Award winning children’s author Frank Cottrell Boyce, visited Alsop High School to launch a new initiative “Reading the Alsop Way”.
Frank has been appointed to the influential role as the patron of reading. He has agreed to be an ambassador for Alsop and promote reading within school, and the wider community.
Reading is at the heart of The Alsop Way, which is based upon three pillars of Knowledge, Respect and Opportunity.
During a special assembly, Frank spoke about his childhood, achievements, his career, his passion for reading and his role as children’s author. He gave students a taste of some of his writing from his eleven magnificent books that have a large impact on his readers. He read from his most recent book, Runaway Robot.
Frank also spoke about being honoured to write the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics. He based the storyline on Shakespeare’s The Tempest.
Headteacher Mr Wilson, said: “It is a real privilege for Alsop staff and students that Frank has accepted the influential role of patron of reading for the current academic year. We are excited that Frank will encourage and develop a reading for pleasure culture within Alsop through book recommendations, facilitating discussions, judging competitions and visits to Alsop and our partner primary schools.”
Mrs Tapia-Bowes, literacy co-ordinator at Alsop said: “The visit highlighted the importance of reading as a powerful educational tool that enables us to relax and lose ourselves in a story. If we read stories, they have the power to motivate, persuade, inform and inspire.
“Reading helps to build empathy and develops our ability to concentrate. An important fact is that various feel good hormones, such as dopamine, are released when we hear or read stories. All humans benefit from reading.”
After the assembly Mr Cottrell Boyce revealed a stunning art installation showing the wings of an angel. The artwork designed and painted by former Alsop student, Ms Nicola Lowe (nee Taggart), has been painted on the exterior wall of the learning resource centre.
Mr Cottrell Boyce’s magical words from his book ‘The Unforgotten Coat’ are written above the wings: “And in that moment, I felt my own ignorance spread suddenly out behind me like a pair of wings, and every single thing I didn’t know was a feather on those wings. I could feel them tugging in the air, restless to be airborne”.