Prior's Field September 2018

The Sport of Reading � it�s Great to Read!

Published Monday 2nd of December 2013 09:59:31 AM

Oundle School recently took two teams from the First and Second Forms (Years 7 and 8) to the Central England regional heat of the Kids' Lit Quiz at Kimbolton School. Pitting their knowledge of (and enthusiasm for!) books against 25 other school teams, the First Form (Year 7) team, comprising Saul Agar Ward (11), William Allinson (11), Genevieve Asbury (11) and Ally Nelson (11) ended the ten rounds a very close second, just missing the chance to compete in the National Final in London

Pupils fielded questions that drew upon their knowledge of classics, comics, legends, myths, the latest fiction, literary terms, childhood favourites and authors. Each round offered every team and individual the chance to win book and small cash prizes.

Head Librarian, Leigh Giurlando commented, �Known as the "sport of reading", the competition is held in nine countries and culminates in a World Final. Quizmaster Wayne Mills, who comes from New Zealand, said that the latest pop sensation, Lorde was a two-time finalist on the teams that represented New Zealand in the Kids' Lit World Final, proving that reading really is cool!�

More than six years ago, Oundle School launched its first Great Read, distributing books for three age ranges across the entire School and generating discussion about the books in houses, in classrooms, at home and on holiday. In early October, Oundle�s 1100 pupils and 150 teaching staff took delivery of their Great Read books and there has been much reading going on ever since!

Great Read organiser, Leigh Giurlando commented, �When the call went out for suggestions for this year�s Oundle Great Read, staff and pupils recommended over 300 books. This was then whittled down to a shortlist of 24 books by a committee of teachers from different departments across the School.

The books had to be significant; not just popular reads and the aim was to choose books we believed would engender strong views and books that pupils should have the opportunity to discuss. We also wanted to choose books that pupils might not otherwise come across. The selection of the final titles was bound to raise as much discussion as the books themselves.�

The final list comprised a choice of titles. The experience of war was a recurrent theme in the books chosen for the Sixth Form to read: A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, The Glass Room by Simon Mawer or Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. The two books selected for the Third, Fourth and Fifth Forms, Spies by Michael Frayn and Le Grand Meaulnes by Alain-Fournier, both explored memories of childhood. The First and Second Forms enjoyed reading the wise and witty fantasy stories of The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle.
The books were distributed to all pupils and teachers before the October holiday. Back at School, pupils and staff had a chance to talk about their shared reading experience in classes, Tutor groups and in Houses. And in a photo diary that encapsulated the spirit that the Great Read hoped to provoke, pupils and staff had themselves photographed at home and on holiday from Dorset to Oman, South Africa and Canada, illustrating to what extremes the Oundle community will go to get caught reading.

In a competition to find the most imaginative image, Sasha Cook�s (13) Bletchley Park image was singled out for 1st place for the way the photo merged eras and synchronized the setting and the book's themes to create a compelling Great Read photo for Michael Frayn�s Spies. Sasha was presented with a Kindle Fire HDX.

Leigh concluded, �Everyone at School has really enjoyed the photos which have shown imagination, creativity, mischief, daring and just the pleasure of a quiet read.�
The images are all on display in the School�s Library, in the English Department and also available to view on the School website at www.oundleschool.org.uk/galleries
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