This year one school, Laleham Gap, could not have had a more enthusiastic response to World Book Day. Nearly everyone from pupils to staff fully participated in the dressing up as book character aspects and everyone joined in the assemblies and activities.

As Fran Eastwood, Head of English in the secondary school explained;

“Whilst the emphasis was about fun, I think today has an important message: about how reading for fun can build good reading habits. After all reading can be transformative: it opens up whole new opportunities for our pupils as well as endless imaginative possibilities.”

In both Primary and Secondary the day began with very exciting assemblies. In Secondary Willy Wonka gave out prizes to all those in character, ably assisted by the BFG! Prizes were awarded for best dressed to every year and even the staff (Mr Welsh winning this year as Frankenstein). The excitement rose even further when the pupils were told that 5 lucky winners had a Golden ticket – under their seats – entitling them to a second prize.

In Primary every pupil got a certificate.

As well as quizzes in Secondary Primary classes had special visits from Sherlock Holmes (aka Headteacher Mr Milton), The BFG and the girl from Charlotte’s Web who read them their favourite stories.

As Fran Eastwood explained:

“Reading is becoming second nature here at Laleham Gap. We have DEAR Time – Drop Everything and Read – because reading is that important as a life skill. What today has emphasised for the pupils is yes, reading is that important, but also it is such great fun.”

Primary Literacy Lead, Debbie Clifford said:

“What was so lovely was how the older children in Primary went and read to some of the younger pupils, they were so confident too, all the children had their books. If they hadn’t brought in a favourite they went to the library and got one. And throughout Primary every child could say something about why they loved their book. It was amazing.”