The Reading School

At Swans School, we really do have a genuine love of reading. Our English department tirelessly shares their enthusiasm with regular reading-related activities – from book clubs, to creative writing groups, to the student magazine, and a library filled with a wide variety of literature.

We are well known as “the reading school”, and we thoroughly enjoy ALL THINGS LITERARY.

If our children are excited about reading, they gain an insight into lives that are very different from their own, they go on adventures to far-off lands, they are able to appreciate the wonder of creativity, and are able to express themselves through their own writing and story-telling. Crucially, they also find it easier to understand the core curriculum requirements.

Even our Early Years children are encouraged to love books. Whilst they are not yet able to read, they are able to enjoy listening to stories, to explore pictures and to become familiar with words. From Year 2 onwards, students use Accelerated Reader to manage an individualised reading experience with targets that suit their levels and skills. All children are given a number of points that they should achieve within each term, earned by completing a comprehension quiz once a book of their choice is complete.

Book Week has been one of the most important fixtures in the Swans School events calendar for many years.

At Swans Primary School, a key element of Book Week is sharing. We dedicate time to speaking about our favourite stories and authors. The children brainstorm and have fun talking about the things that they love. By the end of the week, the students are motivated to read more and, perhaps, to try new genres or writers. This year we focussed on Julia Donaldson and her impressive collection of 200 books! The theme was taken across all lessons with lots of storytime, classroom activities, creative writing and drama. Each class also took part in a door decorating challenge. Miss Katya's class were the proud winners and there are still some truly beautiful Julia Donaldson inspired doors on display. The Book Fair was very exciting, and raised 441€ for the cancer support charity, CUDECA. In honour of Swans 50th anniversary, each class accepted the challenge of completing at least 50 hours of collective reading within the one week. The winners were:

Class winners:

  • 1st place: Y05PF with an incredible 71 hours!

  • 2nd place: Y01JW with 62 hours

  • 3rd place: Y04SB with 60 hours

Year group winners:

  • 1st place: Year 5 with 115 hours 35 mins

  • 2nd place: Year 4 with 115 hours 8 mins

  • 3rd place: Year 1 with 98 hours

At Swans Secondary School, to celebrate the school’s fiftieth anniversary, the theme of this year’s event was Retro Reading. Students were encouraged to read any book that is more than fifty years old. A list of recommendations was circulated and displayed to students and parents, with the aim of kindling an interest in classic literature. The benefits of broadening our reading horizons are manifold, but include the expansion of our vocabulary, and the deepening of our understanding of other cultures and time periods.

This theme was continued in the morning audiobook, with students listening to the very creepy The Monkey’s Paw by WW Jacobs. In a new twist on Book Week regular Drop Everything and Read, this year we had daily sessions where the whole school community was asked to Drop Everything and Listen. Carefully selected extracts from our Retro Reading list were sent out to be read aloud by a nominated reader. Very few parents of 10-17 year olds read aloud to their kids, but 83% of teens say that being read to is something they love! The benefits of this include:

  • The fact that fluent reading is modelled by confident readers

  • That those usually frustrated by the difficulty of reading can get hooked on the joy of story, and are therefore more likely to read for pleasure

  • We are exposed to new authors, eras, genres and a wealth of new vocabulary.

The annual book swap took place all week and, thanks to our team of library helpers who coordinated the whole thing, it was a real record breaker. More books were swapped than ever before, with students heading home with armfuls of new books to fall in love with.

The week climaxed with the traditional assembly in which the final rounds of all the Book Week competitions were held. The always exciting Spelling Bee came down to an incredible final two who could not be separated – well done to them! The book trailers were of exceptional quality and gave our Year 12 judges a very difficult time deciding on a top three. And our writers, also judged by Year 12 students, really outdid themselves with outstanding poetry, storytelling and journalism. The art department’s competition, focusing on surreal book illustrations, also had a very strong field. All of our winners are shown below.

Spelling Bee

Joint Winners: Juan Rafael (Year 7) and Isabella (Year 10)

Creative Writer of the Year

  1. Lola (Year 11)

  2. Joe (Year 10)

  3. Rifaat (Year 8)

Journalist of the Year

  1. Rayan (Year 10)

  2. Zoe (Year 7)

  3. Ellen (Year 7)

Book Trailer Competition (Click links to watch)

  1. Warhorse - Isabel and Emelia (Year 9)

  2. Flowers for Algernon - Jazmin, Angelica and Maria (Year 11)

  3. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - Miguel, Daria, Julia, Anna, Carlota (Year 10)

National Poetry Day Competition

  1. Alejandro (Year 10)

  2. Greta Torres (Year 11)

  3. Ferris Masri (Year 11)

Spring Term Cake Break

Well done to 7MJA, who celebrated achieving their reading targets with cake and music!

Art Department’s Surreal Book Illustrations Competition

Winners - Antonio, Chiara, Sophie (Year 7)

We’re already looking forward to celebrating all things literary next year!

As always, we have shared photos and updates of Book Week and all of our other events on our social media channels.

If you would like to receive any additional information, please contact our school office.

Swans Primary School: +34 952773248

Swans Secondary School: +34 952 902 755

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