English at WAVE

We know the importance of developing empathy in our young people and society, and we're seeing it in action in these current times as communities look to support each other. So what is empathy? And how can we develop it? Reading and discussing stories and characters is a great way! 

'In reading, you get to feel things, visit places and worlds you would never otherwise know. You learn that everyone else out there is a me, as well. Empathy is a tool for building people into groups, for allowing us to function as more than self-obsessed individuals'-Neil Gaiman

You can read more about the work and research underpinning how reading can help develop empathy and the work of EmpathyLab UK here:

EmpathyLabUK-find out more here

On June 9th 2020, it is Empathy Day, and a lot of free family learning resources have been produced to support home learning. There are videos of some great and classic stories; children's laureate Cressida Cowell and author Malorie Blackman leading online activities, as well as games and activities to support empathetic thinking and understanding. You can access these by clicking the link below.

Family Activities-Read for Empathy

EmpathyDay FamilyPackCover Apr2020 400w

Studying English Literature takes us on journeys to other worlds and cultures as well as to that of our own. Through literature, we learn and experience great human truths and dilemmas played out. Through insights into the minds, lives, thoughts and characters of others, we can develop empathy and ask searching questions, as well as learn about history and our place in it. As such, we believe Literature holds a very important space within our curriculum at WAVE and seek every opportunity to explore books with our classes- and for older students, study for the GCSE in English Literature. 

Here are some useful links to study resources for the AQA GCSE depending on which books you may be studying in class.

Writing and Analysing Poetry

Using Quotations and Textual References

Shakespeare

An Inspector Calls

A Christmas Carol

At Key Stage 3, AQA have issued this resource booklet for introducing 19th Century Literature:

AQA 19th Century Literature at Key Stage 3 pdf

 

Reading or listening to audiobooks are both great ways of accessing stories and enjoying the world of books. One is not 'less' or 'more' than the other, and both activities involve engaging parts of the creative brain. In praise of audiobooks, and the value of this way of accessing a world of books is discussed by academics from the University of Texas here in a podcast:

https://www.kut.org/post/why-reading-audiobooks-isnt-shortcut-listening-vs-reading-and-your-brain-0

There are lots of free audiobooks available via the BBC sounds app. A few suggestions are below:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/category/audiobooks

Some great ideas to inspire creativity and ideas are available here, in a downloadable booklet form; a daily live interactive lesson with Pie Corbett; or within a daily blog with creative ideas for literacy.

https://www.talk4writing.com/covid-19/

Head to summerreadingchallenge.org.uk (see link below) to stay up to date with all the info ahead of the launch on 5 June.

Summer Reading Challenge 2020

Last week was World Book Day. If you haven't seen the WBD website, it's certainly worth a look as a great source of inspiration.

World Book Day website

Lots of podcasts from successful authors talking about creating character; empathy; the writing experience as well as sometimes their own struggles at school and as writers. WAVE APs celebrated in many ways, and encouraging reading and creativity is of course something we aim to do each and everyday, not just on ONE day a year. To celebrate and give opportunity to our great student writers within Medical AP, and join collectively our new centres across the county including Torlands and Sowenna, we ran our first ever 'CHAIN STORY'. Teachers and classes each took a section of the story as follows, writing their section together before sending on to the next group:

We have developed our curriculum statement for English collectively at WAVE across all our academies, shaping our offer so that it meets the needs of our learners and is ambitious in aim and outcomes...