School pupils celebrate the power of books

Children at St John's Priory School in Banbury were inspired by the novels of Roald Dahl for World Book Day last Thursday. NNL-160803-141918001
Children at St John's Priory School in Banbury were inspired by the novels of Roald Dahl for World Book Day last Thursday. NNL-160803-141918001

Schools across Banburyshire dressed up as their favourite book characters and welcomed authors on World Book Day last Thursday.

The day celebrates a love of reading across the world and to mark the occasion, Year Seven and Eight students at Banbury Academy were paid a visit by author William Hussey, who inspired them on how to write stories and led a workshop based on one of his latest books The Haunted.

Sibford School pupils Jessica Main, Seamus Casey, Charlotte Harries-Harris, Grace Marot, Rebecca Shilling and Harvey Jo. NNL-160803-141901001

Sibford School pupils Jessica Main, Seamus Casey, Charlotte Harries-Harris, Grace Marot, Rebecca Shilling and Harvey Jo. NNL-160803-141901001

Elsewhere, students in the maths department took inspiration from Agatha Christie by trying to solve a murder mystery. In the English department there was a descriptive writing lesson by getting students to guess ‘what could be in the box?’ and on World Book Day itself, student librarians raised more than £45 for the Let’s Play Project by holding a cake sale.

Meanwhile, Year Eight pupils at Sibford School near Banbury are getting set for a spending spree after winning £500 in the 2016 World Book Day Award competition.

Working on the theme ‘Where does your reading take you?’ the pupils created a special literary tree with branches pointing to the different places books lead them to.

Charlotte Harries-Harris, 12, said: “We got our inspiration from Enid Blyton’s Faraway Tree series where the tree takes people to different places.

Author William Hussey pictured with Banbury Academy students in the library. NNL-160803-141834001

Author William Hussey pictured with Banbury Academy students in the library. NNL-160803-141834001

“We came up with our favourite books and got places from them, for example Swindon from The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and Narnia from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. We then made leaves out of pages from books and placed these on branches to represent the different places each book takes us.

“We decided to put the tree up in the library to inspire others to read these books and it’s working! We now plan to keep the tree growing so that it encourages more and more people to get into books.”

Staff and children at Winchcombe Farm Day Nursery in Upper Tysoe dressed up again this year and had the three little pigs and the big bad wolf, Peter Pan, Spiderman, the Hungry Caterpillar, the Tiger from Mog, Jessie the cowgirl, Jake the pirate, Bob the Builder, Alice in Wonderland and Snow White.

St John’s Priory staff and pupils marked World Book Day by dressing up as their favourite characters from Roald Dahl books to mark the 50th celebration of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Teachers at Banbury Academy dress up as their favourite book characters for World Book Day. NNL-160803-141818001

Teachers at Banbury Academy dress up as their favourite book characters for World Book Day. NNL-160803-141818001

Students across the school from nursery age to Year Six enjoyed an exciting day of ‘Roald Dahl-inspired activities’ including creating ‘dream catchers’ with the BFG, making peach tarts and playing ‘beetle drive’ in tribute to James and the Giant Peach, as well as creating lots of weird and wonderful food experiments with Mr Willy Wonka.

Reception pupils also visited Banbury Library days before the big day to celebrate their love of reading by reading passages from books out loud to one another, as well as each taking a book out to take home to share with their families.

The best dressed pupil went to one of St John’s Priory reception pupils, who dressed up as Charlie from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.n His prize included a £10 book voucher.

Headmistress Tracey Wilson said: “World Book Day encourages our children to really think creatively about the characters in books and to bring this to life by dressing up in their costumes and taking part in themed activities.

Children and staff at Winchcombe Day Nursery in Upper Tysoe dress up for World Book Day. NNL-160803-141931001

Children and staff at Winchcombe Day Nursery in Upper Tysoe dress up for World Book Day. NNL-160803-141931001

“At St John’s Priory we believe that the greatest gift we can give our pupils is to instil in them a love and passion for reading, and World Book Day is a great way of celebrating this.”

And at Brackley’s Magdalen College School, fantasy fiction author Mark Robson and Rhian Ivory came to talk to students discussing childhood favourite novels and what inspired them to become writers.