The Beauty of Reading

This time last year we were baking in record temperatures, this week it feels like it hasn’t stopped raining! However, it has been a timely reminder of the need to improve the indoor, social experience for our students, and I hope parents will welcome the additional proposal of the construction of the canopies at the rear of school. We are not alone in struggling to provide suitable sheltered space for our students, and this represents a necessary step in the right direction.

One of my most pleasurable experiences in school every week is my reading group. Now that I teach less, as a Headteacher, it gives me a real opportunity to spend quality time with the same group of students on a regular basis. And we have made excellent progress this year. Today was an absolute pleasure to walk the students to Waterstones in Romford, and spend some time with them choosing books for them to read over the summer. The PTA, in amongst the fund raising for the minibus(es), have kindly contributed to the students’ rewards for their perseverance with the reading. I remember the faces of Oscar, Norton, Louie and Hayden when they first realised they were going to be reading in the Head’s Office every week back in the first term; they didn’t know where to sit, how to react, and what to say! As the year has progressed, they have become really comfortable in the surroundings and we have tackled an eclectic range of titles, as well as being topped up by the arrival of Molly, Heidi and River. My group is only one of 8 across the week, but giving those students the opportunity to read together is a true privilege. So well done to all involved, but obviously I am allowed to have my 7 favourites this week. I hope you enjoy your reading, and look forward to hearing the book reviews later this term or next year. Whilst I will never win everyone over, I will never tire of telling students that the key to success is reading (texts that are suitably challenging), and that it is a key part in their future success.

I remember discussing the pile of books that is “live” at home with a friend a while ago, and there was a lovely moment when we realised several books in their pile were the same as mine. That’s the beauty of reading: to allow a shared experience; to create debate; to have different opinions about the texts; to promote a love of learning, and many more reasons.

With all due respect to the 26 Statistics students, who still have one exam left next week, I want to say a huge well done to Year 11 at the end of their exams. The students have been impeccable in the exam hall, they have cared about their scripts, and wanted to share their experiences afterwards. They have been a credit to the school, and great role models for Year 10s, who start their exam season next week. We all look forward to saying proper goodbyes in a couple of weeks time.

Have a lovely weekend

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