Books are my Bag

World Book Night, primarily aimed at adults, takes place in the UK and America every year on 23rd April, the suggested birth and death date for Shakespeare and UNESCO’s International Day of the Book. It is globally recognised that reading for pleasure is an indicator for issues from poverty to mental health and here in the UK 36% of adults do not read regularly. So, the aim is simple: to get more adults reading!

We have used WBN as a backdrop for an event with 6th form over the past few years. They use the library brilliantly for private study but rarely borrow for pleasure! This year there appears to have been a squeeze on the WBN budget and the public has been encouraged to gift books themselves rather than relying on the lovely packs that the organisation produces.

So the Library Ladiez sent out a plea before the Easter holidays to all staff, asking them to “gift” a favourite book of theirs along with a brief note saying why they thought a 6th former would enjoy it.

We were thrilled to receive over 50 books on our return; new, old, pristine, tatty books belonging to all kinds of genres. Miss Usoro, Head of Maths and a keen reader, donated a box of 20, each with a post-it note of persuasion! During the next few days we made up packages, each with a bright label containing the teacher’s name and their words of recommendation, which took over every part of our office space!

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As with every year, students are a little suspicious of our generosity and may not be the keenest of readers (or have just got out of the habit or reading for pleasure during their exam years) but curiosity gets the better of them. It only took 15 minutes for all books to be chosen from a display set up in the common room at lunchtime! We hope they enjoy their book, maybe something they would not normally have chosen – and hopefully they too, will be inspired to pass it on to someone else to enjoy.

HUGE thanks to all the teachers and support staff for their passion – and for giving up some treasured possessions!


Year 7 Reading Challenge

We have usually set our Reading Challenge for the year by now, but we have been trying to set up something that would challenge ALL readers, not just the keen and able. In the past we have tried to encourage reading as many books as possible in a set time and given prizes to winning tutor groups. But on reflection, we are pretty sure that many less keen readers tend to sit back and let the others do the work! So, inspired by Bennett Memorial Diocesan School and encouraged by English teacher Mrs Rose,  we have decided upon a change of plan this year.

All students are being set the task to read a book a term for the last two terms of the year, starting NOW. We are launching the challenge in Reading lessons and ensuring that ALL students leave with a suitable book (whether chosen from the library or from home). Our guidelines are below:

Challenge outline for blog

We will not be seeing students for 4 weeks due to the Easter holidays, which give them plenty of time for them to have a good read and finish, or nearly finish their chosen book.

Upon return, we will then be writing our first Critical Review together in class and choosing a creative activity to do for homework next term, in response to what we have read:

Activities for blog

So far most students have left us happy, and some have even chosen borrow two books, just to be on the safe side! The Library Ladiez are looking forward to hearing all about them next term (as we never have time to read all our books).