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Events and Opportunities

The Carnegie book group

Each year, students in Years 8 and 9 are invited to shadow the national Carnegie Medal for Writing competition by reading and judging a shortlisted collection of fiction texts. Individuals choose and read a book from the shortlist then meet weekly to discuss their response to it with others students and adults in the school.

As the weeks progress, the group evaluates the merits of each text and determines which they think will win and become runners-up. When the official judges make their decisions the Carnegie group meet in the library for the awards ceremony where the winner is announced and we enjoy a celebration.

Such is the success of the Carnegie Shadowing group that we have now established a second group to run alongside this where students from Years 7, 8 and 9 evaluate previous Carnegie shortlists to decide which is the best book. 

The Y7 Poetry festival

An annual event, the Year 7 Poetry Festival is a showcase of our young people’s authentic poetry performed in front of an audience of peers, adults from the school and parents / carers.

This exceptional evening is the culmination of many months of preparation with students learning about a wide range of poetry and poets in their English lessons before creating their own anthology of authentic work.

During the evening, students nominate themselves to present their poetry in front of an audience in categories such as: Myths and Legends; Heroes; Relationships and Family. Students’ anthologies are on display for everyone to see. Everyone involved is always exceptionally proud of their achievements with many students never having written poetry before or presented on stage.

Jack Petchey Speak Out Challenge

Each year, we take part in the Jack Petchey Speak Out Challenge. There are a series of competitions moving from local to national that pitch students against one another in delivering a speech to peers and other adults.

The events are an excellent opportunity for the selected individuals to present in their ideas in a public forum. There is considerable preparation for the event with two dedicated teachers supporting students in developing their content and significant rehearsal. The Jack Petchey Foundation kindly provides a trainer to come into school for an entire day to work with a large group of Year 10 students on their oracy and presentation skills. They may not all end up presenting at the events but the opportunity to learn about strategies to improve clarity, engage your audience and develop fluency are crucial to good public speaking. 

Author visits

 Authors regularly visit us to share their latest writing and their top tips for budding authors. The workshops are always fun and focus on how the author develops original ideas and the process of publication. 




Joyce Efia Harmer “How far we’ve come”

Caroline Green

Juliet Webber

Debate club

Debate club runs weekly and supports students in engaging with a wide range of challenging topics in a safe environment. Alongside the skills they hone in presentation, students’ wider learning is enriched by exposure to differing views and perspectives they may not otherwise encounter. Many of our debate club students comment that this often helps them to develop their understanding of the curriculum as they have a greater                                                                                                       understanding of how issues they learn                                                                                               about might effect a greater proportion of                                                                                           the community.

KS5 reading list

The library contains resources explicitly designed to support our Sixth Form students. We have a collection of subject specific monthly publications, prized for their focus on key exam skills and the broader knowledge the informed articles offers.

The library also has a Sixth Form reading list, aiming to develop a more critical understanding of the world around them, a greater understanding of differing                                                                                                      perspectives and containing more                                                                                                        challenging or complex ideas. 

Book club (staff)

Each term, any member of staff can choose to join our staff book club. Often with 15 members, our staff read a chosen book and then meet to discuss their experience of it. It is a fantastic way to share a love of literature and hear each other’s perspectives.

Book buzz

Year 7 students are invited to select a book of their choice for free from a collection. This is an immensely popular event and encourages large groups of Year 7 students to read collaboratively and share their experiences of their chosen texts. 

World Book Day

World Book Day is an annual extravaganza of all things literary. Students engage in quizzes, take on reading challenges, engage with daily activities in the library and tutor time is dedicated to reading collectively and sharing great books.

Student authors

One of our Year 9 students entered a "Young Writers" competition last year, tasked with writing a 100 word crime-themed mini saga. Her entry was published along with other successful entries from students around the country. Well done!

Some of Year 7 students who have entered the national talent for writing competition. Al of their work has been published in regional collections.

Talent for writing comp