From the headmaster’s office
PUBLISHED: 06:45 02 June 2014
Albert Einstein was once asked how we could make our children intelligent. His reply was both simple and wise. “If you want your children to be intelligent”, he said, “read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales”. Mr Einstein knew a thing or two. As educators our number one primary aim should be to give our children a world in which they will read, and be read to, and imagine, and understand.
In education, reading is how children access every area of the curriculum. Reading is not an “extra”, it is central to our daily life at school. If there was one skill that all children should leave school with, it is the ability to read and to read well. Reading gives children knowledge and understanding in education, in their future life and it feeds their imagination.
Imagine for one moment what it would be like to have no books. Without the ability to read there would be no poetry, no science, maths or history, no instructions, no recipes to follow, no newspapers, no scripts, no doctors’ prescriptions and so on.
Teaching children to read is the single most important thing we do as schools.
Douglas Robb has been announced as the new headmaster of Gresham’s School in Holt, from September 1. Douglas is currently headmaster of Oswestry School in Shropshire, and was previously housemaster and teacher of economics and politics at Oundle School. Originally from the Wirral, he was head chorister at Birkenhead School and subsequently gained a politics MA at Edinburgh and an MEd at Homerton College, Cambridge. He spent the earlier part of his teaching career in Zimbabwe and Scotland.
Douglas, whose interests include travel and sport, has been married to his wife, Lucinda, for 16 years and they have three children, Miranda who is 12, Hector, nine, and six-year-old Fergus who will all be joining Gresham’s in September.
Alumni of the school – which in 2013 achieved a 100pc pass rate at A-Level – include international rugby players Tom and Ben Youngs, inventor Sir James Dyson, film director Stephen Frears, composer Benjamin Britten and actress Olivia Colman.