DEAR Time

For the past three years, all students have participated in DEAR time (Drop Everything And Read), during afternoon registration. Usually, students read their own free choice book quietly for 20 minutes. In order to encourage students to challenge themselves, we are introducing one ‘shared’ text each half-term that we believe is culturally relevant and appropriately engaging.

Students will partially read the text with their Form Tutor during DEAR time, then bring it home to continue reading the text to the end. This will be their only homework for the holiday period. However, we know that many students will want to do more, and as such, we have designed a range of ‘stretch and challenge’ tasks which students can complete alongside their holiday reading. All stretch projects completed will be rewarded.

Finally, students who may wish to read the rest of the book can find copies in our school library. We very much hope that you will encourage and support children with this reading.

DEAR Texts

YearAutumn One
Amazing Places (Wild by Cheryl Strayed)

At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humour, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.

Amazing Places (Wild by Cheryl Strayed)

At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humour, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.

Into the Wild (Into the Wild by Jon Krakaeur)

In April, 1992, a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, a party of moose hunters found his decomposed body. How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild.

Social media: the good, the bad and the ugly. (Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now by Jaron Lanier)

A timely call-to-arms from a Silicon Valley pioneer. You might have trouble imagining life without your social media accounts, but virtual reality pioneer Jaron Lanier insists that we’re better off without them. In Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now, Lanier, who participates in no social media, offers powerful and personal reasons for all of us to leave these dangerous online platforms.

YearAutumn Two
Thinking Big (The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan)

“What’s for dinner?” seemed like a simple question–until journalist and supermarket detective Michael Pollan delved behind the scenes. From fast food and big organic to small farms and old-fashioned hunting and gathering, this young readers’ adaptation of Pollan’s famous food-chain exploration encourages kids to consider the personal and global health implications of their food choices. The Omnivore’s Dilemma serves up a bold message to the generation that needs it most: It’s time to take charge of our national eating habits-and it starts with you.

How did it all begin? (Brief answers to the big questions by Stephen Hawking)

Throughout his extraordinary career, Stephen Hawking expanded our understanding of the universe and unravelled some of its greatest mysteries. But even as his theoretical work on black holes, imaginary time and multiple histories took his mind to the furthest reaches of space, Hawking always believed that science could also be used to fix the problems on our planet.

Asking big questions: (From here to eternity by Caitlin Doughty)

The best-selling author of expands our sense of what it means to treat the dead with “dignity.” Fascinated by our pervasive terror of dead bodies, mortician Caitlin Doughty set out to discover how other cultures care for their dead.

Human Rights (Here I Stand, Amnesty International)

Did you know that … government spies can turn on your phone and use the microphone to listen to your conversations? … that lesbian and gay relationships are illegal in 78 countries and can be punished by death? … that Amnesty recently recorded the highest number of executions globally for more than 25 years?  Through short stories and poetry, twenty-five leading authors and illustrators explore the top human rights issues facing young people today.

YearSpring One
No Poverty: The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde was born in 1854 in Dublin, the capital of Ireland. His father was a doctor, but he probably got his sense of humour and writing abilities from his mother, who was also a poet. Wilde lived in a time of great social change, and was imprisoned for expressing his true self. Despite this difficult time, Wilde wrote some fantastic plays, poems and novels, and is a well-loved author today. This text is all about re-evaluating what it means to be ‘rich’ or ‘poor’.

Good Health and Wellbeing: A Handful of Quiet: Happiness in Four Pebbles by Thich Nhat Han

A Handful of Quiet presents one of the best known and most innovative meditation practices developed by Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist. Pebble meditation is a playful and fun activity that will introduce you to meditation. It is designed to involve you in a hands-on and creative way that touches on your interconnection with nature. Practising pebble meditation can help relieve stress, increase concentration, nourish gratitude, and can help you deal with difficult emotions. Anyone wishing to plant seeds of peace, relaxation, and awareness in children will find this unique meditation guide helpful.

Quality Education: I am Malala – by Malala Yousafzai

On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive.  Instead, Malala’s miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she became a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize.

I AM MALALA is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls’ education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons.

I AM MALALA will make you believe in the power of one person’s voice to inspire change in the world.

Zero Hunger: Man’s Search for Meaning- Victor Frankl

A prominent Viennese psychiatrist before the war, Viktor Frankl was uniquely able to observe the way that both he and others in Auschwitz coped (or didn’t) with the experience. He noticed that it was the men who comforted others and who gave away their last piece of bread who survived the longest – and who offered proof that everything can be taken away from us except the ability to choose our attitude in any given set of circumstances. The sort of person the concentration camp prisoner became was the result of an inner decision and not of camp influences alone. Frankl came to believe man’s deepest desire is to search for meaning and purpose. This outstanding work offers us all a way to transcend suffering and find significance in the art of living.