Our aim at Oakham is to instil a lifelong love of reading in all our students. With scientific studies supporting what we have always claimed – that reading fiction is an essential part of physical and mental well-being and aids the development of the teenage brain – we promote reading for pleasure amongst our pupils in a variety of ways.
In the Lower School, the weekly library lessons are central to reinforcing our pupils’ love of reading through the reading schemes that have been established, over the past few years, in conjunction with library staff.
In Form 3 pupils continue their reading journey with a fortnightly timetabled lesson. At this age they have greater freedom to choose what they read, although the opportunity to discuss what they are reading with library staff and record their progress remains.
Another distinctive feature of the Form 3 reading scheme is that it explicitly aims to develop the complex skill of reading to learn from information and so includes non-fiction, specifically in relation to the Form 3 Individual Project – an independent research project.
More broadly, the School’s commitment to developing a culture of reading extends beyond reading in the Library to include dedicated reading time in Houses and the active promotion of reading across the School, for example during the ‘Week of the Word’, our cross-curricular week dedicated to encouraging a love of reading and words in our pupils.
Meeting a good author makes a profound impression on a developing reader, which is why we celebrate the birthday of the Library every year by inviting critically acclaimed and best-selling authors to talk about their work. In addition to these highly anticipated visits, there are regular events and a steady stream of displays to promote and encourage reading, such as the hugely popular Harry Potter Book Night, World Book Day and National Libraries Day.