Stephanie Bone, Teacher at Donibristle Primary in Dalgety Bay, discusses how they celebrated World Book Day as part of the First Minister’s Reading Challenge!
With World Book Day arriving right in the middle of the First Minister’s Reading Challenge for which we have been enjoying developing our school’s reading culture, we at Donibristle Primary thought this was an ideal time to celebrate all things reading.
We kicked off the week with a visit from author Derek Landy who shared his views on the best bits about being an author. This visit was targeted to our Primary 5 -7 pupils and it was clear to see how much they enjoyed the visit. 'He was funny and a sort of inspiration. I think his books are good,' said Hannah L, Primary 5. A really important part of the Reading Challenge is exposing children to reading role models, and introducing them to fantastic authors can be a real inspiration.
For the Reading Challenge, most classes have been making sure they spend ten minutes each day reading for pleasure, but we wanted to do something special on World Book Day.
Our aim was to link the upper and lower school departments by encouraging them to share their favourite books and read to one another. Primary 1 classes linked with Primary 5 classes, Primary 2 classes became VIPs in the Primary 4 area, whilst the Primary 6 pupils put their reading aloud skills to the test, reading to a small group of Primary 2s. This was such a success! The children gained a lot from the experience and it is definitely something we will continue to do in the future. The older children felt a real sense of responsibility, took care to explain what their chosen book was about, read at an appropriate pace and answer any questions the young pupils had. The younger pupils relished visiting the classroom areas, sharing their own favourite books and sitting in the “big chairs.”
Whilst shared reading was taking place across the school, our Primary 3 pupils played a game of guess the character using written clues. They designed book sleeves for their favourite books and completed a Book Quiz quiz online.
We have been building partnerships within our community and our lovely Nursery team invited a visitor from the local ASDA to help them organise World Book Day activities for the children. Last but not least, we had a visit from Jen Harwood from Scottish Book Trust, who talked about her favourite books and played a character game with Primary 4.
Establishing a reading culture in school has been one of our main focuses during the Reading Challenge and we have tried to tackle this in a number of ways. To name an example, our staff have been modelling badges that ask the question: “What I am reading this week?” to encourage the children to ask them that very question.
We have also involved families in our reading journey and we are lucky enough to have a number of wonderful parent helpers tackling our much-neglected library area. Part of the World Book Day celebrations involved children working together to create a display for our bare library walls. Once the library is ready to re-open we hope to have some celebrations to thank the wonderful team for their hard work!