Rydal Penrhos celebrated this year’s World Book Day with Senior pupils taking part in a dress-up day and scavenger hunt while Prep pupils and their families donated books for both the school library and family refuge charities.
Reading is a key skill that Rydal Penrhos looks to develop and encourage in all its pupils. Strong reading skills allow young people access to the information, wisdom and entertainment available through the vast number of books out in the world. Furthermore, from an academic perspective, reading plays a vital role in pupils’ all-important public exam outcomes, which can be a strong determinant of university and career pathways. Indeed, it has been shown that if a child does not have a reading age of sixteen by the time they sit their GCSEs, their results suffer across the board.
In light of this, reading sits at the heart of the day-to-day life of pupils at Rydal Penrhos. In the Prep, pupils have the beautiful Lyndon Library, their form tutors to discuss books with, and the Accelerated Reader scheme, which allows parents and teachers alike to track pupils’ understanding and comprehension of the books they read. In the Senior school, Key Stage 3 pupils have their own dedicated reading room in the historic Watkinson Library and complete five English lessons a week, during which they read a broad array of texts from the all-important classics to more contemporary publications.
Beyond these day-to-day measures to encourage reading, one off events can play a critical part. This was demonstrated on Thursday 2 March as World Book Day festivities swept across Rydal Penrhos, with pupils participating in a host of literary themed activities.
In the Prep, over 300 books were donated to the school library by generous pupils and parents. Year 6 pupil Freddie was particularly kind as he hauled in a huge stockpile of books from home, which nearly stood as high as his shoulders! Thank you to all who contributed; the school will, in turn, donate a number of books to charities working in family refuge centres.
The book donation day forms part of an ongoing reading initiative currently taking place in the Prep, with a reading competition about to culminate in a visit to Colwyn Bay Library, where some lucky readers will enjoy hot chocolate and story-time. School Council have also chosen some new books for the Lyndon Library, which will surely prove enthralling page-turners for many generations of pupils over the coming years.
In Senior year groups, pupils and teachers took part in a dress-up day based around the theme of literary ‘heroes and villains’. Rydal Penrhos pupils have always gone above and beyond during charity dress-up days and this year’s World Book Day was no exception. A wide-variety of costume ideas were on show, from web-slinging comic-book hero Spiderman to Arthur Conan Doyle’s consulting detective Sherlock Holmes, brilliantly brought to life by Language, Literacy and Communications faculty leader, Mr Williams.
Mr Williams’ choice was particularly fitting as pupils’ skills of deduction were put to the test during a literary-themed scavenger hunt around school. A series of clues were hidden across the Senior site in the form of thirteen posters, each of which corresponded to the title of a book, which pupils had to guess in their teams. Using the last letter of each book title, pupils gradually built up a bank of information as they searched to unscramble an anagram.
The scavenger hunt proved a formidable test, so much so that it spilt over into Friday! In the end three teams successfully solved the puzzle and can now look forward to their prize. Credit must go to Year 7, who committed themselves enthusiastically to the task and performed exceptionally well. Alongside the reading challenges they completed in lessons, the scavenger hunt certainly helped pupils exercise their literary knowledge!
Thank you to all pupils and parents who got involved, and the same to all our teachers who made these fun reading-related activities possible.