Sparx Reader for a dedicated hour of reading.
Our aim with Reader is to ensure every student is reading regularly, and for teachers to be aware of exactly who is reading and who is not. When students read with Sparx, we want to ensure that they are understanding what they are reading, so we regularly check their understanding of the story. They have to read the text carefully. We don't have questions that encourage higher-level thinking such as inference and evaluation.
You can register your interest using the link on this page, or you can email us a question at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Easy to set every student a personalised reading task to complete in class or at home.
Real-time insights show exactly who is reading. Teachers can identify class and student progress.
Get students reading more. Students read more carefully, and achieve a better understanding of their books. Sparx Reader uses evidence-based practice to improve students’ literacy.
Students always have a choice in what they read. Our e-book library has modern fiction books from many publishers as well as classic stories.
Tasks are personalised based on each student's reading ability so that every student can be successful with their reading. The books that a student can choose from are carefully chosen so that the text is accessible yet suitably challenging.
Students engage with the story because they regularly complete quizzes about the story as they read their book.
Students who have demonstrated that they can read carefully and have the motivation and ability to finish the Sparx Reader e-books can add their own books from the school library or home.
Students receive Sparx Reading Points (SRP) whenever they complete a reading task in Sparx Reader.
Students are challenged with daily vocabulary puzzles so they discover and practise new words presented to them in context.
As students complete reading tasks, they gain Sparx Reader Points (SRP) and can compete with other students in their class or worldwide to climb up the leaderboard.
Any device with a web browser is able to access Sparx Reader.
Scientific trials have shown that reading ages can increase by more than 16 months in a year of use.
We have run two controlled trials and are currently running two more to show that using Sparx Reader is a significant improvement over other reading programmes.