Today a Reader, Tomorrow a Leader

At Downlands, we love to read.  Every day at 2pm we Drop Everything and Read (DEAR time) for 10 minutes.  Teachers and students alike read together.  Our vision here is to create a learning culture in which pupils leave Downlands confident and highly literate citizens, citizens who are lifelong readers, able to deconstruct and make sense of the complex world they inhabit.  A world in which they can articulate their feelings and opinions through the spoken and written word.  We will ensure that every child makes the most of their considerable potential order to flourish and excel. 

Last year, we set the students a reading challenge.  Clara Davies in Year 9 tells the story better than we can:

“At the beginning of 2019, my tutor, Miss Millington, challenged me (to my initial horror) to read 52 books in the coming year. At first, I thought a book a week would be absolutely impossible, but I became accustomed to the idea and quite liked it; I love reading anyway, so I’d just have to do it more often, right?

In the end, much to the shock of everyone around me (including myself!) I managed to finish – and a couple of weeks before the deadline! I went from reading 200 page books to 1000 page books; I certainly discovered some great ones along the way too. One of my favourite books was The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. It was enchanting and enthralling – I definitely recommend it to all of you. I’d also recommend giving the Book a Week/52 Books in a Year challenge a go because it really does encourage you to read more often and it expands the genres of books you read. Try it!”

You can’t beat curling up with a great book.  As Jeanette Winterson said “Books and doors are the same thing.  You open them, and you go through into another world.”