Dulwich College (Singapore) celebrates International Literacy Day

Dulwich College Singapore

Source: Press Release

This week the College celebrated International Literacy Day for the first time. UNESCO created this day in 1966 and it is recognised around the world on September 8.  Our students and staff were dressed in bold colours, to represent their favourite stories and raised money to support literacy programs with Love Nils and the Singapore Red Cross. We used the DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) announcements to share important statistics about world literacy. For example, it is estimated that 775 million people in the world lack minimum literacy skills. One in five adults are still not literate, and two thirds of them are women.​ 

We celebrated how fortunate we are to be educated and have access to amazing literature. One element of International Literacy Day was for us to explore diversity in literature and celebrate how our library collections reflect the international world we live in. There was a real sense of excitement and purpose in the libraries this week as students dropped in to borrow books in readiness for their DEAR reading time. Our strong reading culture was once again evidenced by the insightful conversation students had as they recommended books to each other. 

In the Senior School, students were introduced to a range of topics which examined language associated with stereotypes, cultural perceptions of beauty, and debate on the representation of fictional characters such as the casting of Ariel for the forthcoming 'The Little Mermaid' film. Students were challenged to reflect upon their own critical literacy skills and produce written tasks which conveyed their own perspectives on the topics studied.  

In the Junior and Senior School and with the older students in DUCKS we talked about and shared stories about Malala Yousafzai. The students were amazed to learn she was the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize winner who advocates for the right for every child to have an education. Her own fight for the rights of girls to go to school really captured the student’s hearts. This was a great example of sharing the Good Life Goal, Learn and Teach. 

In the Junior school students were also introduced to different kinds of literacy when they discovered some books in braille and this prompted very interesting discussions. The year 6 students have been introduced to their ‘Read Around the World’ challenge, which will go for the whole year and challenges the students to read 12 books from different parts of the world. 

The younger classes in DUCKS concentrated on the children’s own names, saying, and writing them and discussing how different names can be longer and more difficult to pronounce than others. Other classes re-designed book covers, played guess-the-book cover among other fun literacy games.  Many DUCKS students were carrying a book to match the colour they were wearing. Some classes took time to discuss the books they brought in and why they associated them with the colour they were wearing.