3 November 2021

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At Balshaw’s we want all our students to read for pleasure for at least ten minutes a day, every day. Studies suggest that students who read for pleasure are more academically successful in all subject areas, particularly in science and maths! Ten minutes a day is roughly 1% of a young person’s day. Statistics suggest that young people spend an average of 7 hours a day at a screen… reading for ten minutes is a fraction of this time and provides our young people with a much needed escape from the constant companionship of their smart phones and gaming devices!

Over the last two weeks, I have delivered assemblies to all houses on the importance of reading for pleasure. Our ability to communicate and express ourselves in the nuanced and complex ways we do, be it through films, music or novels, makes us special but can often be taken for granted. The evolution of the written word is a miracle. Recording transient talk through the centuries has allowed language to evolve and grow and shaped who we are today. It is something we want our students to treasure. Now, we can be transported to the world of Hogwarts or the district of Panem, rooting for Katniss Everdeen with the turn of a page. Reading feeds our imagination, builds vocabulary and increases our ability to empathise.

Reading is now more accessible than ever… our library has over 8,000 titles and students need to be taking full advantage of this. Every English class in years 7 to 9 should have had a library lesson this term and will be due to write a book review of the text they have chosen before Christmas. However, we don’t want this to be a chore! If students aren’t enjoying what they are reading, they need to speak to their teachers, form tutors or to our experienced librarian, Dr Breen, to seek advice on the kind of text that might be best suited to them. Non-fiction, manga and poetry all count!

My mission, as Literacy Co-ordinator, is that all students at Balshaw’s will have found a book they love by the end of the year. I hope we can all support our students to find ‘that’ book and to help them to fall in love with reading.

Miss McCutcheon - Literacy Co-ordinator

Pictured: Year 8 and Year 11 students reading in the library together. The Year 8 students were recording the new vocabulary they learnt whilst they read, such as the word 'desolate'. We want all students at Balshaw's to be reading for pleasure every day. We say: 10 minutes a day, every day. It makes a difference. And not just to your grades...to your emotional well-being too! #readforpleasure