Teaching & Learning: The Precious Gift Of A Book


World book day is here again – can you believe your luck parents? More costumes and more excitement! Just before the fun kicked off, I asked the ever hard-working, Mrs Parker, to comment on the day’s ‘legacy’ along with her views on the importance of reading. Here is what she had to say…

We all try to take care of our bodies. One in seven people belong to a gym and over two-thirds of the population is considered ‘physically active in Britain’. Combine this with a huge industry boom resulting in a 143 billion (euro) market value of the health industry; it is undeniable that we care about the our physical health. The concept is embedded to the core with cliches and phrases bouncing around like a body pump class… ‘you are what you eat…’ cue eye rolls and wanton looks at the chocolate hobnob aisle.

But what about our minds – our rest – our ‘chill’ time (as the Year 8’s call it)?

Access to streaming sites like Netflix or Amazon Prime have become the brain sorbet to our increasingly challenging and busy lives and they do have their place (usually in the centre of our living rooms).

But what about that shelf at the back of the room? Ah, the books…they’re so big, so long, so dense. Books take commitment, they take perseverance, they take time.

But what do they give in return?

We asked some pupils for their ideas on our ‘thought for the week’ in PSHE

‘When you read you can go into many different worlds.’

‘They are stepping stones that show you that you can be whoever or whatever you want to be.’

‘With a book and a bit or imagination you can cross the barriers of your world.’

‘They [books] give you the power to believe in yourself.’

So..time travel, equality, aspiration and the power of belief…
I’m no broker, but that seems like a pretty good deal to me.

The memories we make when reading with our children last a lifetime: those windy afternoons or rainy Sunday mornings and bedtimes are the perfect times to open a good book. Ask them what they think, ask them what the messages of the book are, ask them their opinions. Nothing seems to rile a child more than explaining the injustice a character faces.

And if you’re still not convinced have a look at Jorge Mendez Blake’s installation ‘The Impact of a Book’.


‘The impact of a book’ Art installation by Jorge Mendez Blake

To have even more impact on children reading books – we have now launched our interactive book blog where pupils are able to upload content about the books they love. Recommended and support fellow readers. We are following the reading is power manifesto as set through World Book Day to give our pupils a voice to discuss key issues surrounding the books they are reading.


Mantie Parker
Head of Faculty Core Academic Languages, Year 8 Tutor, Next School’s link, English Teacher (Upper School).

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