Outstanding Readathon School
Reading for pleasure
Returning to school after the October 2019 half term, we were delighted to receive a letter and certificate from local charity Read for Good, certifying that we are an Outstanding Readathon School!
Read for Good, based in Nailsworth, encourage schools to run sponsored reads, 'Readathons'. With the money raised, they run a unique programme bringing the power and magic of stories into all 30 of the UK's major childrens' hospitals via mobile bookcases and resident storytellers, as well as helping bring new books into schools.
We have raised almost £13,000 for Read for Good through 13 Readathons; our 2019 Readathon raising over £2,100. Children who take part in a Readathon are more likely to read more, read more widely and use their school library. Our pupils obviously enjoy the opportunity to spend half a day or whole day off timetable and reading in The PLC (our library), whilst raising money for a programme which helps children in hospital. Our Librarians, Mrs Bond and Mrs Hill, keep participants' energy up with hot chocolate and biscuits!
“Running the Readathon events for Read for Good is always a pleasure, as the pupils concentrate well and enjoy their reading, whilst raising money for such a good cause." Librarians Mrs Bond and Mrs Hill
We are really pleased to hear that Read for Good are to be one of the featured charities in the 2019 Children in Need Appeal, which will be on BBC One on Friday 15 November. Look out for their film from 7.30pm, showing how they bring the magic of books and storytellers to children in hospitals across the UK.
Ahead of the Children in Need Appeal, you can hear mother and daughter Jenny and Eliza on Radio 4's The Listening Post, talking about how Read for Good helped them: Jenny and Eliza - Chocolate or Books?
As part of our drive to encourage pupils to read, as soon as they join Deer Park, all Year 7s have a weekly Accelerated Reader lesson in the PLC. This session gives them the opportunity to read for pleasure and then take a quiz on the book that they have read in order to ensure they are reading books that will develop their reading skills. Pupils sometimes have the pleasure of the company of Wilbur, our new School Dog, who just happens to belong to English Teacher Mr Lay. Wilbur loves the attention and is developing his skills as a reading guidance dog. The pupils are now accustomed to Wilbur’s presence in these lessons and are always pleased to see him.
We encourage all our pupils to read for at least 20 minutes each day. Sometimes it can be a challenge to find time or a quiet space to read, but we would encourage everyone, of any age, to persevere.
Good value books
Deer Park pupils in in Years 7, 8 and 9 should recently have brought home a Scholastic Teen Book Club magazine. The book prices are really competitive and parents can get free delivery to school before we break up for Christmas if they order online by Friday 29 November. As a school we benefit from any orders placed through us, with 25% of the total order value coming back to our library, the PLC, in free books. This is an ideal opportunity to fire up the imagination of young people you know with something new to read. The magazine's current Book of the Month is Philip Pullman's 'His Dark Materials' - that brilliant trilogy of novels (Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass) which is being televised on the BBC. Whether you are a parent of pupils in Key Stage 3 or Key Stage 4, you can go to the Scholastic Deer Park page, select Teen (books for 11+) and place your order online.
Although still some weeks away, we are already looking forward to the fact that the Christmas holidays will be an ideal opportunity to indulge in some quality reading time, whatever the subject matter! Some of our English Faculty and Librarians are looking forward to giving and receiving the following books:
- The Secret Commonwealth: The Book of Dust Volume Two by Philip Pullman
- The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
- No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg
- The Salt Path by Raynor Winn
- The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris
- This Is Not A Drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook by Extinction Rebellion
- Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics by Tim Marshall
- Rotherweird by Andrew Caldecott
If you are looking for inspiration, we recommend visiting your local bookshop or you might want to look at the books listed in this year's literary prizes: