The importance of reading

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On 15 September I gave an assembly on the importance of reading. There is a growing body of evidence which illustrates the importance of reading for pleasure, for both educational purposes as well as personal development. Evidence suggests that there is a positive relationship between reading frequency, reading enjoyment and attainment. Reading enjoyment has been reported as playing a greater role in a child’s educational success than their family’s socio-economic status and this finding formed the premise of my assembly to encourage our students to GET READING. Evidence also suggests that children are more likely to read if they see their parents and other adults around them doing so. With this in mind I invited a number of teachers to share some of their favourite books with the school; Al McConville, Benedict Haydn-Davies and Susan Robson all offered their enthusiasm and I was only too disappointed not to be able to take up the keen offers of other members of staff who wanted to share their love of reading. With the advent of Firefly I will be setting up a page to inspire reading and to offer reading lists from departments and members of staff. In conjunction with the Library and Jane Kirby, I am also setting up book carousels in the boarding houses to complement the excellent collections Steephurst and Boys’ Flat already have, to help further encourage pupils to share the joy of reading when they are on flat or in the day house. There has been a very exciting response to the assembly and I have been impressed by a number of students who want to set up book clubs, either on flat or in their tutor groups, hopefully this will continue to go from strength to strength.

By David Anson, Head of English


Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.

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