Culture vulture

28th November 2003 at 00:00
A modern whodunit and old-fashioned musicals hit the high notes for Sian Davies

Book of the moment

Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel Award) concerns a teenage maths prodigy with Asperger's syndrome who tries to solve the killing of a neighbour's poodle. I lack perseverance with reading and need to engage quickly with a book, but I found this immediately absorbing. It was a gift from a pupil and I found it gripping and insightful in the way it looked at the world based on an unfamiliar framework.

I find myself dipping again and again into The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery's fable of love and loneliness) as part of my interest in developing children's creativity. In essence, the book is about emotional intelligence and I find it refreshing compared to much of the jargon-filled educational literature.

Best film ever

I like lots of genres but my favourite has to be Cinema Paradiso, Giuseppe Tornatore's film about a little boy's love affair with the cinema. I love its beauty and simplicity.

Best on stage

Justifying War at the Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn, north-west London, was totally engaging. It's a reconstruction of the Hutton Inquiry, and directed by Nick Kent. I like to support local theatres and I like thought-provoking drama, but I also love musicals. The exuberance of Chicago was a joy.

To share with pupils

I went to The Big Draw at the Natural History Museum with some friends and their children and I was so inspired by the message that we all have an innate ability to draw. I signed up for a course in using watercolours and I will definitely take pupils next year.

Treat in store

Starting piano lessons again and any jazz events, such as the London Jazz Festival. I love live music, especially modern jazz. My grandfather was a jazz pianist and, although I'm a failed musician myself - I didn't keep my practice up - I grew up with music.

Sian Davies, 42, is headteacher of the 200-pupil Malorees infants' school in the London borough of Brent, which has a strong commitment to the arts.

Pupils' work - a 12ft aluminium dragon inspired by Uccello's "George and the Dragon" - was recently shown in the National Gallery as part of the Take One Picture exhibition. Sian Davies was talking to Elaine Williams

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now