Visiting authors, poets, musicians, and even the UK’s only surf therapy dog helped local schools celebrate World Book Day, March 2nd, in style. There were also book themed cake bakes, dressing up as book characters, book swaps, quizzes, story writing competitions, wearing pyjamas for bedtime stories and decorating classroom doors as book covers. Let the schools tell you in their own words what happened.
St Michael’s School, Aldbourne had an amazing couple of days celebrating all things books! Thursday began with the children coming to school with their teddies and slippers ready for sharing their favourite books with their reading buddies from other year groups. Then, teachers moved around the different classrooms to share their favourite books. The afternoon saw the return of our annual Poetry Slam where children from all year groups performed a wide range of poetry in front of the whole school. Each class also performed a group poem complete with actions and props – we had the wonderful Spike Milligan’s Ning Nang Nong, Macavity by TS Eliot as well as a thought provoking poem by Brian Bilston and more. On Friday we were thrilled to be visited by poet, author and musician Alex Wharton. Alex performed some of his fantastic work to the children and inspired them all to draw and write their very own poetry. The day was rounded off by the ever popular book swap organised by The Aldbourne Children’s Book Group.
We had a great day for World Book Day at Ogbourne CE Primary School – we welcomed 3 very special guests to our school. The children were excited to meet Scooter (the UK’s only surf therapy dog). He was a very clever and calm dog and not at all phased by being in front of such a crowd all morning. Kirstie, his owner and co-writer of the book ‘Scooter the surf therapy dog finds his forever home’, read the children Scooter’s story… of his rescue and how he helped her and continues to help many adults and children that he accompanies on his surf board. She delivered a beautiful message for us all. We were then enthralled by his illustrator Alex, who showed us all how to draw Scooter and spoke about illustrating in general. The key to a good illustration is to read, to look, to look harder, to practise! The children all dressed up in fabulous costumes and also brought into school some amazing cakes based on books and characters.
The children and staff of Marlborough St Mary’s Primary came to school in their pyjamas for an extra cosy world book day. Each child brought their favourite book to school to share with their class. They also had a book swap where they were able to exchange a book they no longer wanted for a new one. In classes children played quizzes and watched some online author talks. Earlier in the week, Year 5 and 6 were visited by author CC Brampton who told them all about his new book Charlie Robonik. This was an exciting talk where the children were able to learn about the process of drafting, writing and publishing a book. He even came dressed as his main character which was very unexpected! Families have also been invited into the school to attend our Scholastic book fair. Due to Covid, for the last couple of years we’ve had to take orders and deliver the books to children but this year it was wonderful to finally open the doors and let families in to browse the book shelves themselves. This was a really well timed event as we were also able to give out our World Book day vouchers meaning families could pick up a £1 discount off any book bought. It was extremely busy but we didn’t mind as we were able to take a commission on our sales and this will go towards reinvigorating our school library.
For World Book Day, in addition to the requisite dressing up (of staff and pupils alike), St Francis had a wonderfully literary-themed day. Mixed year groups were treated to a morning story, a favourite of whichever teacher was taking their group. There was a Drop Everything and Read Morning Break which, in addition to giving the children a chance to dive into a book prompted a myriad of conversations about favourite books and why. Finally, there was a 500 words story-writing competition, where the finalists were encouraged to read (or show a recording of them reading) a story they wrote which was (as the title suggests) 500 words. There were ghost stories, heroic escapades and tales of derring-do! In the Nursery, the Baby Room had A Very Hungry Caterpillar-themed day, where babies dressed up in theme appropriate outfits (including caterpillar, with bib) then were treated to a food tasting session, where they were able to eat some of the fruits mentioned in the beloved children’s book.
This week at Woodborough CE Primary School we were inspired by poetry from the amazing ‘The Lost Words’ book. We also did a book swap when everyone brought a book in and by the end of the day you had got a different book to take home. On 2nd of March KS1 wore pyjamas to school and had a bedtime story evening. KS2 dressed up as something or someone from a non-fiction book. We also watched live author events and finished the week with a Whole School Meeting to share our poetry with the parents. (written by Woodborough ‘Reader Leaders’).
Kennet Valley C of E Aided Primary School celebrated World Book Day with a ‘Guess Who’ competition. Children participated with some fabulous costumes ranging from Mary Poppins, The Jolly Postman, Matilda and Funny Bones. The staff joined in whole-heartedly and produced some fantastic attire, which will take some beating next year! The children and staff are real book fans so World Book Day is always a day to look forward to and to be celebrated to the max. Mrs McQue, Wrens class teacher (aka Superbat) was delighted to see children coming into school in character showing off their favourite books. Mrs Byford, Red Kites class teacher (aka The Dinosaur that pooped Christmas) had the year 6 pupils busy creating their own book covers, which they have thoroughly enjoyed. We also hosted a stay and read session for mums, dads and grandparents to pop in to school and read with children for half an hour, which was a lovely way to start our learning day. We are already looking forward to World Book Day 2024!
Not to be outdone by the primary schools, pupils and staff at St John’s Academy also joined in with World Book Day activities. There was a 6 word novel competition for all students and staff as well as a Daily House of Books competition (based on the House of games TV programme). Each tutor group received a different challenge everyday eg. a book title in emoji form to be de-coded. There was a creative writing competition for Year 9, a poetry slam for Year 8 and book challenges for Year 7. Years 7 and 8 also enjoyed an online talk from the author Emma Carroll. Classroom doors around the school were decorated as book covers.
With LitFest to look forward to later in the year it’s safe to say that books and reading are alive and well in Marlborough and the surrounding area.