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#We_CAN – Blog 25.03.19

A regular Academy blog from the team at CAN!

‘Dr Seuss’

As we slowly come to the end of another hard-working, productive term, it would be all too easy to feel tired. Yet once again our students show what they can do when challenged, as reading becomes a trending cultural standard across CAN.

Reading seems to be becoming more and more of an accepted cultural expectation within CAN; in English lessons, students eagerly question when they can renew or return their book so the next in the series can be obtained, and in many form groups throughout the school reading is a key part of how the students start their day- calmly, and in a way which mentally stimulates them. Similarly, DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) time seems to be ever more enjoyed by students all the way from Year 7 to Year 10- for example, my Year 7 English class are enjoying the moral questions raised in the incredibly challenging Minority Report, through which debates around innocence and guilt, right and wrong and even the meaning of life are discussed at length- evidence, if ever more were needed, that our students can, and want to, be challenged as far as we dare to push them.

Outside of lessons, I have been lucky enough to enjoy more conversations with students about reading than ever before; some students in Year 8 are noticeably choosing to read during their break-time, sat in the Key Stage Three canteen area, whilst others ask if I’ve read the latest book they’ve just finished devouring. Many students have also created a buzz around some of the newer books now available in the library, which has caused an additional surge of eager reading.

This cultural shift is more than just a passion for me, as a teacher of English, however; this is a cultural shift towards empathy, towards imagination and towards cultural capital. Students are embracing the different worlds that books can offer them, and not only absorbing the content but embracing the ideas. More than ever before, the students of CAN are using their reading as a springboard for their cross-curricular learning, with their literature experiences allowing them to engage with the complex ideas and challenges that secondary school and adolescence can throw at them.

We still have places to go, as we continue to encourage students to read as avidly outside of school as they do inside of school, however it is impossible to shake the feeling of emotional maturity growing, slowly but surely, with reading as the bringer of this growth.

What strength will our students show next? I couldn’t say. But I can say, without a doubt, that it will be brought about by the hard work and eagerness for reading that they are finding and holding on to- and I couldn’t be prouder.

Mr M. Saddleton – Teacher of English & Progress Leader, year 7

“The more you read, the more you know; the more you know, the further you’ll go!” – Dr Seuss