Senior School Literacy Week ‘Superwomen of Literature’

Whole School

The week beginning Monday 13th November saw the return of the Senior School’s Annual Literacy Week. 


Activities took place during form times and lunchtimes to celebrate some of the superwomen of literature and the male characters that enabled their success. There was a genuine excitement surrounding the week, with all year groups (and staff) participating.

During form time, students completed a quiz on the dark (and often disturbing) truths behind fairy-tales which I am fairly sure will have changed many girls’ attitudes to their favourite Disney films! There was also a ‘theme song’ activity which generated much heated discussion about whether certain characters even deserved to be classed as superwomen!

Monday 13th November saw the Year 7 girls compete in a timed treasure hunt around the school. The students had to decipher the clues which led them to a well-known venue in the school before speeding off to collect a letter hidden there.  Once all the venues had been visited, the letters spelt out the name of a female character who is arguably a superwoman of literature.  I was particularly impressed with how quickly the girls solved the clues and even more surprised at the speed in which they completed the treasure hunt. 

Year 8 and Year 9 had their turn at the Literacy Week activity on Tuesday 14th November when they took part in a Meme Competition where they tried to create the funniest or most creative memes to suit images of superwomen of literature.  They created memes for characters such as: Katniss Everdeen, the Bennet sisters and Malala Yousafzai.  I was incredibly impressed with their contributions as over 40 girls participated in the activity.

Wednesday 15th November saw Year 10 and Year 11 take their turn at the activities.  In pairs and small groups, the girls struggled through the challenge of the Brainteaser Competition – a task so hard that many staff found it perplexing.  Cryptic clues had to be deciphered to discover the name of a book containing a character who was a superwoman of literature.  For example, ‘They disappeared in a breeze’ was ‘Gone with the Wind’ and ‘Small Girls’ became ‘Little Women’.  Many girls showed great resilience, remaining for almost the entire lunchtime such was their determination to complete the challenge. 

The final day of year group activities took place on Thursday 16th November when the Sixth Form stepped up to the challenge.  Their task was to complete the notorious First Lines Quiz which many of them achieved. There were extra marks up for grabs through even more challenging bonus questions and many of the Sixth Form participated and did a very good job of an incredibly difficult task.

The Superwomen of Literature Week culminated in a themed Mufti Day on Friday 17th November with Senior School staff and students dressing up as superwomen of literature or the male characters who support and enable them to succeed.  It was fantastic to see the effort and thought that went into the costumes and I found it so interesting to talk to the girls and staff to see who they had dressed up as and why they believed their character had super powers.  There were a lot of Matildas and Harry Potters wandering around the school on Friday but there were also some more unusual characters such as: Malala Yousafzai, Jane Eyre, Anne of Green Gables and the scarecrow from ‘The Wizard of Oz’.

It was a fantastic week which truly promoted reading and generated a real excitement for the activity, with everyone discussing who they were going to be and why.  Prizes for the winning entries and costumes will be awarded in the coming weeks and I can’t wait to see how next year’s Literacy Week goes.

Miss N Shirman, Head of English and Humanities

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