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The why and what of World Book Day at Dallam

School News ·

Why do we have World Book Day?

Many secondary school parents breathe a sigh of relief that they no longer need to come up with a last-minute World Book Day costume for the their child to wear to primary school.  We didn’t want to put you through that again, but we also didn’t want to miss the opportunity of celebrating this global event, which this year celebrates its 25th anniversary.  So, what is the thinking behind World Book Day and why is it important?

In the words of the World Book Day charity:

World Book Day changes lives through a love of books and shared reading. Our mission is to promote reading for pleasure, offering every child and young person the opportunity to have a book of their own.

Reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator of a child’s future success – more than their family circumstances, their parents’ educational background or their income. We want to see more children, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, with a life-long habit of reading for pleasure and the improved life chances this brings them.

What did we do for World Book Day?

Extreme Reading Challenge

Extreme Reading slide

Before February half term, we set students and staff an Extreme Reading Challenge – to submit a photo of themselves reading in an unusual or funny place.  We are obviously blessed with the great outdoors all around us, and the staff entries reflected that.  The students got a lot more creative – take a look at our short video compilation.  Waterstones book voucher prizes were awarded to students for World Book Day.

Going retro Jackanory-style

For those of you that remember the days of children’s TV only being on for a few hours a day, you will likely have fond memories of Jackanory, the BBC series that ran between 1965 and 1996 where celebrities would read stories in short 15 mins programmes, every week day.  For World Book Day, we went Jackanory-style – over the course of the day students in all years were read a short story that was split into five instalments, one for each lesson. The stories were The Champion of the World, The Hitchhiker and The Landlady, all by Roald Dahl.  They are hilariously funny and all have unexpected twists at the end.  

A book-themed lunch

Our talented catering team took the novel, Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne to create a special, globe-trotting-themed menu for World Book Day.  The gastronomic delights on offer included: Japanese dim sum, Italian parmigiana di melanzane, Indian fish bhuna and British bangers and mash.

WBD menu

Winners of the Reading Riot!

During the week of World Book Day we were delighted to announce two winners from Dallam School in the Cumbria-wide Reading Riot! competition – Heather in Year 9 and Rosie in Year 10.  The Reading Riot! competition was run by Cumbria Libraries.  It’s aim was to inspire students to read for pleasure by highlighting the best young adult fiction for them to explore and giving them the opportunity to win a book bundle.  Cathy Fidler and Hannah Clarke, Library Project Outreach Officers for Cumbria Libraries came to present our student winners and our library with a host of brand new books to enjoy.  

“Reading Riot is a county-wide celebration of young adult reading and celebrated the best young adult books.  We were delighted that Dallam School took part and you should all be very proud as Dallam handed in the most challenge entries in Cumbria!  I hope everyone who took part found a new favourite book or author and I hope you all enjoy the new books you have won for your amazing library.” – Cathy Fidler, Cumbria Libraries

Cumbria Libraries’ Outreach Officers work on projects that help Cumbrian communities access culture, arts and reading for pleasure, health and wellbeing.

Reading Riot winners 2022
Pictured (L-R): Hannah Clarke, Heather (Yr9), Rosie (Yr10), Cathy Fidler

Both Rosie and Heather commented that taking part in Reading Riot! gave them the chance to discover books they wouldn’t normally choose.  Heather’s book recommendation is One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus – a murder, mystery.  Rosie’s book recommendation is Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron, which she describes as a mix between a traditional fairytale and a new thrilling story.

Quizzes, prizes and giveaways

Alongside all the above, we had the usual programme of reading-related quizzes, World Book Day voucher and bookmark giveaways and all years had special assemblies to raise awareness of the importance and power of reading and encourage students to reawaken their passion for reading and try new things.

There’s more to come…

Our spotlight on all things related to reading around World Book Day will spill over into Monday next week when we’re excited to welcome children’s author Tom Palmer who will be talking about his historic novels with Year 9s.

We encourage you to be a good example to your child by showing them that you enjoy reading, whether it’s a Kindle, novel, newspaper, websites, non-fiction book or comic.

Click here to read more about the importance and benefits of reading.

A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. – George R R Martin

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