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Embarking on a Literary Journey: Glendower Prep School’s Book Week Extravaganza


Excitement is brewing at Glendower Prep School for our much-anticipated Book Week extravaganza! With the theme of “Belonging” at the forefront of our minds, we are gearing up for a week filled with literary adventures, creativity, and community spirit.

Led by our Head of English, Clare Cadenhead, Book Week promises to be a celebration like no other. Drawing on her passion for literature and language, Clare and the teaching team have curated a line-up of activities and events that will not only inspire our students but also foster a deep appreciation for the power of storytelling. As we prepare to kick off the week with a special assembly introducing the theme of belonging, the “Buzz” of Book Week is running high among both students and faculty. Each class has carefully selected a book that embodies the essence of belonging, setting the stage for a journey of exploration and discovery.

Throughout the week, our students will be treated to a variety of engaging experiences, from interactive storytelling sessions to dance workshops and theatrical performances. Visitors from Freshwater Theatre will captivate our younger students with “Teapot Tales,” while West End in Schools will bring the magic of beloved tales like “The Firework Maker’s Daughter” and “Matilda” to life through dance and drama workshops. Our youngest learners will be delighted by Cat and Hatch’s storytelling show, based on “Oscar Seeks a Friend,” promising an interactive and immersive experience that will ignite their imagination.

World Book Day will be a highlight of the week, as we welcome renowned storyteller Chris Connaughton to our school for an interactive session that promises to enchant and inspire students of all ages. With his books available for sale, students will have the opportunity to bring a piece of the magic home with them. As always the children will be dressing up as their favourite book characters too, always a delight to see!

However, Book Week isn’t just about entertainment; it’s about learning and growth. Every student will embark on a project that encourages them to explore the theme of belonging in depth, whether it’s learning sign language, delving into themes of migration through Shaun Tan’s “The Arrival,” or expressing themselves through creative writing. 

English is not just a subject at Glendower Prep School; it’s a cornerstone in shaping our girls into future gamechangers. Through English, our students are encouraged to think outside the box, honing their critical thinking skills as they embark on open-ended projects like creating their own museum in Year 5. This flexibility and intellectual agility serve as excellent preparation for the 11+ examinations, where adaptability is key. Moreover, English nurtures independence and curiosity, empowering our girls to take ownership of their learning journey. A prime example of this empowerment is our Year 6 project, where students will take charge of the White House newsletter in celebration of International Women’s Day. From crafting “Phenomenal Women” poems inspired by Maya Angelou to conducting interviews and reporting on the day’s events, this project not only fosters collaboration and decision-making but also instils the confidence to step into leadership roles. By nurturing confidence from a young age, we empower our students to articulate their ideas and embrace opportunities with enthusiasm and resilience.

Our poetry recital competition at Glendower Prep School was a testament to the incredible talent and diversity among our students. With a grand final showcasing an array of poems, often in different languages, the event not only celebrated linguistic richness but also demonstrated the depth of skills and challenges our students embrace. As educators, we take immense pride in witnessing the growth and confidence of our young ladies as they rise to these occasions, continuously impressing and astonishing us with their creativity and poise. This commitment to nurturing talent extends beyond competitions, with initiatives like linking handwriting exercises in autumn to National Poetry Day, and hosting a Creative Writing competition in the summer where every child in the school contributes. Through these endeavours, we foster a sense of unity and shared purpose, encouraging all students to explore their creativity and share their unique voices with pride and confidence.

In addition to our vibrant literary events, Glendower Prep School proudly hosts a big Readathon to support our Bursary fund. This initiative not only promotes a love for reading but also fosters a culture of giving back to our community. Over a 10-day period that coincides with Book Week, students are encouraged to track the minutes they spend immersed in books, whether it’s delving into a captivating novel, exploring the pages of a non-fiction text, or getting lost in the world of poetry. By participating in the Readathon, our students not only enhance their literacy skills but also contribute to a worthy cause, helping to provide opportunities for students who may otherwise be unable to access a Glendower education. It’s a wonderful demonstration of how our school community comes together to celebrate the joy of reading while making a meaningful difference in the lives of others.

With a decade of dedication to our school, including nine years at the helm of the English department, Mrs Clare Cadenhead brings a wealth of experience and expertise to her role. Her academic background in English Literature, coupled with a fervent passion for creative writing and language, infuses every aspect of her teaching and leadership. Clare takes pride in nurturing the exceptional writers scattered across our school, fostering their passion for storytelling and encouraging exploration of diverse ideas. For Clare, English is not just a subject—it’s a canvas of possibilities, encompassing comprehension, writing, spelling, and grammar, and offering endless opportunities to forge connections with other areas of the curriculum. Under Clare’s guidance, our students are inspired to unlock their potential, embrace their unique voices, and embark on a lifelong journey of learning and self-expression.

And her favourite book? Little Women by Louisa May Allcott. “For me, it is all about empowering women! A perfect example for the girls in our school because Jo is not your average female. She does not just do what is expected of her – she fights for what she believes in, follows her dreams and is true to who she really is. After all, being you is the best person you can be, confident to go off into the world to make a difference.’


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