Today’s focus is on supporting literacy and in particular our new “keeper of the keys” to the library.

In this capacity I warmly welcome Mrs Nicky Smith to school. Nicky will be working across Senior Prep, closely allied to Mrs Fernley and Mrs Smith in the English Department.

In Nicky’s former life she spent over 10 years working on Caribbean Cruise liners and more recently taught Tourism at Weymouth College. She is the mum to two lovely twins aged 2 1/2. There must be something in the SPS water supply as that’s three sets of twins in our staff now.

Developing a deep-seated love of reading is just about the most important gift we can impart on any young learner. Apart from the obvious benefits to wellbeing of getting lost in imaginary worlds or researching your favourite hobby or subject, having a reading age beyond your chronological age gives you the ability to understand higher order questions and write answers that might be a year above your age.

In my own favourite subject of Maths, those with a wide vocabulary have a much better chance of answering testing wordy problems.

With this in mind, do remember this is also the very best way you can support learning at home. In Junior Prep this involves sharing a bedtime story and listening intently as your children read. In Senior Prep support is about modelling good practice yourself, going to the local library (in normal times) and encouraging your children to put down their phones and pick up a book.

John Thorpe

Author John Thorpe

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