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World book day

When I was a child one of my favourite Christmas presents to receive was a Book Token. I loved the thrill of being taken shopping after Christmas and let loose in a book shop which felt like Christmas all over again. I loved and still love the feel of a brand new book and in the age of the Kindle I am still the person packing my suitcase with a pile of holiday books especially chosen for the moment when I have time to get involved in a jolly good read. Even though I see the value on having electronic books on tap, at the moment it is still an actual book that I like to read.

World Book Day is a celebration that you may all be aware of by now. Begun 20 years ago it is a treasured opportunity seized by teachers to raise awareness of the magic of books and stories. It was not a government initiative, but an idea created by a small registered charity getting funding from contributing publishers who wisely see the value of this nationwide day of literacy and it gains particular sponsorship from National Book Tokens Ltd who donate £1 Book Tokens to every child in school. Although the initiative worldwide is set in April, in the UK it is the first Thursday in March and if you look when you are driving on that day you will see children walking to or from school in a colourful array of character costumes.

We are fortunate enough to have some incredibly creative families and the nationwide plea not to resort to a Disney costume does not need to be made at St Christopher’s. It is a particular joy to see children coming in holding the book which their character appears in and the clever use of cardboard, crepe paper and ribbon inspires and delights us every year. This year we gave our parents a steer and declared the day to be a ‘Dazzling Dahl Day’ in homage to the author Roald Dahl in what would have been his 100th year. The costumes that our children came in were all characters from the rich array of Dahl books and the themed activities of the day were all inspired by those weird and wonderful stories.

The children paraded around the playground in full costume as we all admired the attention to detail this year. A giant Wonka Bar, Mr and Mrs Twit, a Golden Ticket and James with his Giant Peach complete with the grasshopper, ladybird and gang were just a few of the wonderful creations on view and our wonderful Staff matched the children for effort and creativity. I rather enjoyed being The Trunchbull and overseeing the fun. We had themed activities everywhere. The children took a sip of fizzy water before climbing onto a bouncy castle to represent the moment when Charlie finds himself floating like a bubble. They made Frobscottle and snozzcumbers hot off the pages of the BFG and then some amazing beards for Mr Twit to name but just a few. It really was an amazing day.

Best of all it opened the pages of a book and not just one. In each room before commencing an activity, a chapter was read by the teacher in charge and, while the children were working, an extract from the film was played to reinforce the challenge. It was quite magical. The Trunchbull was in charge of the chocolate fountain in the Wonka Area designed to make Break Play Time extra special but I have never seen children so keen to get back into school after and access the next activity on the carousel. Roald Dahl would have been delighted!

Annie Thackray
Head Teacher