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Notes from the Library – Book Week

Thanks to the generous support of our Parents’ Councils, the encouragement of staff and the enthusiasm of our wonderful students, World Book Week 2020 was as enjoyable as it was successful!

The Week saw a wide range of events and activities for our entire school community, with everyone from Kinder A all the way up to 6th year sharing the fun and promoting the sharing of stories. The week began early, with a visit to the library on Friday 28th Feb. by internationally acclaimed American author and illustrator David Wiesner. David was in Dublin for the International Board on Books for Young People Symposium and Lecture in St. Patrick’s College, DCU. One of only two authors to have won the world’s most prestigious award for children’s literature, the American Library Association’s Caldecott Medal, three times, David is most famous for his wordless picture books, including the international bestsellers “Tuesday” and “Flotsam”. Class 6 from the Junior School and 1st and 2nd year Senior School students studying Art enjoyed his fascinating insight into the creative process, as he talked us through the creation of “Flotsam” from inception to publication and beyond. The Teresian School was the only school Mr. Wiesner visited on his tour of Ireland and the UK, and he was impressed by the level of insight of our student’s questions at the end of his presentation. His work is currently on a major retrospective tour of US museums and galleries and we are extremely grateful to the wonderful people at the International Board on Books for Young People, Ireland Section, for facilitating this visit.

Monday 2nd March saw the entire school enraptured and putty in the hands of master traditional storyteller Niall de Burca. Niall has us hanging on his every word, by turns on the edge of our seats and sore from laughing as he shared stories celebrating the power of books, reading and imagination. Having performed all around the world and with many international prizes under his belt, we were thrilled to have Niall join us to share the experience of his hilarious and thoughtprovoking tales of amazement and astonishment. In two, very differently pitched and paced, sessions he enthralled the entirety of the Senior and Junior schools – several Junior school girls literally fell off their seats and rolled on the floor laughing! Niall’s powerful presence reminded us all of the positive impact and community building role of stories in society, and of the rich, diverse heritages drawn together that make our school such a wonderful place. On Tuesday 3rd, Junior school classes 5 and 6 were treated to a presentation by Irish author and illustrator Oisin McGann, whose latest collaboration with comedian Jason Byrne and recently published female-centred reimagining of the story of Alcott & Brown, “Ride the Atlantic Wind”, formed the centre of his talk, culminating in a live illustration demonstration in the library while he fielded students’ questions. Again, Oisin was struck by the level of insight of our girls’ questions, noting that they were clearly forces to be reckoned with! His talk took the students through the creative process and he emphasised the power of imagination, thinking and asking the right questions, encouraging the girls to journal their ideas day-to-day – a key element of successful creative writing. Tuesday evening saw the Victoria Díez library transformed into Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, as students, many in wizarding attire, gathered to celebrate all things Harry Potter. The girls, having been sorted into their Hogwarts houses by the ceremonial Sorting Hat, enjoyed a ‘spelling’ contest (which saw the controversial use of some Unforgivable Curse spells by the Slytherin team!), debating the merits of The Books vs. The Films, a make-a-bookmark craft activity and the Big Harry Potter Quiz, when Slytherin triumphed in a tie-breaker with Ravenclaw. We all had a very enjoyable evening sharing our takes on the Wizarding World.

Thursday the 5th was the big day itself, World Book Day. The thought, effort and creativity of the costumes on display from staff and students alike was heart-warming, with older girls especially showing the way and setting a magnificent example for the younger students. The Senior School staff’s group costume of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was entertaining to say the least – Religion and English teacher Frances’ giant inflatable Violet Beauregard costume was far and away the funniest, and the deserving winner of the Best Dressed Staff award! The 6th Year’s ‘Scooby Gang’ and 2S’s ‘The Dictionary’ took the group awards, with 3S’s Eve Higgins as ‘Strawberry Shortcake’ and 6V’s Amy Maguire as ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ winning for Best Dressed Individuals. Our end-ofday student and staff costume assembly was tremendous fun, and demonstrated the commitment of staff and students alike to nurturing our family-like school spirit. Prizes were also awarded to the winner and runner-up of our ‘What If…’ competition, Anna Keane (5V) and Catriona Duffy (1V), whose inventive articulations of what would happen if one fictional character were introduced to another fictional world were perceptive and thought-provoking. Anna secured the out-of-this world Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-themed cake for 5V to share and enjoy. The “Catch Your Pet Reading” competition really caught the imagination, with entries ranging from literate Guinea-Pigs and Cats and Dogs to bookish Horses! In the end though, the prize had to go to Skye Hamilton (1V) for her picture of her pet snake reading! Perhaps the most popular competition was our ‘Shelfies: Who’s Reading?’, an extention of our usual “Tereisan Staff Love Reading” campaign, which saw staff obscure their faces with book covers, with some cunning ruses and red-herrings thrown in for good measure! The joint winners were Louisa Quinn and Julia Holmes of 1S. All entrants and competitors were great sports and again, their efforts to promote a fun buzz around reading are really appreciated. Special mention to all the incredibly talented bakers whose entries for the ‘Book Bakes’ competition were truly spectacular! 1V’s Astrid Apalmo was the eventual winner with her delicious cake homage to our own Victoria Díez library, with Siofra Delany of 3V’s “Heidi” book cake a very close second. We were astounded by the quality and thoughtfulness of all entries, and the variety of imagination and culinary talent they displayed – all competitors shared their cakes with their form classes the following day. Friday 6th of March was shared with Engineers Day, with the Maths Department and Library screening the inspirational documentary “Dream Big” to Senior School students – demonstrating female engineers using maths and science to find real world solutions to real world problems. Our last event of World Book Week was The Big Book Quiz on Friday lunchtime, a close fought battle eventually won by the 3rd years’ team- their prowess at the anagrams round gave them the eventual edge. Our Scholastic Book fair was well supported by students in the Junior and Senior schools, securing funding for purchase of new stock for our library for next year.

Many thanks to all, Staff, students, Parents and Management alike, who gave so readily of their time, talents and imagination to make this celebration of reading and books a memorable and successful week!

– Robin Stewart,  Librarian