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We are celebrating World Book Day with a whole month’s worth of activities this year, including author visits, a ‘bedtime stories’ pyjama day, and the fourth annual Harry Potter quiz for the Senior School.

The 21st annual World Book Day took place on 1st March and was marked across the country with celebrations of authors, illustrators, books and of reading. World Book Day is designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in over 100 countries all over the world. The main aim of World Book Day in the UK and Ireland is to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading.

We are marking the occasion with a number of events throughout the month, including:

  • Melvin Burgess, author of Junk and Kite speaking to Year 9 pupils
  • Fourth annual Harry Potter quiz for the Senior School
  • Marcus Sedgwick, author of Floodland and The Dark Horse, speaking to Year 8 pupils
  • Holly Smale, author of the Geek Girl books, speaking to Year 7 pupils
  • Holly Bourne, author of Am I normal Yet?,  giving a lunchtime talk
  • Bonita Norris, adventurer and author of The Girl Who Climbed Everest, giving a lunchtime talk
  • Younger pupils were encouraged to dress up as their favourite characters on World Book Day
  • Julian Clary visited the Junior School and gave a talk with his illustrator
  • Shane Haggarty spoke to Years 5 and 6 about his series of books
  • The Junior School held a whole school assembly where staff read from their favourite texts

Mary Cunning, our Librarian , said: “We dedicate the entire month of March to promote reading for pleasure – and thus it’s World Book Month at Highgate. Author events create real interest in the pupils, who learn more about the creative writing process alongside the authors’ unique viewpoints on writing and life. Our pupils are keen readers, throughout the year groups, and it is a pleasure to encourage their further, wider reading!”

In addition, the Pre-Prep held a ‘Book Swap’ for Year 1 and Year 2, where children brought in between one and three books and they had the opportunity to swap them for a different one. This gave the children a chance to refresh their bookshelves with something new. All Pre-Prep children and staff came to school dressed in their pyjamas as the theme this year was ‘Bedtime Stories’. This linked to the National theme of ‘share a story’. The teachers also arranged times for the children to read stories to each other.

Teachers also sent home ‘The Big Book Off’ challenge, which had 20 different ideas for celebrating books. The ‘Big Book Off’ helped to ensure that the gains of celebrating books and reading on World Book Day continued to ripple long beyond the day itself.


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