This World Book Week at St Augustine’s Catholic College in Trowbridge there were no Harry Potter lookalikes or boys in dresses. Not a Bilbo Baggins, Lady Macbeth or Matilda in sight. Instead, reading was celebrated throughout the week as 26 real people from across the whole school community dropped into lessons to tell younger students why reading was important to them.
Mr Hepenstall, school porter, enthralled a group of year seven pupils with a spirited rendition of a ballad from his native Australia he still remembers from his childhood in the 1950s. Year 7 student Noah Lakeman said, ‘The poem made me feel as if I was actually there, experiencing the whole adventure.’ Classmate Anna Jones added, ‘I felt as though he was one of the cowboys when he read it!’
Director of Studies Mrs Large told surprised pupils she re-reads Pride and Prejudice on the first day of the summer holidays every year. But she chose to read an extract from The Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency Series – set in Botswana – which dramatised the importance of living in the moment.
Assistant head Mr Bailey explained how, when he is not actually fishing the rivers of Wiltshire, he imagines he is fishing by reading books about his favourite hobby. PE teacher Rob Pitcher had a group of pupils running to the library to borrow a copy of the children’s classic, The Silver Sword.
While Head of Art, Mr Attlesey, entertained a class by reading Dr Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham, school governor Cyril Kinsky discussed political reform and gender inequality in the nineteenth century in his favourite novel, George Eliot’s Middlemarch.
Sixth formers, support staff and even the head teacher found time to share their love of reading with younger students. With a lunchtime quiz in the school library, the whole school took time to read together throughout the week. Year 7 student Gabriella Marr summed it up best when she remarked it had reminded her even teachers are human as we all enjoy reading!