•To encourage Year 7 students to feel a real part of the Trinity community.
•To celebrate students’ love of literacy and learning.
•To encourage students to develop a love of reading and writing.
•To allow every student in Year 7 to discover new authors, new books and new creative ideas of their own.
The following events took place over the course of Literacy week:
Library Webcasts From Monday - Thursday, Year 7 students had the opportunity to watch a virtual webcast from an author while enjoying their lunchtime sandwiches in the library. Each day there was a new interview with an author. There was a webcast on the following authors; Jacqueline Wilson, Eoin Colfer, Michelle Paver and Charlie Higson. Below, Year 7 student Maddie Edwards, reflects on her experience of the webcasts:
I thought that the Jacqueline Wilson broadcast was ... AMAZING! GREAT! ASTONISHING! I loved it I couldn't take my eyes off the screen. I have read lots of her books and enjoyed every moment of it. One day I would love to be a writer, write books, make my own stories and she has inspired me to be writer even more after that broadcast. I think what she said was great advice for young women and men, it also was great advice for me wanting to be a writer getting all these brilliant tips from my favourite author and I'm sure other people from the broadcast would say the same thing. - Maddie Edwards
Book Talk from Nina Simon (Redbridge Library Service)
On Monday 4th November, Nina Simon gave an after school talk to a group of Year 7 students. Nina spoke about her profession as a librarian and read extracts from her favourite books. Students were encouraged to predict ‘what happens next’ and gave their view about the extracts that they had read to them. One Year 7 student commented:
I enjoyed listening to Nina Simon as she could answer all of our questions about different books and told us about some great books that I would love to read. - Bridget Baker
Each English teacher nominated two of their students to become Reading Ambassadors for two days of Literacy week. Each Ambassador devised a presentation on their favourite book and delivered this to the rest of the Year 7 forms thus taking students out of their comfort zones and in turn developing their confidence and public speaking skills. The presentations focused on the students’ opinions, the genre and the storyline of the book and other aspects which the students wanted to focus on. The Year 7 cohort then completed a quiz, based on the presentations they had listened to, during circle time on the final day of Literacy Week. Below are comments from Reading Ambassadors themselves and also comments from those students who listened to the presentations. It is evident to see, from this feedback, that the presentations were a great success:
The book presentations that I saw were really good. I thought that they were great because they contained all of the right information about the book which made me more interested. I learnt about new and different books. - Peggy Talbot
At first I was really pleased that I was going to be a reading ambassador. The thought of sharing my favourite book to others was great. As it got closer to the time of delivering my presentation I was really nervous. When I started to talk about my book it didn’t seem so bad everyone seemed interested which made me feel encouraged to speak about the books that I enjoy. The next time I did my presentation was to 7M I felt really relaxed and calm. It is great being a reading ambassador because I get to share the pleasure that reading can bring to others!!! - Rianna Chambers
Since I have been a reading ambassador, I have prepared a presentation and quiz questions that I had to present to different classes. Doing these presentations was a little scary but it definitely boosted my confidence to speak aloud. I hope there will be more activities and jobs to do that would enrol me as a reading ambassador again. - Madeline Shefford
I enjoyed the presentations because they make you want to read the book that they are reading as well as having a head’s start to the book. I learnt that you cannot judge a book by the front cover and that you need to read them to know them.
