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Claremont High School Academy

Mouth-watering and brain tingling

English lessons at Claremont High School serve up food for thought 

The English Department at Claremont are always looking for fun and engaging ways to inspire students, and sometimes they enjoy mixing it up a little too... This is why their annual ‘Bake a Book’ competition for World Book Day remains a perennial favourite. Pupils and staff create culinary delights based upon their most-cherished books, which make your mouth water and your brain tingle at the same time! 

‘World Book Day is an opportunity for students to show off their artistic talents and their baking skills,’ says Ms Kayn. ‘Combining literature with other mediums, like baking and art, is important to demonstrate how books shape society as a whole, not just in the classroom. The English Department feels this is an incredible opportunity to see how much fun English can be. It's not always about analysing and making inferences - it's about creativity and joy.’ 

Alongside these activities are other rich and rewarding experiences, such as a recent live link-up with award-winning author AM Dassu, whose celebrated book Boy, Everywhere is currently being read by students in Year 7. It tells the story of Sami and his family as they make the harrowing journey from a comfortable life in Damascus, via a smuggler's den in Turkey, to a prison in Manchester. 

‘The pupils and I had the privilege of speaking with AM Dassu about how she became an author and why she decided to write such an important book,’ Ms Kayn explains. ‘The students learnt about the difficult process of securing a book deal and were given an inspiring talk about resilience in the face of rejection. They also discovered the level of research it takes to ensure an authentic immigrant experience is respectfully conveyed.’ 

Fereshteh Walizadah in 7.5 certainly found it a memorable experience: ‘It was very useful as AM Dassu showed that immigration is not a simple issue, and also that you should never judge a book by its cover – Sami was once a popular, contented boy back home in Syria, but nobody saw him that way in England.’ 

With so many stimulating things on offer in the department, don’t be surprised if your stomach starts to rumble and your mind expands the next time you head to English!