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Boys’ School Book Parade

September 23, 2020 at 12:31 PM

It’s not every day that the Junior School boys are met at the Expressway drop off by a large, beaming white rabbit! Unlike Alice in Wonderland’s errant character, Mr Cassie’s White Rabbit was not ‘late, late for a very important date’ – he was dressed and ready for the Book Parade!

In this last week of the school term, the Junior School and Middle School have been alive with literacy activities. To celebrate their love of reading, today, the boys dressed up as their favourite book characters and paraded in a loop around Roselle House, out onto Shore Road and back. With Alert Level 2 restrictions still in place, we sadly could not invite our parents onto campus, but in place, Mr Andrew Vicars set up cameras to live stream the parade to our families.

‘Where’s Wally’, Willy Wonka and the ever-popular boy wizard, Harry Potter, had a particularly strong presence – notably absent was previous favourite, ‘Captain Underpants’ but a cool September date probably excluded that scantily clad character!  It was heartening to see that children’s stories from another generation still endure with the Saucepan Man from Enid Blyton’s ‘Magic Faraway Tree’ and George Remi’s ‘The Adventures of Tin Tin’ added to the mix! The staff weren’t shy about dressing up either with Eric Carle, Roald Dahl and Dr Seuss characters amongst the favourites.

Literacy is born from the human need to tell stories to better understand ourselves and the world in which we live; it can also transport us to another world on a journey rich with words. The book parade is always a vibrant event and one that the boys enjoy, but behind the dressing up is a strategic academic focus to make literacy fun; the parade encourages the boys to read widely with books playing a key role in encouraging curiosity, expanding their vocabulary and language skills, and stimulating the boys’ imaginations – all skills that will help with their wider learning.

As electronic devices now take their place in the library alongside the shelves of books, one fundamental is unchanged, the need to encourage children to read for both pleasure and learning.

‘So please, oh please, we beg, we pray, 
Go throw your TV set away. 
And in its place you can install, 
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.’ 

Roald Dahl in 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' 

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