It was fantastic to see students and staff in every school across the ELA joining together to celebrate World Book Day on Thursday 2nd March.

Our schools are passionate about the power of reading, and this was clear for us all to see on a day which included some amazing fancy dress, exciting competitions, events hosted in our lovely library spaces, and much more. Our thanks go to all the staff and students whose efforts resulted in a fantastic day for the whole Trust. Read on to find out how each school celebrated…

Girton Glebe Primary School

Girton Glebe had a fantastic day celebrating our shared love of reading! Children and staff dressed up as favourite book characters with some exceptional efforts!

We held a Roald Dahl themed character hunt around the school which culminated in a Roald Dahl themed lunch, including delights such as Twits’ Wormy Spaghetti and The Witches’ Spooky Jelly. The rest of the week saw Roald Dahl themed writing and egg-decorating competitions; ‘Drop & Read’ sessions at random times throughout the week, and ‘Reading Buddies’ sessions where classes teamed up across key stages to read in our beautiful newly decorated library together.

We were pleased to host a special World Book Day edition of our Open Library for parents and carers, and also to launch our new “Author of The Month” initiative. This month Maya Angelou was nominated by Year 1 parent, Hawa Newell – thank you Hawa for the inspiration for the first month! Every month throughout the year an author will be nominated by children, staff & parents, to allow their work to be celebrated.

Impington Village College

To mark World Book Day at IVC, we were very excited to host local author, P.J. Canning at the school. Canning delivered some very informative and engaging talks to students in years 7 and 8 before leading a creative writing workshop with a small group of lower school students that have already completed their ‘gold bookmarks’, which is the IVC lower school reading initiative. Students had a great time and we were delighted to be able to offer this opportunity.

In addition to our author talks and workshop, the library hosted a book swap which was very popular during break and lunchtimes. Members of the IVC community also placed posters on their classroom and office doors informing students about their favourite books of all time – this was a great way to share recommendations and get the staff and student body talking about books!

Witchford Village College

At WVC all our KS3 students took part in a ‘World Book Day’- themed lesson, in which they read extracts from recent ‘World Book Day’ book club picks. They also had the chance to record their own ‘story share’ via video. Winners will be announced soon! Last year’s winners had their story shares featured in the parent Sway and student bulletin. The prize for the winning student(s) is a stack of the books featured in the lesson.

As the theme of this year’s WBD was ‘Changing lives through reading’, staff members shared the books that changed their lives. These were featured in school-wide treasure hunt. Our winning students were: Chloe M, Millie S, Megan W, Laila O, Riley G, Imogen B, Amelia H and Sienna S. Congratulations to them all! We also ran a book cover design competition.

On Friday 3rd March, we held a second-hand book sale to raise funds for our very own library. Last year, we invested proceeds from this event into purchasing a series of graphic novels (voted for by the students). This sale continued beyond World Book Day, and students will once again be able to vote to help inform the use of those funds.

Chesterton Community College

At Chesterton all staff and students were encouraged to come to school dressed as a character from a book, with prizes on offer for the best outfits. All staff and students brought a reading book with them to school, and we included a ‘drop everything and read’ slot in every lesson of that day: this went brilliantly – it was lovely to see the whole school community promoting reading for pleasure.

Form time was devoted to a range of World Book Day inspired activities and competitions, and allowed time for tutors to promote our book cover design competition, and the range of activities on offer in the library at break and lunch time.

In addition, Chesterton staff all filled in a book report focussed on a recommended read and placed the report on their classroom door – this then formed the basis of an exciting, book-themed student treasure hunt. Thanks very much to our colleagues at Witchford for inspiring this idea! Sixth form students added to this by recording book reviews of their favourite reads to share with the school.

Finally, we ran our Reading Café at the end of the day, between 3.05-4pm, where students, staff and parents were invited to join us in the school library for some refreshments and to enjoy reading together.

The Cavendish School

We were lucky to be able to host local author, Mark Wells, in school to give us a talk about his life. He gave a short reading of one of his stories from College of Shadows and invited students to join in with a competition- winners will be treated to a tour around St. John’s College, where many of his stories are set. 

In addition, students were encouraged to bring their favourite book with you for some cosy time around the campfire during Forest School sessions and lunch time. Students were encouraged to come to school dressed up as their favourite book character, and took part in a costume competition in the afternoon. We also joined together to take part in a game where we matched the staff member to their favourite book. The winning student will be able to order a book of their choice to read at home.

Finally we hosted a book swap: students and staff were encouraged to drop off their unwanted books and then to come along and browse to find something they might like to read.

Downham Market Academy

At DMA, we are proud to say that literature is in our DNA. Downham Market Academy celebrated world book day with an explosion of fun activities. 

We kicked off the week with a Drop Everything and Read hour: at the start of lesson 1, the whole school, learners and staff alike, stopped what they were doing and read a book of their choice. 

On Thursday, various literary characters graced the halls of DMA:  Snow White taught Maths while Oliver Twist had students asking for more opportunities to learn. Terra 4, Aqua 7, and Terra 10 were full of bookworms having all tied for first place in the World Book Day quiz during Personal Development. 

The library, the beating heart of DMA, was the main base of events for the day. The most popular activity was “Decorate a Biscuit” where students got to decorate their biscuit in line with the themes of a book that they had recently read. While the feast was underway, a fair number of learners spent their time completing crosswords, word searches, and designing their own book tokens. The DMA Book Tree blossomed with many book reviews written by DMA students who are passionate about reading.

In S7, Ben Smith and Ciara Markham helped students to create their own blackout poetry by ripping pages out of a book (ouch) and blacking out most of the words. Jasmine Bowerman had students thinking outside of the box with a short story writing activity using “fortune tellers”. Each student used “fortune tellers” to determine the character, setting, genre, and opening line of their story. Students who dressed up got to strut their stuff and educate us on their chosen character in S3.  And, what is a World Book Day without a scavenger hunt? The silhouettes of various literary characters were placed around the school for students to find. 

Keeping with the theme, Jason and Ali invited the school to be their guests by serving up an array of scrumptious book themed foods for the day. The catering team worked really hard to ensure that teachers and students alike were as well fed as Augustus Gloop.

Finally, some lucky year 8s ended their school day with a visit to the Number 8 bookshop with Yvonne Griffiths to learn about the importance of books in our world. 

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