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Students of all ages inspired by World Book Day

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Teachers and students across West Norfolk have been celebrating World Book Day in their own unique ways.Schools from the West Norfolk Academies Trust (WNAT) came to class in their best costumes to honour their favourite authors as part of the national charity event on Thursday, March 7.Each child received a £1 voucher which can be used to buy a book of their choice.

Gaywood’s reception students were inspired by Elmer the Elephant. Pictures: Ian Burt

Pupils at Gaywood Primary School chose characters from their year group’s selected author with Reception being inspired by David McKee’s Elmer the Elephant, Year 1 using the works of Julia Donaldson, Year 3 children choosing from Roald Dahl, Year 4 dressing up as Cressida Cowell’s Viking heroes, Year 5 using David Walliams, and Year 6 drawing upon Harry Potter creator JK Rowling.Clenchwarton Primary School enjoyed classroom activities and a whole-school assembly where they showcased their costumes and books in a ‘character walk’.The school also marked the occasion with ‘The Big Read’, where children and staff came together to read for ten minutes individually or as a class.

Pupils at Clenchwarton took part in a ‘Character Walk’ to showcase their costumes and books

“This meant that nearly 200 children and over 20 members of staff were all reading at the same time,” said Charlotte Howells, assistant head teacher at Clenchwarton.West Lynn Primary School had its own spin on events which included ‘The Great Big Footy Book Quiz’, a best costume competition, a whole-school assembly and a sponsored readathon.Staff at Walpole Cross Keys Primary School paid tribute to Roger Hargreaves, creator of the Mr Men series, by dressing up as his iconic characters Mr Happy, Mr Greedy, Mr Tickle, Little Miss Sunshine and many more.

A host of colourful characters met at the school gates at West Lynn

Awards were given out for the best costumes and the children were encouraged to write their own stories and enjoy their favourite books.“World Book Day is really important, as it helps to celebrate our love of books and reading and allows us to come together to celebrate and share our learning together,” said Billy Overton, assistant head teacher at Walpole Cross Keys.“We strive to develop a healthy appetite for reading and ensure all our children read for both purpose and pleasure.”

Walpole Cross Keys Primary saw staff dressed as Mr. Men characters

However, the fun did not stop at Key Stage 2, as some of the trust’s secondary schools got involved with the celebrations.Springwood High School in Lynn decided to expand World Book Day into an entire week with its first-ever reading festival which included challenges, quizzes, book-related crafts, an escape room and a scavenger hunt.Year 7 and 8’s ‘readathon’ raised money for the Read for Good charity, which works in schools and hospitals across the UK to make reading accessible and fun,

Springwood expanded into a week-long literary extravaganza.

Students were visited by author and illustrator Chris Priestly, who created the Tales of Terror series and Tom Marlowe adventures.In Hunstanton, Smithdon High School held its third annual Literary Festival which took place over two weeks, which saw aspiring writers take part in the 500-word story competition.

Smithdon held its third annual Literary Festival

More special guests visited the school such as Cambridge professor Claire Wilkinson, LGBTQ fiction writer Simon James Green and the Carnegie-nominated Alex in Wonderland who hosted a workshop for a group from Year 7 and 8.“Reading is central to our lives,” said Amanda Wright, head of English.“World Book Day and our Literary Festival give us the opportunity to celebrate the written word and characters who help to shape us.”

Children at Snettisham Primary School dressed as their favourite characters

Activities took place during the week at Marshland High School with a book cover design competition, a reading quiz and talks from sports reporter Gavin Caney and author of Deadly Animals Marie Tierney.Joe Clark, a teacher at Marshland, said: “World Book Day is a great opportunity to spend time celebrating reading, and its importance not just in our education but the rest of our lives.“Everyone is able to get involved, engage in new activities, and have fun.”

Heacham Infant School in fancy dress
Pupils got dressed up at Heacham Junior School

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