Literary Characters Come to Life on World Book Day

Students across Henley’s primary schools celebrated World Book Day with a flurry of imaginative activities, bringing stories to life and fostering a love for reading.

There was a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory themed treat for Badgemore School, as students eagerly unwrapped Wonka bars, provided by the PTA. Among the 200 bars were 15 golden tickets, offering prizes such as story readings by Headteacher Mr. Hoskins and a Bogtrotter cake provided by COOK. Golden tickets could also win their lucky recipients a class trip to the library, books courtesy of the Henley Literary Festival and the Bell Bookshop, tickets to the Regal Cinema, and chocolates from Gorvett & Stone. Adding to the fun, Badgemore also organized a ‘Masked Reader’ challenge throughout the week. The teachers recorded themselves in disguise, reading their favourite story. The videos were released over the past week, and children were asked to guess who the teachers behind the masks were.

St. Mary’s School embraced the theme of bedtime stories, inviting students to attend school in their cozy pajamas, accompanied by teddy bears and beloved bedtime tales. The day kicked off with a lively Poetry Slam, which included children from Nursery all the way up to Year 6. Highlights included Nursery’s rendition of ‘Hey Diddle Diddle the Cat and the Fiddle’, Reception’s ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ (supported by their Year 6 buddies), and Year 4’s spirited performance of ‘Gran Can You Rap?’ – complete with three rapping grannies in their wigs! Later, students took part in literary quizzes and enjoyed a themed lunch menu featuring delights such as Mr. McGregor’s Salad Patch,  Charlie and Lola’s ‘I will not ever, never, eat tomato pasta’ and Winnie the Pooh’s honey cake. The day concluded with a heartwarming Big Read session in the school hall, where students and teachers alike immersed themselves in their favourite books.

Rosie Wilkinson, Head of English and Year 3 Form Teacher, said, “At St Mary’s we love celebrating World Book Day, as it allows us to embrace the joy of reading and nurture a love of literature in school. We know how important reading is for developing children’s understanding of the world and their imagination and it’s a wonderful opportunity to delve into all things literary.”

Over at Trinity School, World Book Day activities revolved around Oliver Jeffers’ book, ‘Here We Are. In the morning, students made posters about what life is like on Earth, inspired by Jeffers’ story. The school also held a door design competition, where each classroom decorated their door to showcase their favourite book.

Year 3 student, Lisa, dressed as Mildred from ‘The Worst Witch’. She said, “I think waiting to see who wins the doors and dressing up is my favourite bit. World Book Day is my most loved day of the year.”

Mrs Newman, Deputy Head teacher, said, “It’s been absolutely amazing. I think the thing that has blown me away the most is we had an extreme reading competition, and we’ve had a third of the children – about 100 children – send in pictures of them reading in unusual places. They’ve been up trees, on the roofs of houses, in airing cupboards, in a fire engine – don’t know how they managed that! When we played the video this morning in assembly, their faces seeing themselves… it’s just created a really nice buzz.”

Rupert House School marked World Book Day with an array of activities that ignited students’ imaginations. From Nursery to Year 6, students donned creative costumes and immersed themselves in the world of literature. Following a lively assembly featuring MC Grammar’s ‘World Book Day Song’, students embarked on a shared storytelling journey, led by teachers from each house. With a focus on Helen Ward’s ‘The Dragon Machine’, students across all year groups engaged in a range of imaginative tasks inspired by the book. From designing their own Dragon Machines in Reception to crafting dragon-themed stories online in Year 6, each class explored the tale’s themes and characters in unique and creative ways. The day was further enriched by a special treat from the school chef, Barry, who prepared Wonka Bars for morning snacks.

At Valley Road School, Key Stage 1 students delved into the world of ‘The Day the Crayons Quit’ by Drew Daywalt. The teachers came dressed as crayons, and some of the children did too. Year 2 engaged in a descriptive writing task, imagining themselves as crayons and what their personalities and hobbies might be based on that colour. They were then asked to design and draw their own crayons based on their writing. Year 1 took part in a similar activity. Mrs Davis, Year 2 teacher, said, “It’s been really nice. I think this is the first year that we have had, in the school, a theme for the infants for World Book Day. Going forward, we’re going to keep doing it and keep encouraging them to join in with the theme as well.”

Sacred Heart School children enjoyed a book swap in their classes and Year 6 had Book Quiz.  The school also promoted the love of reading by launching the Blue Peter Reading Badge they hope to apply for every pupil.

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