As it was International School Library Month during October, we caught up with Mrs Martineau, our Head of English to find out a little more about her book recommendations…
What is your favourite book of all time and why?
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – because it has to be the greatest love story of all time. It takes a while to get going, but when it does it is literally unputdownable! A truly great read.
Who is your favourite author?
This is a very hard question. I don’t really have a favourite author and there are so many fabulous writers out there! But that said, I love all of Roald Dahl’s books, even his adult short stories. I used to be obsessed by Somerset Maughan – another great story teller who, like Dahl, used his writing to great effect by covering the spectrum of literature.
What do you like about teaching English to South Lee students?
There is a lot that I enjoy about teaching English at South Lee. There is a proven correlation between good readers and good writers, and a large part of my job is inspiring the children to read. South Lee gives me the freedom to choose texts that I love and that I feel will work best with that year group. I am currently teaching English to Years 5 to 8 and, at each level, I enjoy hearing the children’s responses to the texts they are studying – be it the injustice of Apartheid in ‘Journey to Jo’burg’, Lady Macbeth’s regret and madness in The Scottish Play, Mrs Pratchett’s description in ‘Boy’ or the build-up of tension in ‘The Landlady’. Hearing that child at the end of the lesson groaning about it being over makes my heart sing and drives me to want to seek out even more great texts.
Why are libraries important in schools?
Inspiring a child to read is probably one of the most important things about their schooling and a library gives them the freedom to find their book. Libraries are a place for them to dip in and out of different works, to hear other people’s recommendations, to have a dedicated reading time and to have the opportunity to inspire others to read those books that they too enjoyed.
Why did you want to become a teacher?
Having two children going through primary school and seeing their journey through it, talking to the teachers and noting their dedication to their roles inspired me to want to become a part of this hugely rewarding profession myself!