Head’s Blog 05.02.21

If you have been following Ms Bainbridge’s tweets (@KEBainbridge1) over the last week of so, you will have seen that there have been several tweets about the importance of reading.  It started last week with her talk on The Literary Canon to the Sixth Form and she spoke yesterday to the Year 7 about their recommended reads.  As her other tweets attest reading at this isolated time is an important distraction for the boys: it can provide an escape (as she puts it “travelling through reading”) and also is important time away from the screen, hence the weekly reading lessons for Years 7, 8 & 9.  If you are looking for something to read (or for something for your son to read), the recommendations from the Year 7 were Winter Holiday, Code Name Bananas, A Series of Unfortunate Events and Lord of the Rings.  The Sixth Form agreed that The Age of Innocence and Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind were essential reading.  I have only read two of this list so have some catching up to do.  I will leave you to guess which ones.

I was greeted by a large parcel of books when I arrived in School this morning, which will be on the library shelves when the boys return.  I am very grateful to Sir John Ritblat for this kind donation as the importance of reading to young people’s academic development cannot be overstated. As Sir John wrote

Donating these books, of both classic and contemporary titles, has been a great pleasure for me. The effects of reading on a child’s development are immense – numerous studies have highlighted its benefits. As an avid reader myself, I hope that these books will be a gateway to new knowledge and cultures and, of course, provide a great deal of pleasure in the process.

We must cultivate a taste for reading in these bright, young minds of today for, to paraphrase Ben Okri, reading is one of the greatest acts of civilisation. It takes the free raw material of the mind and builds castles of possibilities. To this end, I wish our pupils all the very best that life can offer them and hope that these books will provide both amusement and much value at the start of their journeys in life.”

As the School matures, the number of ‘firsts’ we are able to celebrate reduces but I received one in my inbox this morning.  Many congratulations to Eamon O’Keefe in Year 13 who has received the School’s first offer to read medicine from the University of Glasgow.  There is a lot of competition for places on medicine courses and so this is a significant achievement.

I hope that you all enjoy your weekend.

With best wishes, Seth

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