World Book Day has been and gone again. We had a great time and hopefully some of these ideas will prove helpful in the future for both our school and others!
As always, the main focus was the dressing up (by staff) and ensuring we could enjoy a chuckle with our students whilst discussing our favourite books. We were very lucky to have over 70 teachers and support staff dress up as various book characters. We had a wide range or outfits from a class of Hogwarts’ students, the whole character list of Alice in Wonderland to Mary Poppins, the invisible man, Curley’s wife and many a Mr Man! This created a huge buzz across the school and we are so grateful so many people took our madness on board!
Students had challenges related to our costumes to complete during the day. The first tutor challenge was to identify all staff dressed up, which character they were and which book they were from. This competition is open for a few days and open to all year groups – students are still trying to work out who was dressed up as the Woman in Black!
Our next whole school event was the KS3 Readathon. Thanks to the amazing @Laura_Reader for the idea. Laura and I swapped stories and cut them into 5 sections to use at both our schools. Laura’s school did this across the school (big challenge!) whereas we stuck to KS3. Each lesson students heard a different section of the same story. The timetable for the day looked like this – this was shared just with staff so they knew which bit to read. Staff also had the stories on a PowerPoint and in booklet form.
It didn’t matter which subject students were in they all heard the same story – a great way to make reading stories more than just about English lessons and hopefully a way to break preconceptions about reading. I know staff read it aloud, asked students to read and used audiobooks to complete this challenge.
Incase you’re interested, we used ‘The Practical Princess’ by Jay Williams for year 7, Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘Tell-Tale Heart’ for year 8 and Roald Dahl’s ‘Lamb to the Slaughter’ for year 9. We kept the readathon to KS3 class’s only but may think about extending to other year groups next year as it went so well.
Each year group had their own challenge based on their short story. We still have replies coming in! Here is an example of year 8s’:
The library is always an extremely popular place to be and we are lucky enough to have an amazing librarian and library assistant. I booked all year 7 groups into the library this week (normally it’s twice per half term) and they completed one of three library quizzes during their English lessons. Last night, we had 50 year 7s return to the library at 3.15-6.15pm for a reading and pizza evening. Earlier in the day, students had brought in their own bean bags and cushions to sit on. Students complete another quiz in teams attempting to win prizes, read a book of their choice, listen to a ghost story or two and eat a lot of yummy pizza delivered straight to school! The event created a warm and cosy environment in which to enjoy reading and year 7 loved the sense of comradarie and the whole room’s passion for reading!
(Students settling down to read with Sherlock)
(@siancarter1 dressed as Jacob Marley with just the one of our 48 pizzas!)
Overall, we had a fabulous day promoting reading and ensuring it was a collective whole school approach rather than a English only experience.
We hope you had a great day too! Do follow our English department on twitter @mbenglishdept to see more fun and games in the future!
Goldilocks and the team!