Lockdown 2.0

Boris’ announcement at the weekend did not come as a surprise to many. It seems to be that before any big change in the rules, it’s leaked to the press a day or two before the government themselves decide to officially announce it.

I’m not going to enter into any debate about whether or not lockdowns are needed. They’re happening irrespective of personal views on the matter. What’s more important, for me at least, is to know what to do and how to cope with a lockdown as we enter the long, cold, dark winter months. 

“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive.”

James Baldwin
What to do on a dark and rainy evening...

Carnegie Reading Group

Yes, my answer to all problems in life is solved by picking up a book. But then that’s mostly because reading is such a wonderful thing to be able to do anywhere. During the summer months it’s fine to sit by a pool, on a beach or in a park with a paper back. In the deep depths of winter you get to curl up with a blanket and a cup of tea and read something else cover to cover. 

The Carnegie Reading Group starts on Wednesday. It was always our intention this year to run it online because it keeps things simple. We want as many young people to join in and participate in discussions about books and while there are restrictions and people need to self-isolate it made sense to just hold virtual meetings. 

As a result of this new lock down, however, we are really aware that things are rapidly changing for our students and their parents. We want to be able to support our students through these times in the best way that we can. That why, this half term, we are saying goodbye to the normal fees (£36 per half term) for the Carnegie Reading Group. 

There are a very limited number of places available on the group, and it is on a first come, first served basis.

You can book your place using the link to the Carnegie Booking page.


Frequently Asked Questions

Reading groups for children and students.

promoting a reading culture
What are the benefits of reading?

You don’t need an English teacher to extol the benefits of reading widely. It’s good for your mental health. Studies by The Book Trust have also shown the benefits of reading on brain development in young children. Reading for pleasure improves overall academic achievement, but it’s also a form of escapism and allows students to see the world in different ways. 

My child says that reading is boring. What do I do?

Not everyone likes mushy peas with their fish and chips. Some people don’t like to eat cake. These same people wouldn’t say that they dislike eating because they’ve tried some food and don’t like it. Books are the same. Dipping in and out of reading novels, short stories, poetry or non-fiction on a regular basis will help them work out what they do and do not like. The most important, and difficult, thing to do is to make it a positive experience. 

Who can come to the Carnegie Reading Group?

In the Spring term we will be following the Carnegie shortlist and so the group is primarily aimed at 11-16 year olds. 6th formers are more than welcome to attend if they want, but typically the ages of the students tends to be 12-15.

What is the Carnegie list, and do I have to read it all?

The Carnegie shortlist is announced each year in Spring, as a way of encouraging young people to get into reading and check out the latest and best literature around. This half term we will be talking about the books they’ve already read or are reading at the moment, so there’s no pressure to read anything in particular. Then, when the shortlist is announced, you have the option of purchasing it for a reduced cost. Most students will read all of the books, but some might end up only reading a few. 

Reading Group Information

Supporting Subheading

Yes, you need to book through the scheduling page

Normally £36 per half term. During November and December we are not charging for this reading group. We want to be able to encourage as many students as possible to read and socialise (distantly) during this time.

The sessions are held on Zoom. When you have booked, you will receive a link to the group meeting. Reminders 24 hours before the session are also automatically emailed out with the link on. 

Wednesdays at 4pm during term time. 

Mostly for Ks3/4 students (those in secondary school), but there may be some students who may be invited outside of this range. 

N.B. Some of the reading materials from the Carnegie shortlist might not be suitable for younger readers. We always advise parents to check the blurb or a review online.

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