A New Chapter for World Book Day 2021

Thursday 4th March 2021 marked the highlight of so many school calendars – World Book Day! This year however – as with so much else – the usual celebrations, dressing up, and activities had to take a new, COVID safe form.

Despite the adversity, the schools of the Wessex Learning Trust stepped up to put on an outstanding show, celebrating the joy of reading and encouraging a love of books in all its learners aged 2 all the way up to 19.

Due to the current circumstances, some schools did elect to postpone their events until children return next week (follow up article to come), however for those who did go ahead, there were many exciting events to get involved with.

At Axbridge First School, children were invited to take part in an ‘Extreme Reading Challenge’ – photographing themselves reading in the most unusual locations possible. This included in a tree, on a shelf, and up a slide. As well as this, throughout the week staff were sharing their favourite books with classes and organising virtual bedtime stories over Zoom and a hot chocolate. There were also a number of competitions for the children to get involved with to get them talking about their favourite books.

At Lympsham, critical worker children came into school dressed as their favourite characters and joined their classmates on a fancy dress Zoom call to discuss their characters and best loved stories. Meanwhile, at East Brent they ran a Zoom ‘read-a-thon’ where staff and students shared book recommendations with each other. Later, the children went on to create book characters out of vegetables.

At Weare, children designed front covers for non-fiction books based around an information book that linked to their interests and thought about how these interests may create aspirations for the future. Finally, there was a very special guest at Cheddar First School as Pepper Pig came to visit critical worker children at the school. Children also got involved in creating a character out of a spoon and guessing the member of staff reading an extract of ‘oi Frog’ in the style of ‘The Masked Singer’.

It’s fair to say that a really great time was had by all the children, despite the challenges posed by COVID, and it was wonderful to see all the children in their costumes – even if for most it was over Zoom.

Chief Executive, Gavin Ball commented:

“I am really happy to see so many children engaging with reading and discovering all the joys that books have to offer. Although World Book Day celebrations couldn’t take place quite as we would hope, I am nevertheless very proud of our schools for making such a sterling effort at keeping the magic of the day alive online, and in the classroom”.

Chief Executive – Gavin Ball

Reading with your children has a huge number of benefits to their development and progress throughout school. Reading for just 20 minutes a day will translate into children hearing 1.8 million words a year and having read for 851 hours by time they start Year 7.

We look forward to sharing what schools get up to once children return next week and hope that World Book Day inspires all our learners to pick up a book and get involved with the incredible world of reading!