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A New Chapter –
Cathy leaves the Lower School Library

8th July 20

She is a Lower School legend who has instilled a love of books and reading in hundreds of students in the 25 years she’s been at the school. Here she looks back on her time at the school.

“My association with KAS began when my son, Daniel, joined reception in 1992. Four years later, in 1996, my son Sam followed in his footsteps. Then in 1995, I became a member of staff. Between myself and my two children we have collectively clocked up half a century of association with KAS.

Before arriving, I had been a classroom teacher and advisory teacher focusing on literacy development in several London schools. I began at KAS as part time teacher, based in our then small library. Over time, as my children grew so did my role, to full time library teacher and then English coordinator. In the last few years, I have returned to the library part-time.

During my time at KAS, I have worked with a number of different Head teachers, all of whom have recognised that a library is an essential part of a learning community and that reading for information and pleasure supports personal and academic growth. I hope I have helped to ensure our library provides a safe place for children to think, create, share and grow into lifelong learners.

As Michael Morpurgo eloquently says:

“It is through the magic of stories children can extend their imagination, intellectual curiosity, develop the empathy and awareness that they will need to help them tackle the complexities of their own emotions”.

I am extraordinarily sad to be leaving wonderful KAS, (tearing up as I write this), but I take with me many cherished memories. Here are some of my personal highlights………

  • The library after school with parents and children scattered on bean bags sharing books. Younger children eager to re-visit and share the books which were read to them in their library session.
  • The library book group discussions in which children express and share complex ideas and feelings.
  • The excitement as children rushed into the library, knowing the next book in the series they were reading, had just arrived.
  • The many amazing, wonderful and inspiring authors who I have invited to meet our children over the years and the expectation and buzz they created. To name a few: Michael Morpurgo, Jacqueline Wilson, Chris Riddell, Anthony Horowitz, Cressida Cowell, Lauren Child, Mini Grey, SF Said, James Mayhew and many more!
  • Watching children meeting authors and going home happily clutching a personally signed copy of one of their books is a powerful experience bringing alive the link between the reader and the writer.
  • The creative writing club, where children developed their own writing voice.
  • Recommending books to children and then getting their feedback.
  • The challenges of working with head teachers and colleagues to develop our practice, whilst holding onto our fundamental principles.
  • The pink blossoms on the tree by the staff room.
  • Sunbathing with colleagues during breaks in the summer.
  • The magical farm, especially the ducks quacking.
  • The generations of children who have been inspired by their reading over the years.
  • And then finally our WORLD BOOK DAYS. I will never forget the crazy, inventive, brilliant costumes, parents, staff and children create to share their chosen book characters. The sense of community and fun of bringing characters alive and sharing books with friends.

KAS has been an enormous part of my life for 25 years and it is hard to say goodbye. I will always be grateful for and will never forget, the kind-hearted supportive colleagues, the KAS community but especially the children.”

Cathy

Where Next?