Patron of Reading
Renowned children’s author Joffre White will be joining us at Deer Park during 2017 as our Patron of Reading. This is a new and exciting initiative for us. Joffre will be working directly with pupils in a number of high profile events throughout the year, as well as remotely, to encourage and help us develop further a reading for pleasure culture within the school and inspire and promote creative writing.
I’m absolutely thrilled to be joining Cirencester Deer Park School as their Patron of Reading in 2017. To have the opportunity to work with the staff and pupils of this brilliant school is so exciting.
Mrs Davies, Head of English, has already invited Joffre to judge our pupils’ Winter Wonderland short stories, but his first major assignment will be within our Humanities Faculty as a part of their Faculty in Focus programme in Term 3. Here he will help our pupils reflect on and learn from the Holocaust.
International research shows that children who routinely read for pleasure do significantly better in their examinations. (Read more...)
To help develop his role as our Patron of Reading in 2017, Joffre joined staff on our in-service training day on Friday 18 November 2016. In his presentation, he captured teachers’ attention by broadening the appeal of reading beyond the English Faculty and shared the power and impact of books and authors’ insights. For example, he demonstrated how books and reading can help us all: he signposted where pupils can find out about the origins of the major themes of the 21st Century, careers and visions of the future. This is a cross-curricular initiative and colleagues in Science are already planning how to incorporate Joffre, books and reading into their schemes of learning in Term 4.
Joffre will be working closely with members of staff and pupils to ensure we are a ‘reading school’. His work with key groups of pupils will complement our whole school Literacy strategy and commitment to promoting reading for pleasure through our ‘Accelerated Reader’ programme in Year 7. We are in discussion with him about creating reading and writing ambassadors’ programmes and, Mrs Dew, one of our librarians, is planning on launching a monthly book group.
We are really delighted Joffre White is going to be our Patron of Reading in 2017. As a practising and successful children’s author he is a superb role model for all who aspire to write. His passion for reading and writing is infectious and his knowledge of, and ability to recommend books and make connections is impressive. I look forward to seeing the impact of his work on our pupils’ learning and future life chances.
Chiquita Henson, Head
Joffre previously contributed to our enrichment programme at the invitation of Mrs Reynolds, our former librarian, and his presentations to Year 7 in 2015-16, about his life and work as a writer were enjoyed by pupils and staff alike. He was quick to engage his audiences and provided true inspiration!
Joffre is passionate about making the Powell’s Learning Centre, our library, the heart of the school, and commended our librarians as excellent and reliable sources of information. He values human interaction and encourages everyone to talk about the books they are reading and to recommend books to each other.
I am currently reading ‘The Lollipop Shoes’ by Joanne Harris, but this New Year I have also discovered some good reads in ‘The Novel Cure’, a compendium of recommendations for every condition put together by bibliotherapists Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkin, who have also collated the ‘The Story Cure’ which is packed with good reads for children!
Chiquita Henson, Head