In September 2019, we launched our Drop Everything And Read (DEAR) programme.

Each school day students have a DEAR session in form groups, after registration in their form bases, where they read culturally enriching works of literature with their form tutors. The form tutor reads aloud as students follow the text using their own individual copy of the book. All forms in a year group read the same chapters each week, so as to enjoy an enriching and shared learning journey. Students read approximately one book per term.

All the books have been carefully selected to develop students' range of vocabulary, but also, to provide them with important cultural capital. In short, not just knowledge of words, but knowledge of the world. From September 2021 there will be a Permanent Schedule of books for DEAR.

The first set of books:

Year 7 - The Giver
Year 8 - Welcome to Nowhere
Year 9 - Noughts and Crosses
Year 10 - Woman in Black
Year 11 - 1984

The second set of books:

Year 7 - War Horse
Year 8 – The Outsiders
Year 9 – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime
Year 10 – Call of the Wild & White Fang
Year 11 – Life of Pi

Form tutors are provided with guides, explaining and outlining the core themes to address for each chapter. There is also a list of key vocabulary to define and explain, and student glossaries to help with any tricky words.

Through reading, we are transported to new and exciting places beyond the realms of our everyday lives. We know that as children get older, many of them stop reading for pleasure. More than any other factor, reading ability and the number of words we know are the main predictors of social mobility. Ultimately, we want our students to have as many truly enriching learning experiences as possible and we are very excited to introduce our (DEAR) Drop Everything And Read programme.