At IGS, there are two book clubs – one for KS3, and one for KS4. Both are well put together, and discuss interesting texts. Both teachers said that their students were engaged, and furthermore, the students tend to become better in lessons the more they read, regardless of the material itself.
The KS3 book club is run by Mr. Johnston and was set up before Christmas, and tends to focus on lighter texts appropriate for younger years. The club takes on a free form approach of discussing what the students are reading as opposed to any set books, and the discussion will be very open and sociable although, Mr. Johnston aims to make conversations about characters, themes and recommendations for future reading. As for the level of opportunity for reading, Mr. Johnston commented that he believes DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) was a very good idea brought in by Mrs. Lowes last year, and also that the library was very well set up for students. However, it would be nice to see more books coming in and dedicated lesson time to read, as it opens a wealth of worlds for the students to become encompassed in.
On the other hand, the KS4 book club, run by Miss Linney, takes please near to the 1st of the month as possible and covers heavier topics that provoke a more emotional and opinion-based response from the students, as it is mainly marketed towards GCSE students and sixth formers. This book club has many interesting discussions: the last meeting looked at Good Omens by Terry Prachett and Neil Gaiman. A variety of ideas were brought to light, including discussions about themes, the satirical message, and the authors’ intent. Conversations have the aim of being fun and casual, and about preferences, not analysis, as many might presume. When asked about reading opportunities, Miss Linney said that she is happy with the level the school is providing, but that she would like to see more students taking up those opportunities and really grabbing reading by choice.
Both teachers were then given the opportunity of free commentary, and Mr. Johnston took the time to say that book club was very relaxed and there was little to no preparation required, while Miss Linney emphasized heavily that there was always cake at her club. Both have compelling reasons to attend if you ask me!