The importance of reading

I was really sorry to read an article in the TES today which talked about the concern over the number of girls who have reading problems nationally. They reported that one in ten girls have a problem with reading comprehension. The article does remind us that ‘boys are, on average, weaker readers than girls. But that shouldn’t blind us to the significant number of girls in this country who also struggle.’

As we come to the end of our three week Readathon at Ipswich High School for Girls, I have been so impressed with how our pupils have engaged with the event. I am always delighted with the way that students at the School support charity initiatives, but this has gone far beyond their usual level of engagement; there seems to be a girl reading a book in every corner of the School and it’s fantastic! We do have some girls who struggle with reading, but our Learning Support teacher is always on hand to help and support these pupils. Seeing all of the girls getting involved in the Readathon inspired me to do my assemblies, in both the Junior School and the Senior School, on the importance of reading. I went through the 10 reasons why reading is so important. As I went through them I realised I was probably preaching to the converted but it was wonderful to take a moment to reflect on how important reading can be.

From the brilliant extension to vocabulary you achieve from regularly reading, to the stress reducing feelings you get if you lose yourself in a book at the end of a difficult day. As a scientist, I have always seen the benefit of a good read as you don’t only expand your knowledge but you really develop your analytical skills when following a complicated plot. All of the girls at Ipswich High School seem to be thoroughly embracing the reading bug and developing a lifelong love of literature – long may it continue!


Oona Carlin, Headmistress, Ipswich High School GDST

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