RGS Guildford courtyard with students

World Book Week

World Book Week at the RGS is an opportunity to remind students, parents, and staff alike of the reasons why we read. As Sixth Former, Tom, eloquently said in his Reflection in Monday’s assembly: ” When you read, you have the entirely unique opportunity to experience life as someone else; you, quite literally, can read minds.”  This profoundly simple idea captures the empathic nature of reading so purely, and Tom certainly deserved his rare ovation at the end of assembly that day.

The week commenced with the Poetry By Heart (and House reading) finals event in Big School. Students from across the First to Third Forms recited poems they had learned by heart in front of an audience of staff, parents, and a panel of illustrious judges (Mr White, Mrs Farthing, Mr Patel, and Mr Baggs).  It was a beautiful evening of spoken word and music, with Ben Robertson and Stephen Bannister providing interludes on the piano, and Archie Taylor securing first place in the First Form; Freddie Masefield securing first place in the Second Form; and Andrew Kuang securing first place in the Third Form.

Tuesday saw a visit from the spoken-word performer Harry Baker. His dynamism and energetic verse was shared in workshops with the Third Form, who engaged with language excellently and produced some beat poetry of their own.

On Thursday, the award-winning author Tanya Landman paid a visit to the Second Form, carrying out an entertaining series of writing workshops that focused on the mystery genre.

Furthermore, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, Librarian, Mrs Farthing, held lunch time and parents’ evening book fairs, providing students with the opportunity to buy books from a local independent book shop.

World Book Week was made extra special in the MFL department with the delivery of the Eurotool Box with books themed on Travel. We designed a “European-style” Reading Passport where the boys explored the beautiful books from the selection and noted down anything they could pick up, work out and understand from books in languages that they had not experienced in the classroom.  It was a wonder to see First to Third Formers pore over Polish books on wildlife, Portuguese books on “Happy” verbs and many other treasures.

If all this wasn’t enough, there were daily, non-academic reading groups in the Sixth Form breakout space. This was co-managed by five departments across the school who chose a text that would enrich students’ understanding of their chosen subject, transcending the limitations of the curriculum and showing academic disciplines in a new light.


I hope students have enjoyed the week, and they have a fresh perspective on the importance of reading.

Mr JD Muchmore
Deputy Head of English