Alsop High School had the pleasure of hosting British teen-fiction author Kate Maryon as part of their new “Read On, Get On” initiative.
Students from Year 7 and Year 8 were enthralled by her presentation about her latest novel Invisible Girl. The book explores the topics of running away and child homelessness.
Ms Maryon met Alsop students and inspired them to read more challenging books. Students participated in a lively question and answer session to find out what motivates and inspires Kate to write books.
Ms Maryon explained that reading helps to develop your brain and its cognitive abilities as well as increasing mindfulness. Reading also helps to improve literacy skills. During her visit, Alsop launched a new initiative called “Read On, Get On” to respond to the national challenge to improve literacy.
The school were delighted that Kate also initiated a creative writing competition were students are encouraged to write a story from the point of view of one of the characters from her book Invisible Girl. Kate will judge the competition, and prizes will include signed copies of her book.
Ms Maryon said: “Stories bring us comfort when the people around us can’t. They take hold of our hands and warm us up from the inside letting us know we’re not alone. They help us navigate difficulty, restore connection and find new ways to understand our difficult and confusing feelings.
“They show us our limits and our potentials, offering new directions. They inspire us and satisfy us. They make us laugh and they make us cry. They give us perspective by allowing us, just for a while, to inhabit another person’s life, to try it on for size. But most of all, they are the universe’s way of whispering, “You’re alive and you’re safe and you’re loved.”
Mrs Hart, head of English said: “It was a great pleasure to host Kate Maryon. She was able to engage and encourage so many students. At Alsop we believe that reading should be a priority and hopefully the visit will reignite an interest in reading.”
Headteacher Mr Mangan, said: “Reading, like any skill, needs to be practised or it will slip. With this in mind, we encourage students to spend between 15 to 30 minutes reading every day.
“Good literacy is the single most important educational building block from which all other learning follows. Students need to recognise that literacy is not just important for English, but it also matters for geography, science and maths.”
The message “Read On, Get On” will be promoted at Alsop throughout the initiative and beyond with teachers encouraging greater use of the learning resource centre and reinforce a simple message that a small amount of time for reading suitably challenging books would make a real difference.
For more information about the Read On, Get On visit www.alsophighschool.org.uk