- Caitlin Gaughan
Dr Doherty’s Ghost Story English Lesson
On Tuesday 5th November, Year 7 were split into two groups and invited to St Joseph’s House for the Headmaster’s ‘Masterclass’ on Ghost Writing. Students then wrote their own ghost stories as part of an in-house competition; the best entries will also be submitted to an external writing competition called ‘A Twist in the Tale’. These stories clearly demonstrate not only a love of story-telling but also a desire to replicate the gripping atmosphere that Dr Doherty created that afternoon. Students commented that:
I mostly enjoyed listening to the ghost stories from Dr Doherty because they were really scary and interesting. I also enjoyed making the bunting [in Art] but the ghost stories were my favourite. - Nathan Tree I enjoyed the ghost stories the best because they were definitely spooky and I didn’t want it to end. [Dr Doherty] used his voice in different tones to scare us. - Cian Lennon I enjoyed the Ghost Lecture by Dr Doherty as it was a really frightening, yet exciting experience. It was interesting to be able to listen to those eerie stories and even make one together. - Jude Swinden
The Literacy Treasure Hunt
To conclude the many and varied activities offered during Literacy Week, Year 7 students took part in a very exciting Literacy Treasure Hunt. Students were set the task of deducing their teachers' favourite books using a set of clues. Once students had solved the clue for one teacher, they were given a clue as to who the next teacher was, and so on. Having met the teacher, the students also had to solve the cryptic clue which would reveal that teacher’s favourite book. This took place during Friday lunchtime - the winning team submitted their entry two minutes before the bell for period 3 went! The winning team were: Ryan Byrne, Benjamin Fernandez Steele, Maxwell Van Horne, Raphael Grosvenor who have been awarded with cinema tickets to go and see ‘The Hunger Games movie’ – a cinematic adaptation of a most popular novel.
Students commented that:
I enjoyed the treasure hunt because whenever I found out the next teacher, it gave me a rush of excitement. - Emily Green
I enjoyed the treasure hunt the most because it was fun trying to work out who the teacher was and what their favourite book was. - Lauren Daley
In addition to the events provided specifically for Year 7 students, ‘masterclasses’ were also offered to GCSE and A-Level students. Ms Taylor gave a masterclass on World War One poetry, Miss Espley gave a masterclass on Essay Writing in Psychology and Miss Kinder gave a masterclass on The Outsider in Comedy. All masterclasses were packed with students and this reflects a culture of independent learning at Trinity, as well as teachers’ commitment to providing an extensive curriculum for all students.
A number of departments supported Literacy Week by offering lessons to Year 7 students with a specific literacy focus. These departments were: History, RE, Geography Art and, of course, English. The Art department used two Year 7 lessons for students to prepare ‘Book Bunting’ with prior to the Literacy Week and this was used to decorate the communal areas of the Lower Site. Students commented that:
I enjoyed making the book bunting because it was fun and you got to be creative. - Patrick Wellings
In History it was really fun writing about what castles they used to have and [be able to] write about it. - Alexander Young Andrew Motion Lecture On Thursday 7th November, Andrew Motion visited the Redbridge Drama Centre to deliver a lecture on his recent works on war poetry. Andrew Motion was the Poet Laureate from 1999 to 2009 and was knighted for his services to Literature in 2009. He is also currently a Professor of Creative Writing at Royal Holloway University. This was a wonderful opportunity for those students, who have an enthusiasm for English, to discover what inspires a professional writer.
Parents’ Literacy Workshop
Alice Kinder delivered a 45 minute inset to parents of students in Year 7 on Saturday 9th November. The aim of the inset was to help parents support their children with their literacy at home. Alice Kinder presented and explained, to a large group of 47 parents, a range of strategies to aid and encourage reading for pleasure at home. This inset helped parents to understand that at Trinity, we want to inspire our students with a love of reading early on – a love that will last them into adulthood; and turn any reluctant readers into keen readers! Parents gave feedback following the inset and commented:
As a parent this was great and reinforced lots of what we believe and pass on to our children. Many Thanks.
I really did appreciate the session.
This meeting has been very helpful for both me and my sonbr> Well presented, informative and helpful.
How has Literacy Week helped our students?
The comments below are a selection of student comments regarding what they learnt from Literacy Week how they intend to move their reading forward as a result of Literacy Week:
I am going to improve my reading habits by reading for about two hours a week. I will try to read more challenging books for at least a term.
- Jemima Bexley
I learnt that not all books are for a particular gender. Also, I learnt that not all books are boring as I would like to read one I was told about.
- Isobel Baker
I might get a kindle and visit the library more. Also I think that I should read more of the book before I decide that I don’t like it.
- Benjamin Fernandez-Steele
The Headmaster’s ghost talk was thrilling and exciting [É] it inspired me to write ghost stories.
- Luca Celentano
I’ll improve my reading habits by reading some of the books that came up during Literacy Week.
- Lauren Daley