I was absolutely thrilled when EPHS’s brilliant librarian, Alison Martino, invited me to be a Patron of Reading at Elthorne Park High School earlier this year. Like all the best proposals, as soon as she asked me I didn’t have to think – I just said YES!
So what is a Patron of Reading?
A Patron of Reading is a school’s special, designated children’s author, poet, storyteller or illustrator. The school and their Patron develop the role over a period of time. Everything the Patron does is related to helping encourage and develop a reading for pleasure culture within the school. I will be committed to EPHS for the next two years, and I’m really excited to get things started.
What does a Patron of Reading do?
The brilliant thing about the Patron of Reading role is that what I do is entirely up to us. There are now more than 200 Patrons of Reading in Primary and Secondary Schools across the UK and each Patron and each School has developed its own ideas on what they think will work best in their school.
Previous Patrons have set up quizzes, blogs, book recommendations and discussions. They have included play readings, poetry slams, spoken word competitions and even work around designing book trailers. They have helped schools connect with other authors. The key thing is that we can decide what we do over the next two years at EPHS, and how we do it, and all ideas are welcome.
If you love reading then I know you’re going to love getting involved, and I really want to hear from you!
And if you are a person who thinks books just aren’t your thing, or you haven’t picked one up for a while because you don’t know where to start, then don’t go all quiet on me – I want to hear from you just as much too!
Because as JK Rowling said (and I’m pretty sure quite a few other writers before her said it too…)
If you don’t enjoy reading then you haven’t found the right book yet!
Ms Martino and I have lots of ideas about the sorts of things we might do over the next couple of years, but we also really want to hear from you. So for starters this page is a place where we can all share thoughts, ideas and discussions about what we plan to do together around the Patron of Reading role. And then as times goes on we can use this space for talking about news of our upcoming events, and share photos and blogs that follow on from those events too. Not everything on this page needs to be written by me – it would be great to feature blogs and reports or interviews written by you too.
So that’s it! Hope you like it! And please do get the conversation started by sending me a message below with any comments, thoughts and ideas so far. I’d love to hear from you.
Caitlin Wood and Ela Barrington-ward
June 28, 2018 @ 8:59 am
Dear Faye Bird,
We have a possible idea for the library at our school.
We would like if possible for you to come in maybe once or twice a month to host a book club in our library.
Also, it would be really fun if, in the summer, we could have our library lessons outside in the sun.
It would be amazing if you could consider these ideas.
June 29, 2018 @ 10:35 am
I really like the idea of a book club – leave that with me. And I can talk to Ms Martino about Library Lessons outside on hot sunny days, but if that isn’t workable in lessons then we could definitely do book club outside! Leave it with me. And thanks so much for getting in touch here. Faye x
Rania & Tallulah
June 28, 2018 @ 8:58 am
Dear ms Bird,
We have an idea for the school on Harry Potter day. we don’t do many activities and were thinking that it would be a good idea to do so. we thought that we should arrange everyone into a house and then set a group activity for each group to do. This will help build their teamwork skills and you can have fun.
June 29, 2018 @ 10:42 am
Hello! Yes – great idea for Harry Potter Night or another Harry Potter event. Have you visisted the Pottermore website? JK Rowling writes on there about the Sorting Hat. It’s worth a read. It made me think we could actually decide who goes in which house by doing a Sorting Hat at the start? Let me know if you think that’s a good idea to add to the mix! I’m planning to pool all these ideas and then we can start to make them happen. Thanks so much for sharing yours ideas! Faye x
June 28, 2018 @ 8:58 am
Dear Faye bird,
I would like to suggest that we do an escape room that includes one clue on the door. It will include one book of Shakespeare with a clue on the back which will lead to other books with clues that eventually lead to a hidden spot in the library which contains a key after finding a few books and that key will be the key to unlock the door to the library and whoever will make it out first will get a prize of a book or a book voucher or something similar.
June 29, 2018 @ 10:46 am
Hello! This is a really original idea. It sounds great! And I can see that there are quite a few of you who are excited about it. I’m adding it to the list of ideas! Thank you! Faye
June 28, 2018 @ 8:57 am
Me and my friends, Dominic and Josh would like to suggest that we could have an escape room on William Shakespeare’s birthday. It could all be about Shakespeare’s plays.
Please keep it in mind.
June 29, 2018 @ 10:51 am
Hi Martin and Dominic and Josh. I like the escape room / quiz idea – it’s really different. And I like the idea of it being around Shakespeare too. Very smart! I’m going to put it on the list. More soon! Thanks so much for sharing your ideas. Faye
June 28, 2018 @ 8:57 am
Dear Miss Bird,
I know that you have probably already had many recommendations for an escape room, but i would like to build on this idea.
I think most clues should either be in books or to do with an author of a book. If the person gets the clue, it leads them to another book with another clue.
Thank you for taking this into consideration.
June 29, 2018 @ 10:54 am
Hi there. It’s great to hear you like the escape room idea too! Lots of you have said that it’s something you’d really like to do. When I’m next in school we could talk about how we can build on the idea, like you say. Thanks so much for getting in touch with your thoughts and ideas. Faye
June 28, 2018 @ 8:56 am
in my library lesson i was just thinking of what we could do to make the library lessons even more interesting is that we could add and an escape room in the library
June 29, 2018 @ 10:55 am
Hello. Yes – the escape room idea is really popular! It’s on the list! Watch this space. And thanks so much for getting in touch. Faye
July 9, 2018 @ 12:39 pm
yes thank you, this might sound weird but i was the one with the original idea
July 9, 2018 @ 12:43 pm
i just want to say that it would be cool if we could do one about Charles dickens and do it on his birthday.
Caitlin and Maia
June 28, 2018 @ 8:56 am
I would like to do an escape room (in the library) with clues inside books, to find the key to escape the room. We could do lot’s of different themes. The most suggested is fairy tale themes.
June 29, 2018 @ 10:57 am
Hello. I like the idea of fairy tales. There has also been an idea to base it around Shakespeare. Perhaps we could do lots of different themes, as you say. Thanks so much for sharing your ideas. More soon on this! Faye
you should never give your real name online
June 25, 2018 @ 12:13 pm
How about…. giving the wonderful world of books to the homeless! Donate old school/personal fiction or non-fiction books and donate to the homeless or those in poverty who can’t afford them.
June 29, 2018 @ 11:05 am
Hello. Yes, this is a great idea. Libraries obviously allow us all access to free books, but you do need a home address to get a library card, so if you are homeless you need to be supported by charities like Street Reads. They rely on donations, and have all sorts of projects within the community. I know one of their projects was to create a mobile library for the homeless in Edinburgh. We could definitely set up an event that brings attention to this, so I’ll add it to our ever-growing list of ideas! Thanks so much for getting in touch. Faye