From the English Department: Week 11

We made it to the end of a long term! I hope you've found some time to read over the term to help keep spirits high and stress low.

As a school we have made progress with literacy by focusing on vocabulary and parts of speech in our classes. It has been fantastic to hear from my English classes about the vocabulary their teachers in other subjects have been discussing. 

As always I encourage you and your children to find a book over the holidays. We have two teams of students beginning their work on two regional reading competitions. Reader's Cup (Year 9) and Battle of the Bibliophiles (Year 10). There are set book lists our teams of keen readers are working their way through and will compete later in the year against other schools. Initially, we were sent a list of books, and schools were asked to indicate which books we had so that the texts chosen for the competition were already in as many schools as possible to reduce the cost to schools buying new books. Mrs McHale (our school librarian) and I were happily impressed that the SOHS had the majority of them and in some cases more than some of the bigger schools in the region. Our library is a well-resourced area of the school which we are really proud of. I encourage all students to browse the shelves and practise sitting down to get stuck into a book. I will attach the book lists below in case you are looking for a recommendation for your junior student. 

Next term we will be holding our annual "Book Day" celebration and students are encouraged to dress up as their favourite book characters. There will be reading-based challenges throughout the week and prizes for best dressed, so get your thinking hats on for costumes!

What we're reading: I just finished Beartown by Frederick Backman. A friend recommended it to me, saying it was his favourite book and he couldn't explain how much he loved it, but that I was in for a treat. Backman is a Swedish author who has an incredible way with words. I paused many times reading this book to marvel at his beautiful expressions and the details he focused on to describe, which made it so rich and enjoyable to read. The story itself is about a crime committed (which I wasn't expecting and was quite shocked by) in a small ice hockey town and then how the town reacts to a star hockey player being accused of this crime. It's definitely a book for older audiences but I would recommend it. I have read a couple of his shorter novellas which are equally beautifully written and if you come across any of his work, do pick it up!

Reader’s Cup - Year 9 Texts

When the World Was Ours by Liz Kessler
The Bone Tiki by David Hair
Dry by Neil Schuterman
Katipo Joe by Brian Falkner
Cuz by Liz van der Laarse
Rainfall by Ella West

Battle of the Bibliophiles - Year 10 Texts

Red Rising - Pierce Brown
The bone tree - Airana Mgarewa
Blackmail & lies - Mary-Anne Scott
In the sea there are crocodiles - Fabio Geda
Mrs Jewell and the wreck of the General Grant   - Cristina Sanders
The stand-in - AJ Rushby
Nothing more to tell - Karen McManus
Unearthing Dad - Pam Williamison
Patu - Gavin Bishop
Splinters of Sunshine - Patrice Lawrence
Hangman - Jack Heath OR The Cut Out by Jack Heath
Truly Devious - Maureen Johnson

Have a great, restful holiday and I'll be back with more literacy tips next term!