Central to the Growing Good Man Project at Berwick Grammar School is a renewed emphasis on the development of Learning Literacies. This is gaining expression in various forms, importantly in our CARE programs which have a specific focus on equipping young men with the capacity to express themselves and their concerns through emotional literacy.
However, one approach that has been most heartening has been the manner in which boys and staff have adopted the DEAR program every Friday. DEAR is an acronym for Drop Everything and Read and at 8. 30 am every Friday, this is exactly what happens. Developing a whole school approach to the development of literacy is an essential part of building our school and improving VCE results. I have been extremely impressed with the way our boys have embraced reading as a key factor in improving their own academic performance. However, reading for pleasure and enjoyment is so much more than just improving grades. It challenges, nurtures and develops our imaginations and understanding of our world and others, depending on genre. When I meet with boys, my first question is ‘what are you reading?’ and now each speaker at assembly has a profile of what they are reading onscreen.
The English philosopher Sir Francis Bacon once said ‘reading maketh a full man.’ Reading fills our minds and inspires us to keep reading and learning. To help us in this initiative I would ask that parents engage with their boys, asking them what they are reading, read together and talk about what you are reading. Maybe even institute a DEAR program at home. Put down those iphones and ipads and turn the TV or Youtube off. Enjoy some reading and keep an eye out for some exciting future developments in Learning Literacy at Berwick Grammar School.
Dr Steven Middleton
Head of Berwick Grammar School