Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Dear Deer Class


Dear Deer Class,

So Year Six, your time as a pupil at Moorlands is coming to an end. I normally write a letter to my class at the end of the summer term to reflect back on our year of reading together, but this one feels very strange as our journey was cut short halfway through. I know you'll agree that we’d already been lucky enough to enjoy several wonderful novels, including Floodland, Ella On The Outside and Seven Ghosts, some hilarious short stories by Paul Jennings and loads of incredible picturebooks and poetry. Is there a better book to read during the cold, dark months of November than Seven Ghosts? I honestly can’t think of one. And then, there we were, about four chapters into The Light Jar, when our school suddenly closed for many of you.

There were so many books that we’d already discussed reading together in the second half of the year. I can’t believe I won’t get to read you Boy In The Tower by Polly Ho-Yen. I know you’d absolutely love it, so please, please make the effort to read it in Year 7. It really is outstanding! The books we talked about are still all out there, on the shelves of libraries and bookshops, so read them anyway and then, when I bump into you a few years from now, I'll expect you tell me all about them - and you know I’m not joking!


Even though we don’t get to finish the year as we'd hoped and read everything that we'd planned to, I know that you've all become hugely passionate readers. I know because you’ve showed me every single day.

Because you have the confidence to read books by a wide range of authors. Because you were all desperate for the chance to have your turn organising the Reading Recommendations shelf. Because you understand that reading is far more than books, and that magazines, newspapers, riddles and jokes all count.  Because you ran Poem Of The Day and made sure it happened, even when I forgot. Because you always got excited if a brown parcel was delivered to the classroom, just in case it was books (and yes, it always was). Because I could hear you talking about books and making recommendations on the way to assembly, even though I pretended I couldn't. Because one of you hid our class book when I was away as you didn’t want me to miss out - thank you! Because the first conversation I had with most of you each morning was about what you’d read the previous evening. Because whenever I walked past the library on the way to lunch, I'd see you reading stories to younger children. Because a whole group of you started your own comic that became more and more popular as the year went on. Because you were all happy to end the afternoon with a story, every single day.


In fact, now that I’ve started, let me break it down even further

Hannah C, you’re a reader because you’ve recommended more books to me this year than I have to you! I love that you’re so passionate about Emma Carroll’s stories and that everyone in the class always listens when you talk about books.

Charlotte, you’re a reader because you stood up in class and shared your Poem Of The Day with everyone. I know how hard it was and I’m so proud of you for doing it.

Seb, you’re a reader because I can confidently state that nobody else in the country has ever made a David Attenborough bookmark! You were the driving force behind our class comic, Baby Fish and Octo Fairy, which eventually ran to about eight issues, and I loved reading it as much as the rest of the class.

     

Harley, you’re a reader because you still talk with excitement about our visit from SF Said. You passionately told people about how good Ghost Stadium by Tom Palmer is and encouraged so many of the class to read it. You also loved the book about the world's best footballers which, for some strange reason, didn't contain any Ipswich players.

Max, you’re a reader because you reminded me virtually every day for about six weeks to get hold of the last two books in the Who Let The Gods Out? series. I’m so glad that they lived up to your expectations.

Tyler, you’re a reader because you read the Mr Wolf’s Class graphic novel series and you loved them. And then you read them again. And then you read them again. And that’s absolutely fine.

Hannah H, you’re a reader because whenever it was time to read What’s That In Dog Years?, you’d be one of the first people to grab a cushion and move to the carpet. I was always impressed with how carefully you selected the books to read to the younger children at lunchtime.

Alfie, you’re a reader because you have the confidence to read what you know you’re going to enjoy and don’t mind if other people disagree with your choices. You're often one of the first to try out new books and you’re open enough to give your honest opinion on them.

Jack, you’re a reader because you know everything there is to know about our class collection of graphic novels. You enjoyed New Kid, Smile, Glitch and many more over the year. Just as impressively, you always seemed to know who else was reading them, how far they’d got and what their opinions were.


I could go on for longer but I won't, as I think I’ve made my point. I have wonderful memories of you all as readers and I want to thank you for being such a passionate and enthusiastic class. You always wanted to broaden your reading, you always wanted to talk about books and you always wanted to share your recommendations.

Anyway, the summer holidays will soon be upon us and we've all got a lot of reading to be getting on with; my pile of unread books seems to have become three piles of unread books over the past few weeks. Have a wonderful summer break and make the most of every single minute at secondary school. Find the library, make friends with the librarian and, most importantly, keep reading.

I’ll miss you all.

Mr Biddle

3 comments:

  1. This is beautiful, inspiring and a wonderful gift for your children to read. They have been incredibly lucky to have their reading flames kindled by you! 🤗

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  2. This is brilliant! It says so much about why enjoying reading should be the cornerstone of our development as people 😎❤️📗

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  3. How lovely, especially the personal bits, your passion for reading and love for everyone in your class shines through. What lucky children and of course they will go on spreading that love, as many of them have already started to, throughout their lives.

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