“I was glad and honored to invite MsCross, a world famous author visiting our campus and delivering the reading and writing workshops for our Harrovians and parents.”James Moan, Head of English
Gillian Cross is hot property in the UK at the moment. She recently published her tenth Demon Headmaster book – a series proving very popular amongst school-children in England, and has just had a brand-new television series of the book commissioned by the BBC. Regardless of this, Gillian is a wonderful face of literacy and reading in the field of education. She promotes reading schools in the UK as part of her regular touring schedule, and she is a massive fan of libraries and all they offer. For me, she was the perfect face for the further promotion of reading amongst our students here at Harrow, and indeed, her visit proved to be an enormous success.
Reading has been promoted at Harrow on a whole-school level since the beginning of the academic year with all staff across all phases making efforts to infuse a real enjoyment into students’ reading routine. Around the school you can see photographs in almost every corridor of the different reading activities that we offer our children the chance to partake in.
Activities range from the simple idea of dedicating Wednesday morning’s registration to reading for fifteen minutes, to the extreme – literally – with the school’s annual Extreme Reading competition. The photographs remind students of, and allow visitors to see, the importance and regularity reading has in our lives here at school.
Reading at Harrow is something we are very proud of. To remain successful, you must be prepared to constantly change, but I think we can be proud of what we have achieved. There is a real community feel to reading in the school.
Classroom windows contain information on the books staff are presently reading, the Simon Armitage library is booked out by classes during every period in the week. Popular and famous writers have attended school and worked with our students – Simon Armitage, Nury Vitacchi and Gillian Cross – to name but a few.
Parents attend coffee mornings inwhich we promote reading and offer advice on how parents can involve themselves more in developing their child’s reading at home. And there is much, much more planned to come! We will soon commence a Book Club at Harrow – strictly for parents. We will have further superstars of literature come to visit us – watch this space. And we will continue to invest and develop the school library so that it meets with the expectations of the students and the wider Harrow family.
Not only this, let’s not forget that the curriculum offered to your children regarding reading in English is rich, valuable and varied. Our teachers are dedicated to offering a real journey through literature with reading – and this is ever changing and ever growing.
My favourite ever reference to reading was echoed by Gillian Cross on her visit to us here at school. She likened reading to holding a passport… a very special kind of passport that could not only take you to any place in the world, but could take you and your imagination to any time, place or experience. You never know where you’ll go until you open up the pages of a book!