World Book Day is a great excuse to draw young people’s attention to the value and benefits of the skill of reading. This year, staff at Pangbourne College were encouraged to spread their love of reading by starting each lesson with a talk about their favourite book. The Headmaster, himself a physicist by academic genre, promoted the day on Pangbourne TV with a video describing his favourite book, ‘The Riddle of the Sands’.
As a fun aspect of the day, pupils and staff were encouraged to dress up and the winners of the pupil and staff competitions were: Faith (Form 2) and Rhiannon Bland, Assistant Head of Drama. A fan of historical fiction, Faith took home five new books, including Sheena Wilkinson’s ‘Star by Star’.
Ms Dickson, Head of English, said: ‘One of the things which can be easily misunderstood by young people is the fact that reading isn’t just a part of learning in English, it is relevant to all academic subjects.’
The majority of Pangbournians love a competition and one of the vehicles for encouraging reading is the ‘Reading Challenge’. This is for all pupils of Year 8, in particular, to participate in throughout the academic year. They are encouraged to read and are rewarded with certificates. In class, there are celebrations for the amount and quality of books that they have read.
Ms Dickson adds: ‘Recently, Pangbourne College has gained access to an online library that offers both audio and ebooks to pupils. This has been a fantastic way for pupils, especially in Forms 1 to 3 (Year 7 to 9), to have continuity between online learning at home and returning to school after Lockdown 3.
‘The online library also encourages pupils to see how technology can help them in the area of reading, for example if they want to read a large number of books or if their auditory skills are stronger than their visual skills. Audiobooks are a fantastic means of combining two things at once, too, for example, combining reading with exercise and leisure activities.’