Home' Capricornus Quarterly : CQ July 2016 Contents 17
Reading is a daily indulgence that we owe ourselves
writes Literacy Co-ordinator Julieanne Harris
If children are to become lifetime consumers of books then their
own reading preferences must be known and accepted and
used as the basis for encouragement. They need reader role
models, easy access to books in a wide variety of styles and
genres, and recommendations personally tailored to them.
Claire Senior, author and an Advanced Skills Teacher in Cambridgeshire, UK
Ask adolescents about their reading
habits and they’ll likely confirm what
most of us suspect: that reading for
pleasure is sadly becoming a rare pursuit
in the average modern teen’s world.
And it shows.
Reading for pleasure requires time for
focused, uninterrupted reading. It should
entail a reader and their book, distanced
from the trappings of televisions, mobile
phones and computers. Ultimately,
experts tell us that we should aim for 15
to 20 minutes of quiet reading every day.
This type of reading is an enjoyable
work-out for the brain. Most
importantly, it compels us to think.
When we read, we gather knowledge,
new words and expressions. A great
story, real or fictional, can inspire us and
even hold our hand and lead us away
from personal stresses. Often, reading
about others’ troubles can make us
more grateful for our own realities.
Unravelling biographies, learning about
scientific discoveries and solving mysteries
require us to make connections and
recall information. Story arcs demand us
to improve our memory skills as we recall
minor character’s names and earlier
events in a novel. Every new memory
made results in a new synapse (brain
pathway) and strengthens our brains.
Reading is a daily indulgence
that we owe ourselves. And
especially, our children.
As such, one of our School’s
literacy aims is to re-invigorate
the culture of reading at RGS.
Our Year 7 students are leading the
charge. In Term 3 they will commence a
reading challenge: Read All About It. This
event will acknowledge and celebrate
their independent reading endeavours
beyond the classroom. It is being led
by a committee of enthusiastic Year 7
students: Mac Menzies, Meg Ingram,
Maanya Avalapaty, Eve Thompson, Sineli
Dissanayak and Samantha George.
The aim is to support and encourage
every student to take time-out from their
busy lives and indulge in reading books
for personal interest and pleasure.
The Middle School Reading
Committee, co-chaired by Year 12
students Tess Waller and Sarah
Fernando, is helping guide and support
the Year 7 students through weekly
meetings, morning tea ‘read-alouds’
and discussions in reading groups.
How the Challenge Works:
During the first week of Term 3,
students will receive a personalised
bookmark. Their bookmark will be
stamped at the RGS Library following
the completion of every book and the
library staff will maintain a record of
each student’s reading progress.
When a student reaches a total
of ten books, they will receive a
gift from the RGS library.
The Year 7’s collective progress
will be on display in the Birkbeck
Building and in the RGS Library for
the duration of the event. Reading
achievements will also be acknowledged
at Secondary School assemblies.
The Year 7 Reading Committee will
publish a weekly newsletter, highlighting
popular books and reading trends.
We wish the Year 7 students all of the
best and encourage parents to support
them in their reading endeavours.
Whilst 15 minutes a day may seem
difficult to find, the benefits of
uninterrupted, focused reading may
well set your children on the path to
become articulate communicators
and lifelong learners.
A programme to help educate
students about the importance
of water quality in Africa is also
generating teamwork skills
among RGS Year 6 students.
The first of the RGS Water
Works Programme filters has
been donated to a school in
Sironko in Uganda. The School,
with 560 students, received
three new water systems
from Australian donations.
The Australian-based global
Water Works programme
enables schools and groups
across the world to get involved
in building and donating water
filtration systems that increase
the health and well-being
of communities in need.
119 water systems have
been distributed to date.
The RGS project team
consists of builders,
artists and journalists.
RGS Year 6 students Kaitlyn
Parker and George Plumb
were tasked with writing a
report on their project.
Kaitlyn and George said
that throughout the Water
Works Programme they
learnt about the importance
of helping others less
fortunate than themselves.
They also learnt more
about Uganda and now
appreciate the clean water
that they drink every day.
“We hope that the people
of Sironko will benefit
from something that we
did that seems so small,’’
Kaitlyn and George said.
The builders followed
instruction cards to assemble
a water filtration system
– discovering how dirty
water can be transformed
into clean drinking water.
Artists created a sticker for
the unit. Their artwork is now
displayed on the water filtration
system in Hot Springs.
The journalists were required
to create a newspaper article
on the project which included
researching information on
the village and the project.
Their report was then
presented to their class.
Project coordinator Mrs
Sally Moran said each filtration
system has its own tracking
device so the students can
see their creation in the
village. The artists’ sticker
identifies which system
belongs to RGS students.
“In Term 1 the students
studied how Australia was
connected and how we
compared to other countries
in the world,’’ Mrs Moran said.
“ This project provided further
enrichment of these studies
and teaching the students
about appreciating our way of
life and understanding those
with less fortunate lives.
“ Their contribution is actively
helping making the world a
better place for other people.’’
Mrs Moran said the project
also allowed students with
different skills to work together
to complete a project.
“ There are people with
different skills all over the world
– t h is is also about teamwork.’’
The filters were
installed in June.
Artwork by Sophie Lynch, Nicola
Scarpelli and Elyssa Billman
identify the walter filtration kit
supplied by RGS that has been
installed in Sironko, Uganda.
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