One Book, One College, One Community

News - 2 July 2021

As part of Rochdale Sixth Form College’s ‘One Book, One College, One Community’ pledge, every student and member of staff will be given a free copy of ‘The Beekeeper of Aleppo’ by Christy Lefteri.

Following the inspirational talk given to our students by Perminder Mann, CEO of Bonnier Books UK, Rochdale Sixth Form College are giving a novel that was recommended by Perminder herself to all students and staff. This is part of the college’s continuing commitment to promoting reading and literacy beyond the classroom, helping students access and engage with literature. In her talk, Perminder stressed the importance of reading in helping her to secure such a prominent position as one of the most powerful female BAME CEOs in the country. We agree that reading is key to developing a wide vocabulary, an understanding of the world around us and a perfect way to switch off from the many pressures we face individually and as a community.

The work and commitment of students and staff is always outstanding but in these extraordinary times a resilience and strength has come to the fore. Recently this was recognised by the Times Education Supplement’s award for ‘Sixth-form college of the year’. This week every Yr. 12 student will receive their own copy of ‘The Beekeeper of Aleppo’ it is a beautifully written, poignant, bestselling novel. Rochdale Sixth Form College and Altus Education Partnership want to foster a love of reading in all our students and staff, and by sharing such a thought-provoking novel we hope it will provide a different perspective, one to consider and discuss. All staff will receive a copy next week at the end of term, and Yr. 13 students will receive a copy.

The novel, The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri, who worked in a refugee centre in Athens prior to writing this, is a thought-provoking story that is described by The Guardian as “being in the same school as The Tattooist of Auschwitz and The Kite Runner… it’s impossible not to be moved by Lefteri’s plea for humanity, and perhaps inspired, too”. As one reader review states, “we see refugees but rarely hear their stories”, and this novel does just that in providing the tale of Afra, a woman blinded by the explosion that killed her son, and Nuri, her beekeeper husband’s attempts to escape Syria.