World Book Day and International Women's Day
As we approach both: World Book Day and International Women's Day, we are celebrating the range of women's writing that we have explored in school, often in English, as well as Theatre Studies. We encourage the importance of private reading by having one lesson a week devoted to this, as a means of enriching and expanding the world of our young people.
As the 6th Form, who recently attended a poetry reading, will confirm, the former Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, was a wonder to behold at the first ever Tring Book Festival. She read from her famous collection: The World's Wife. Duffy's focus was on either well known female figures or fictional counterparts to well known male figures. The themes were explored with wit and passion to include the complexities of gender relations; the roles of women, and the often ill treatment of women through fictional, biblical, mythical, and historical contexts. We also had a world premiere from her new collection Frost Fair, set during the 17th century, when The Thames froze solid. In this collection, she explores the female perspective in an era when the female role was rejected or ignored at best.
Popular female authors being read by the Lower School include: Mallorie Blackman's The Noughts & Crosses series: Noughts & Crosses, An Eye for an Eye, Knife Edge, Checkmate, Double Cross as well as Stephanie Myers' Twilight Series. Katherine Paterson's Bridge to Terabithia is a Second Form set text.
The Third Form Holocaust and Allied Issues reading list recommends: Judith Kerr's When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit. This is now part of a trilogy, including Bombs on Aunty Daity 2002 and A Small Person Far Away. Also on this list is Nina Bawden's Carrie's War as well as The Diary of Anne Frank.
In PSHE we will be highlighting the story of Malala Yousafzai who defied the Taliban in Pakistan and demanded that girls be allowed to receive an education. Her passion for education comes across so well in these powerful quotes
“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.”
“The extremists are afraid of books and pens, the power of education frightens them. they are afraid of women.”
“Read thousands of books and I will power myself with knowledge. Pens and books are the weapons that defeat terrorism.”
She was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman in 2012 but survived. In 2014, she became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.