This week’s assembly in the Secondary School (pictures below) had a simple theme. Read more books. Our school has two fabulous libraries and a superb collection of books, not to mention access to online libraries and articles from all across the globe. I wanted to remind our students of the simple joy of reading and of the benefits of reading. Not necessarily obviously, we began with Taylor Swift. Her worldwide hit ‘Love Story’ was inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (although her song had a rather happier ending) and we discussed how books infiltrate so much of popular culture. Reading allows us to access jokes in The Simpsons and understand themes in movies that are often directly lifted from the classics. Reading also keeps the brain sharp – it is exercise for the brain and expands our vocabulary. It also helps our conversational skills.
I wanted to illustrate to the student that reading can also be a passport to the world. It can inspire us to want to travel and see the things that we have read about and that has certainly been the case for me. When I was twelve I picked up a book about the Spanish Civil War in my local library and thus began a journey which took me to university, to Barcelona, to the Basque Country and to the Salt Museum in Cheshire (yes, there is a Museum of Salt….). It also led me to George Orwell, to Hemingway, Stephen Spender and to the Manic Street Preachers. It has been a long and winding road thus far and the journey certainly isn’t over yet. I asked the students how their journey would begin? And where would it take them?
Most importantly, please ask the children about the books they are reading and don’t forget to be a great role model – Read Books!
Assistant Head - Secondary