Archive for September 2012



Reading Olympics


The combination of the National Year of Reading with the London Olympics  provided a golden opportunity for us to run a Reading Olympics competition for all our Middle School boys.  The boys were challenged to see who could read the most in the 8 weeks leading up to and during the London Olympics, and this was a perfect way to not only link reading with sport but to also reward a non-sporting achievement.

The 16 Middle School classes divided neatly into 4 sporting teams and 4 countries, and each boy was given a score-sheet based on his country and team.  Each 10 pages read represented one point, and medals were awarded according to how many points were earned – 2000, 3000 and 4000 for Years 6 and 7, and 3000, 4000 and 5000 for Year 8. The boys whole-heartedly rose to the challenge and we ended up awarding 111 individual medals – 55 gold, 23 silver and 33 bronze – while the overall winners of each sporting team and country received trophies. The most successful team was the Athletics team with 49 medals, the Australian team came second with 34 medals and the Cycling team placed third with 31 medals.

During the 8 weeks of the competition, 1344 books were recorded as read; in reality this number would have been much higher because boys who were not in the competition were also reading. In all, it was a very enjoyable and highly successful competition promoting books, reading and literacy.




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Last Friday, 30 enthusiastic Year 8 boys headed off to Word Play, part of the Brisbane Writers’ Festival, under the guidance of Mrs Oxley and Mr Giles.  BWF is a notable event on the Brisbane calendar each year, and attracts well-known authors from around the world; Word Play is the BWF program just for school students.

This year the boys were especially privileged to hear John Boyne, author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, as all of our Year 8 boys study this novel.  John read an excerpt from his book, then talked about why he wrote it, as well as the similarities between Bruno and Schmuel. Mr Giles, who developed the unit, was able to talk briefly with John and will make further contact before the unit is taught again next year. Another two authors who the boys enjoyed listening to were Benjamin Law, author of The Family Law, and Alice Pung, author of Her Father’s Daughter.

The theme of the BWF this year was “Celebrating the heart of the story”, and a special feature was the heart-shaped book sculpture, made from titles that have featured in the Festival over the past 50 years, and which form part of the ‘heart’ of the Brisbane community.

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