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Celebrating Stories

Schools across the Trust marked World Book Day and promoted reading for pleasure on Thursday 7 March 2024, each in their own way. Activities across the whole week ranged from reading and storytelling to listening to authors and working alongside a poet.

At Kemble Primary School many staff wore pyjamas all day and invited pupils and their parents back into school in the evening for bedtime stories read by their class teachers. They all enjoyed cups of hot chocolate.


During the day, activities were enthusiastically led by the school’s reading ambassadors. This ensured everyone was involved and supported the theme of ‘Bedtime Stories’. Children and staff came to school dressed as their favourite characters from a book they love to read at bedtime or actually reading their favourite book ready for bed! The school held a fun assembly which included a fashion show of outfits and guessing the characters they represented. Pupils shared their preferred stories and new titles were introduced. The school certainly now has a long wish list for their library. 

Headteacher, Emma Morrogh-Ryan said, ‘At Kemble we are passionate about reading and World Book Day is a great opportunity for pupils to share the enjoyment reading for pleasure can bring. We hope that the children were inspired to explore new titles and genres in their reading both at home and at school.’
Children from Key Stages 1 and 2 also participated in the ‘Year of Reading’ project’s Book Festival on Friday 8 March. This was an exciting opportunity to take part in two workshops where they were inspired to create their own characters from the stories. The children were buzzing with excitement and have all embarked on becoming published authors!
Parents came in to school to read to classes throughout the week and introduced their favourite stories.


Mrs Parmiter, Kemble’s ‘Year of Reading’ Lead said, ‘Our whole school community has been involved and it has been a wonderful way to share the enjoyment a good book can bring.’

In contrast, pupils at Siddington C of E Primary School combined ‘World Book Day’ with their focus on mental health and wellbeing. 

Pupils came together to read from a rainbow of books. Cushions and blankets covered the floor and joy filled the air. Book Week was the perfect vehicle to spotlight the school’s new wellbeing curriculum which has taught the pupils about mental and physical wellbeing. 

Headteacher, Louise Lennox, explained: ‘On Monday, I taught, along with my valued teachers, a whole school lesson centred around the book, ‘Blue’. Some of our pupils used their language of spirituality to think deeply about the messages that the story was sending. It was such a pleasure to teach all ninety pupils together in an environment where they feel safe and valued. We have decided as a team, that we would like to do this more often.’

The teachers also provided the pupils with different encounters with books. On Friday 8 March, two classes visited the Barn Theatre and joined pupils from other primary schools, including Kemble and Chesterton, to have author experience sessions as a part of our local ‘Year of Reading’. The older children were whisked away to a local and magical land where they could create their own characters.

Pupils at Chesterton Primary and Nursery School celebrated their love of reading on World Book Day too. Staff and children came to school dressed as their favourite book characters and showed each other their costumes in assembly.

During the day, each class made an exciting trip into Cirencester to spend their book vouchers at Waterstones bookshop. Pupils accepted a creative challenge and found interesting and innovative places to read around the town and captured these moments in photos!

The team at Waterstones commended the pupils: ‘Thank you for choosing Waterstones to exchange the World book Day vouchers. We loved seeing the children in their costumes as well as the staff. We would also like to commend your staff and helpers for the way they organised the visit. It was carried off brilliantly. Also, a big shout out to the pupils themselves for their enthusiasm and good behaviour.’

Children at Chesterton’s Nursery went on a lovely trip to Elmgrove Care Home. The residents and staff there put a precious book together which they shared with the children.

In the afternoon, children designed their dream book corners for classrooms and then had a story read to them by different teachers.

Libby Pringle, Headteacher, reflected, ‘I am very proud of our celebration of reading and how we were able to share this with our community. We had a wonderful day!’


The pupils also enjoyed taking part: ‘I liked everyone’s amazing costumes.’  ‘I loved reading to the little ones.’  ‘I loved getting a ticket and picking out a book. I enjoyed all the activities.’  ‘It made me feel really responsible when I was reading the younger ones. I enjoyed the visit to Waterstones, I enjoyed choosing my own book.’


In keeping with a well-established World Book Day tradition at Cirencester Deer Park School, pupils in Years 7-10 took part in sponsored Readathons on Thursday 7 March (World Book Day) and Friday 8 March. These sponsored reading events are now a regular part of the school calendar with pupils raising money for Read for Good, a Nailsworth-based charity that provides books and stories for children in hospitals nationwide. 


Pupils taking part were ‘off timetable’ and based in the school’s spacious library. They were encouraged to find somewhere comfortable, whether on the beanbags, around a table, on low chairs or under a desk (!), and simply... READ! Pupils were supported and encouraged throughout by the school’s Librarians, who also provided welcome refreshment: hot chocolate and biscuits! Read more...


'I like reading very much and the Readathon gave me time to read in peace, enjoy time with friends and the hot chocolate and biscuits were amazing! And the fact that it raises money is incredible,' Stefania (Year 9). 'I loved it because I got to do my favourite thing: READ!' Archie (Year 7).


On Tuesday 12 March 2024, a group of Year 7 and Year 8 Deer Park pupils had the incredible opportunity to take part in a poetry workshop with the multi-talented Spoz (real name Giovanni Esposito) - performance poet, singer-songwriter, film-maker, playwright and former Birmingham Poet Laureate. 'We felt extremely honoured to have Spoz come to Deer Park and work with our pupils,’ said Miss Tricker, Head of English Read more...


During the two two-hour poetry workshops held in the school’s library, pupils learnt about poetry and poetic techniques, as well as having rhyme battles and a final spoken word poetry contest at the end!


‘I found it really fun and inspiring. I was really glad that I got to meet Spoz,’ Blake (Year 7). "I like Spoz, he was funny, and he made me go up to speak, even though I was scared, he made me laugh. He has helped me with my poetry in lessons," Katelyn (Year 8). 


This poetry event was part of the Trust's 'Year of Reading' initiative with a number of schools in the South Cotswolds, encouraging reading amongst pupils of all ages.