With Donna Hansell (Teacher of English)
Last year, during a conversation between a Film Studies teacher, an English teacher and a librarian, we realised that there might be a space in our enrichment programme just waiting for a book club to fill it. A couple months later and we knew what we wanted to do. We wanted it to encourage students to read, but we did not want this to become an extra lesson.
This could only mean one thing: the first rule of book club is that the reading is for fun!
So we put a couple of guidelines in place to ensure this rule would be followed; firstly, we decided to stick to modern texts (not that there is anything wrong with classics but these are often studied in schools or colleges and this was not designed to be studying!). And secondly, that the books should be a little different or unusual, maybe even take the reader out of their comfort zone.
We spoke to the students who were keen and asked why they were interested in joining a book club. It soon became clear that we were on the right tracks. One of our new members said, ‘I just love books!’ While another commented, ‘I want the opportunity to read something I wouldn’t normally read.’ And from that moment our Paston Book Club was alive and kicking.