Celebrating books every week in our Libraries

Posted 16 August 2019 9:21am

Each year, students and teachers across our campuses look forward to Book Week – an opportunity for us all to celebrate books and Australian authors and illustrators. This year’s theme is ‘Reading is My Secret Power’ which our Junior School students have embraced with an eye-catching display in their Library.

The much-loved costume parade at the Junior School will take place at a special assembly on Monday, 19 August at 9.10am.

Festivities in the Senior School next week will include a Spelling Bee on Monday and Wednesday, Write a Book in Day on Tuesday, Costume Parade during lunch on Thursday and a special assembly on Friday where author Jackie French will be speaking.

The best place to discover books is, of course, the Library. Students at CGGS are fortunate to have incredible resources available to them every day, including a team of passionate educators, librarians and assistants who encourage students to find and nurture a love of books (and so much more!).

Junior School Library

It’s that fabulous time of year that all Teacher Librarians love - BOOK WEEK! And while it might spring to mind the challenges of working out book character outfits, it is truly so much more than the dress ups. Book Week is a wonderful time for all of us to celebrate the power of stories and books in our lives. This year’s theme ‘Reading is My Secret Power’ has been a wonderful way of exploring the power of books. Our students across all year levels have shared ideas such as reading being a mindful activity that reduces our stress, reading having the power to stoke our imagination, our creativity, building our knowledge and understanding. Crucially, in a global minded community, reading has the power to develop our perspective and empathy, giving us voice and choice within our community.

As the Teacher Librarian in the Junior School, I am committed to developing our children as lifelong readers, fostering a love of stories and ongoing curiosity about the world we live in. Our Library Captain, Tian Fan (Year 6), a published author in her own right, describes our Junior School Library as a ‘utopian oasis’ - a friendly and inviting place with lots of stories and knowledge on offer. A place with a wide range of books where it is easy to find yourself lost within a story.

So take the opportunity over the next week to talk to your children about the stories they love, snuggle up and read them one of your favourite stories. Share YOUR secret power of reading!

The Junior School library is open 8.15am-3.45pm daily.

Reading programs in the Senior Library

At the Senior Library, we are passionate about reading and its wellbeing and literacy benefits. We run a range of interesting reading programs for students in Years 7-10, during fortnightly reading lessons. New books are regularly showcased (Jackie French’s books currently have pride of place!) and students are encouraged to share and suggest books for the library to buy that they have enjoyed.

Year 7 students participate in the Accelerated Reading Program which involves reading books, then taking quizzes and earning points for each book they have read. Incentives include certificates and prizes and a big prize for those who reach 1,000,000 words. Just this week we celebrated Maggie Burdon and Jasmine Byrne who reached this impressive milestone! The program aims to expose students to a wide range of different genres of fiction, improve reading skills and literacy and encourage a lifelong love of reading, 

In Year 8, Library reading lessons focus students on linking their reading to their unit of study in English. The aim is to encourage further immersion in the topic and to encourage deeper thinking and exploration. For 2019 the themes are Cultural connections, Poetry and Coming of age.

Year 9-10 activities encourage students to keep reading for pleasure. Speed dating with books involves baskets of new books being circulated at three-minute intervals. Reviews are written in the categories - Love to date, Maybe and Not this time. At the end, hopefully there is a book a student would like to borrow! The Book Mark activity challenges students to read something different. Categories include - Book to movie, Book in a genre you don't usually read, Read with a number in the title etc. Students are encouraged to share books they have enjoyed.

Year 11 and 12 students receive reading talks as required to assist with choosing books for their senior essays and are encouraged individually to seek advice from the Teacher Librarians.

The library also hosts the fortnightly lunch-time co-curricular Book Club. With hot chocolate and Tim Tams, an enthusiastic group of book-lovers, guided by a student leader, talk about what they are currently reading and participate in literary quizzes and games, book swaps and author visits.

During Book Week this year we are encouraging both students and tutors to read stories in tutor group to further promote a love of reading. This could involve a tutor reading to their group or students reading to other students to build connections and relationships.

Creative Writing Captain and Book Club member, Ariel Lawson (Year 12) says the library is her favourite place at school.

“I know I can go there if I am ever having trouble with an assignment. I know I can go there to get help with my assignments from the librarians and the amazing resources, or if I want to a break I can relax in the quiet of the library and either do work or read one of the hundreds of fiction books on the shelf,” says Ariel.

“Once I fortnight I get to meet with other book lovers like me. It has become the highlight of my week. We have amazing discussions about the plots of books and recommend books to each other.”

Whether it is a book you’re seeking, or just a place to chill and switch off, libraries can be a haven and shelter from the fast-paced world. Emily Graham (Year 7) puts its simply – “I like the space – it is always warm.”

The Senior School library is open 8.15am-5.00pm on Monday to Thursday and 8.15am-4.45pm on Fridays.

Thank you to Teacher Librarians Jennifer Ferdinand and Necia Agnew for their valuable contribution to this article.

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