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Year 9 Reading Program
Reading is important. In fact, it is vital that boys read not only for their literacy skills, but also to learn to analyse, discuss ideas, see things from a different perspective, find out facts and develop their creativity and imagination. An article by Ian Warwick titled Books – The way we navigate the ground between school and the real world points to some reasons why reading is a vital part of a student’s education. ‘All words are pegs to hang ideas on’ – Henry Ward Beecher.

Below are the reasons, according to our staff, that reading matters.

An appreciation and command of language undeniably provides an advantage – in negotiation, interviews, teaching and communication in general. This starts with reading.”
Marcus Blackburn, Deputy Headmaster/Head of Senior School

“The benefits of reading are innumerable. On a functional level, reading helps us to articulate ourselves fluently as we inadvertently engage with the nuances of language and its construction. Philosophically, when we read, we are transported to a world that is often unlike our own, and we interact with new ideas and ways of thinking that broaden our understanding of ourselves and the people around us. Every book provides an opportunity to stimulate learning.”
Christine Iadanza, Senior English Teacher and Head of Howard House

“Reading is important as it enhances our understanding and comprehension of the world around us. You do not, however, necessarily need to be an avid novel reader to be engaged in reading – in the modern age we engage in reading through a number of media. The capacity to interpret language, process information and communicate is through the foundation of reading.”
Matthew French, Head of Physical Education

“Being able to read effectively is very important in technical areas like technology. Both digital and design technologies are unique in that they often require the use of different languages and syntax to achieve solutions. Whether it be coding languages or communicating graphically with annotations; a person’s ability to read from a wide range of sources will help them understand the project requirements and to integrate these strategies when developing a project.”
Nick Lamont, Head of Technology

“It is great exercise for the brain! Reading improves comprehension skills as exposure to a variety of texts leads to the acquisition of new vocabulary and language structures. Reading improves your memory, develops a deeper connection with the text and provides an opportunity to reflect on the themes covered.”
Rachel Spiby, Head of Languages

“It is well known that reading improves literacy, extends vocabulary and enhances writing skills. As important as these skills are for our students, the social and health benefits, particularly given current events, are more important than ever. Reading broadens our worldview, builds empathy and compassion, and exercises our creativity and imagination.”
Katherine Hicks, Acting Head of Library

Given its importance, and to help foster a habit of reading, our Year 9 students will be undergoing a program in their Houses next term. Each week the boys will read together as a House group in Wednesday afternoon mentor time, led by a staff member or student House Leader. Some boys will be reluctant to take part, but we believe this is an important skill for them to develop as young minds.

Thank you to Christine Iadanza, Head of Howard House for her imitative, and to Annette Van Rensburg, Head of Short House for her enthusiastic support of putting this program together. I look forward to seeing this program in action next term.

David Scott
Head of Senior Years