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Posted by Tom, October 2, 2013

Reading for Fun

A guest post from Rona O’Connor, a Governor at St George V.A. Catholic College in Southampton.

We love you Nosy Crow. When we sent a cheeky request for free books for our Reading for Fun initiative you responded like an old friend who had just been waiting for us to turn up and join the party! You very kindly donated S.C. Ransom’s trilogy of novels, Small Blue Thing, and then you sent us two more sets! HOORAY!

We had an incredible launch on Thursday 12th September with 247 Year 7 & 8 students enthusiastically throwing themselves into a variety of reading based activities. With the motto ‘It Belongs To All Of Us’ staff, students and visitors all pitched in to make the day a resounding success.

The day ended with an assembly which was punctuated by clapping, cheering, whistling and stamping when judges were introduced, presentations were made and winners announced. The overall winners of the challenges were awarded a medal each; the winning group in both Years 7 & 8 were presented with signed copies of their books by Ali Sparkes and Judy Waite (who very kindly donated both their time and their novels). At the start of the day each student was given a raffle ticket and the winners each came to the front and chose a donated book, which was really exciting. And then everybody was given a glow in the dark college pen! Result.!

To top it off The Daily Echo gave us superb coverage and we have the newspaper report plastered pretty much on every window and wall in the whole college it seems!

Two weeks on and reading for fun is bedding in nicely. Each tutor group spends once a week sprawled out on gym mats reading for enjoyment. Their reading is being tracked and will be monitored against their reading levels. We know that reading for fun produces confident learners. Students love it. Teachers love it too. They get to read for pleasure as well. In the first week a Year 7 student read for 24 hours at home and at school. HOO! RAH! He was presented with a book token in a special assembly.

Southampton City Council librarians have climbed aboard and have started to work closely with the college in planning next steps, which will be fun stuff around World Book Day in March 2014. In the summer term our young readers will be working on becoming more confident writers. We’ve got a load of ideas bubbling away for that event including a link with Winchester University and creative writing. Yay! Can’t wait!


Thank you to Rona and everyone at St George for taking part in this Reading for Fun initiative so enthusiastically! You can read the first chapter of Small Blue Thing Below, and order the book online here.

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