Reading challenge with a difference

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Imagine reading a book while scuba diving, cartwheeling round the garden, or dropping everything in the middle of an important task just to pick up the Kindle.

Well students at Tadcaster Grammar School have been encouraged to do just that and it doesn’t end there.

The Literacy team at the school are really pushing the boundaries and reaching out to every student to make the subject interesting, even if on occasions it seems diverse in the extreme.

However, Literacy Leaders Adam Dawson, Joanne Alderson and Melanie Carroll are seeing the results as they get the message out there that Literacy can be fun. They have introduced a number of exciting programmes which they have rolled out across all year groups and it really is working.

Apart from Extreme Reading challenges, programmes include DEAR time (Drop Everything And Read), Fortnightly Favourite Words, a Spelling Bee competition, World Book Day celebrations, Accelerated Reading in Year 8 and 9, Reading Leaders in Year 12 supporting weaker readers, Literacy Detective videos to help with common grammar mistakes and the promotion of a love of reading in the school.

“Okay, it may be gimmicky, but it is great to see students thinking about reading on holiday and in their spare time and making it a fun part of their day,” said Mr Dawson.

“What we are trying to do is blow away the cobwebs where reading is concerned and breathe some life into reading new things and discovering whole new worlds through someone else’s perspective,” he added.

“It is often a brave thing to turn away from all of the distractions of modern life and immerse oneself in a good book, but for those who do the rewards can be life changing.”

The Spelling Bee has now become an annual event and very popular, enhanced by a visit to the Harry Potter Studios for the winner. Students have embraced the challenge of spelling as their testimonials prove.

“I entered the Spelling Bee because I know that it is something I am relatively good at and the prize was a big incentive!” said Year 11 student Lucy Roebuck. “I truly hope that the Spelling Bee continues as it is a great opportunity for those who enjoy English and would like to visit the Harry Potter studios.

An amazing experience,” she exclaimed.

Fellow Year 11 student Poppy Askew would ultimately like to be a novelist one day, so for her

entering the Spelling Bee was a no brainer. “I enjoy spelling and reading and I want to write books

one day,” she said. “I really liked the prize too because Harry Potter movies are my childhood,” she

added.