As we approach the end of the Spring Term, the days are lighter and longer, daffodils and tulips sway gently in the breeze and there is certainly a spring-like feeling in the air. Girls and staff are certainly ready for the Easter break after fitting in a record number of activities and trips on top of lessons during the last five weeks! Over 50 girls from the Senior School enjoyed a weekend at Ingestre Hall in Staffordshire where they rehearsed songs, scenes from musicals, put together dance routines and painted the scenery for our annual Charity Concert. The theme this year was “Music from the 1980s” and involved a record number of staff as well as girls. The concert was a sell out and over £1600 was raised for the Senior School Charity, “Edward’s Trust”.
Years 3 and 4 had a wonderful time on their PGL residential trip. They enjoyed team building and outdoor activities pushing them outside their comfort zones and achieving things they never believed they would. Sadly due to the incident around Westminster Bridge and the Houses of Parliament, the Year 5 and 6 trip to London had to be curtailed. We are planning an event for them in the Summer Term. Girls in Year 2 also have had a busy half term sampling lessons in the Junior School as part of their Transition Programme. Highlights included lessons in Science, English, Football skills and Art, not to mention inviting their parents for lunch. As the term draws to a close we are looking forward to “Easter Egg Bingo” organized by the Parents’ Association, the Celebration of Sport Assembly and the “Saint Martin’s Got Talent” competition.
One of the highlights of the half term for me was celebrating “World Book Day” and reflecting on the importance of reading. I am passionate about reading. As a child I was an avid reader and even though I often do not have time to read for pleasure in term time, I look forward to choosing books to take with me on my travels during the school holidays.
I was really sorry to read an article in the “Times Educational Supplement” recently which talked about the concern over the number of girls who have reading problems nationally. They reported that one in ten girls have a problem with reading comprehension. The article does remind us that “boys are, on average, weaker readers than girls”. But that shouldn’t blind us to the significant number of girls in this country who also struggle.
I was delighted to see how the girls at Saint Martin’s embraced the events of “World Book Day” and the events organised by Ms Simmons, Head of Classics and Latin and Mrs Hughes, our Learning Hub Manager, and the English teachers in school. Throughout the week there seemed to be a girl reading a book in every corner of the School. Some girls even embraced “extreme reading” and were photographed in all corners of the world and in some extreme positions enjoying their books.
Seeing all of the girls getting involved in reading activities inspired me to do my assemblies, in both Junior School and Senior School, on the importance of reading. I went through 10 reasons why reading is so important. As I went through them I realised I was probably preaching to the converted but it was wonderful to take a moment to reflect on how important reading can be.
From the brilliant extension to vocabulary you achieve from regularly reading, to the stress reducing feelings you get if you lose yourself in a book at the end of a difficult day, I have always seen the benefit of a good read as you don’t only expand your knowledge but you really develop your analytical skills when following a complicated plot. All the girls at Saint Martin’s seem to be thoroughly embracing the reading bug and developing a lifelong love of literature – long may it continue!
I would like to finish this “blog” with a few thoughts on the importance of reading.
I hope you have a restful Easter Holiday.