Monday, 7 July 2014

On creating 'a thirst for knowledge and a love of learning'

The words in quotation marks in the title of this post are taken from the Ofsted School Inspection Handbook. They form part of the Grade Description for Outstanding Behaviour & Safety of Pupils. If a school is to be rated Outstanding it isn't enough that students are compliant and well behaved. Inspectors will look for evidence that a school has awakened 'a thirst for knowledge and a love of learning' in its pupils. That's what we're aiming for at Matravers. 

But, like charity, 'a thirst for knowledge and a love of learning' begins at home. If parents are lifelong learners, we can help instil the same attitude in our children. That's why I'm setting parents and carers a 'Chair's Challenge' for the summer hols. My challenge is that parents should either buy or borrow a book from the library to read during summer break. When school returns I invite you to submit a 300 word review, explaining why you chose the book, what you liked about it, how it could have been better, and whether you would recommend it to others.  

Email a copy of your review to the school (here) and mark it for the attention of the Chair of Governors. I'll publish a selection of reviews on this blog in the new academic year. Only books suitable for a mention on a school-related website will be considered. You never know, your reading suggestions may prompt others to dip into your favourite author. A love of learning can be infectious. My big summer read will be Ten Cities that Made an Empire, by Tristram Hunt, Allen Lane, 2014. I'll let you know how I got on in September.