World Book Day – 4th March 2021

This year, World Book Day is going online, with lots of virtual events and activities taking place. Teachers and parents can find out more about how World Book Day is operating virtually, and find lots of helpful resources (from lesson plans to live events) here!

The New Vision English Hub at Elmhurst have also kindly agreed to share their World Book Day reading ‘top tips’ with us, which we have attached to this bulletin. Please do feel free to share these reading tips widely to your partner schools.

Also, if you use social media, you can use the following tags and hashtags when celebrating your World Book Day activities: @WorldBookDayUK, #WorldBookDay

World Book Day ‘top tips’ from Elmhurst Primary School

World Book Day is going to be a little different this year! Follow these ‘top tips’ to make sure there’s a buzz about children’s literature and to plan a day that has a longer lasting impact.

Use WBD as an opportunity to:

  1. Enhance teachers’ own knowledge of children’s literature

Picking a focus text type, genre, author or theme is a great way to create a buzz amongst your pupils and enhance your teachers’ own knowledge of children’s literature. Move away from Dahl, Wilson and Walliams and support teachers with accessing books and authors that the children might not otherwise encounter. At Elmhurst, in recent years we have focused on non-fiction books, considering questions of reliability and author voice, and graphic novels, with a focus on ‘how to read’ a graphic novel.

CLPE (The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education) have brilliant book lists organised around different themes: https://clpe.org.uk/library/booklists

  1. Invest in children’s literature

WBD is a great time to promote ‘texts that tempt’ and ongoing investment in children’s literature is key to having the right book to put in a child’s hands.

Why not try sending a book to every teacher’s home? This could be organised through your local bookshop and these books can be the ‘focus text’ for the day. Teachers can then bring these books into school to add to book corners or the school library.

Or you could order a range of children’s literature for teachers to promote when pupils return to school. Teachers could even wrap them up to make them extra tempting and inspire some ‘book talk’ during the first day back!

  1. Find out about your pupils’ ‘lockdown’ reading habits

Spend some time on World Book Day finding out about how your children’s reading habits have changed during the school closure period. The National Literacy Trust found that children’s enjoyment of reading has increased during lockdown: https://literacytrust.org.uk/research-services/research-reports/children-and-young-peoples-reading-in-2020-before-and-during-the-covid-19-lockdown/

At Elmhurst, we conduct a termly reading survey - all the children complete the survey and then have a 1:1 conference with their teacher. Examples of surveys can be found on the OU RfP website: https://ourfp.org/schools-teachers/whole-school-development/. These surveys could easily be adapted into a google form for your children to complete from home.

  1. Ensure children receive a free book

Every year, at Elmhurst we arrange for all year groups to visit their local bookshop to spend their £1 voucher and receive a free book. This is a great way to ensure that the tokens get spent by all the children and not just those families who will take their children to a bookshop.

This year, we won’t be able to arrange the bookshop trips. Instead our local bookshop is going to send us the books in return for the tokens. See if your local bookshop will offer this service as well to ensure the book tokens don’t go to waste.

  1. Make use of your local library

See if your local library has anything planned for World Book Day - ours is running a children’s author session which our pupils are excited to attend!. When you get in touch ask how the library has adapted to enable children to continue to borrow books and share this information with your parents.

  1. ‘Drop everything and read’... online!

Timetable a couple of short, independent reading sessions to give children time to read throughout the day. Ask children to come prepared with a book or allow them to access free online reading materials (at Elmhurst we love Get Epic). Ask the children to keep their videos on so they can feel part of a reading community and spend a bit of time chatting about what they are reading afterwards!

  1. Model reading aloud for parents

Ask parents to join in for a live storytime at the end of the day. Before you start reading, ask the parents to think about what makes the story engaging as you read. Afterwards, ask them to share their thoughts on how you made the story come alive with your storyteller voice, expressions and actions.

  1. Dress Up

Dressing up for World Book Day has received some bad press in recent years. As a standalone activity dressing up is not going to get our children loving reading. But if reading for pleasure is ingrained in everything we do as a school, why not make World Book Day even more fun by dressing up - teachers included!