What a Wonderful World Book Day Week

Basket of tea and coffee

A warm welcome from Moorside Primary School, Swinton

I know World Book Day is just one day, but it turns into a whole week of celebrations in many schools, and for me. That’s a great thing. I was in a different school each day of the week and met so many wonderful students and staff, and many dressed as characters from books.

One thing I am finding more frequently now when I visit a school is that the day’s events are captured in images and video and tweeted before I even get home. Here are some examples.

tweetstwilfreds

Many thanks for such great week to all of the staff and students at Hunslet Carr Primary School (Leeds), St Joseph’s RC Primary (Bolton), Christ Church CofE Primary School (Oldham), St Wildrid’s Primary School (Sheffield) and Moorside Primary School (Swinton).

Thank you so much for such a wonderful day. The children, staff and parents really enjoyed it and I was impressed with the poetry the children created in such a short amount of time.” Vicky Sherrington, St Joseph’s RC Primary School, Bolton

We loved every minute, thanks so much – we’re all officially inspired.” Rachel Robinson, Moorside Primary School, Swinton.

Ideas and Resources for World Book Day on 2 March 2017

Photo https://flic.kr/p/2qqrc

I’m fully booked for the week of World Book Day, but do have availability after that if anyone wants a poet to liven up a school day.

For those of you looking for some activity ideas for World Book Day, I came across this poster on Twitter of 20 Bright Ideas.

Poster from http://www.worldbookday.com/resources/primary/

This is part of the resource pack for primary schools available on the World Book Day website here: http://www.worldbookday.com/resources/primary/

I hope you all have a great World Book Day and ‘do something booky’!

Word image saying 'so something booky'

Image Credit: the first photo in this post is shared by Creative Commons CC-BY-SA licence on flickr by Hans Splinter at https://flic.kr/p/2qqrc

World Book Day celebrates its 20th year on Thursday 2nd March

wbd2017-booky

2017 is the 20th year of World Book Day. It’s a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) it’s a celebration of reading. In fact, it’s the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in over 100 countries all over the world.

I’ve had some great visits to schools over the years in the week of World Book Day. Last year I visited seven schools just before and during World Book Day Week, mostly in Manchester where I am based. I blogged about it here.

It is always fun to see how teachers and students dress up as characters from their favourite stories. Such as the teachers from Albrough Primary School in 2015 (read more)  and Oldfield Primary School, gosh was that one really 2012? (Read more).

Teachers in fancy dress at Aldbrough Primary School

Aldbrough Primary School

Oldfield Primary School

Oldfield Primary School

There is still time to book me for sometime around World Book Day. For an idea of how a day of poetry workshops can work in a school see here. If you are interested, please contact me to check availability and cost.

What ever you do, I hope it is something booky!

A busy week for World Book Day 2016

Poem by nursury school class

It’s a busy time for a poet this time of year, and for schools, what with dressing up and doing lots of reading and great creative writing.

The poem in the photo (inspired by my I Like What I Like – see video below) was written with Nursery Children at Audenshaw Primary School, Manchester as a class effort. We performed it at the end of the day to the rest of the school. I was there to celebrate World Book Day 2016 and worked with every age group. A wide variety of excellent poems were written and performed. I had a great time, so thanks to all the staff and pupils for working so hard and for making me very welcome.

In all I visited seven schools just before and during World Book Day Week. Thank you to Abingdon Primary School (Stockport),  Gorton Mount Primary Academy (Manchester) who have a fantastic steel band who played for me, Old Hall Drive Primary Academy (Manchester), Alexandra Park Primary (Stockport), Broadfield Primary (Oldham), and (last but not least) Silverdale Primary Academy (Newcastle-under-Lyme).

Thanks also to Authors Aloud who organised a couple of the bookings.

I like playing in the park
I like tig and hide and seek
I like swimming and paddling
I like what I like I do

I like ice cream and Mexico
I like Sealife and Lego
Let’s say hello to our Leo
We like what we like we do

I like flowers and rainbows
I like hopscotch and videos
I like porridge it fills me up
I like what I like I do

World Book Day Week 2015

Teachers in fancy dress at Aldbrough Primary School

Aldbrough Primary School

These colourful characters are the staff at Aldbrough Primary School (East Yorkshire). I was there to help them celebrate World Book Day. It was a lot of fun. The children were all dressed up too and I enjoyed performing for them and helping them write their own poems. A selection of their superb work was shared at the end of the day. It was well worth the early start and the long drive.

“We were very happy to have secured a booking with Bernard for World Book Day 2015.  The children (and staff) enjoyed Bernard’s poems, especially the ones they could join in with.  They were all clearly inspired by Bernard’s poetry and produced some excellent poems of their own which they shared with the whole school in lots of different ways at the end of the day.”  K. Jessop, Assistant Headteacher, Aldbrough Primary School.

I was in schools the whole week. I spent two days in Acacias Community Primary (Burnage, Manchester) performing and leading workshops. I also led two after school sessions there, where children and their parents wrote poems together. I spent a day in Whitegate End Primary (Chadderton) and finished off the week with a visit to St Brigid’s RC Primary (Manchester).

So I’d like to say a big thank you to all the schools who booked me and made me so welcome and a big sorry that I had no other dates available that week for the many schools who wanted to book me. But, as I’ve said before, a poet is not just for World Book Day Week. I’d be more than happy to visit your school any time. If you’d like to know more please do get in touch.

Poetry’s Not Just For World Book Day, It’s For Life!

It was on the news - more poetry is needed!

It was on the news – more poetry is needed!

I am very pleased to be visiting a school in East Yorkshire on World Book Day and some Manchester schools for the rest of the week, but I had so many enquiries for World Book Day week that I had to turn bookings down. Frustrating for me and the schools concerned.

It made me think to write a blog post to say that poetry is not just for World Book Day (March 5th) nor just for World Poetry Day (March 21st), not even just for National Poetry Day (October 8th). I’d be more than happy to visit your school any day of the year (during term time, of course!).

Consider the benefits:

  • You’ll be getting ‘a real live poet’ – a specialist who knows his craft (and plays guitar!).
  • Someone who can generate a sense of fun with words.
  • Someone who can motivate even reluctant writers to write and give them the confidence to stand up at the end of the workshop and perform a new poem they can be proud of.

It’s not just me that thinks poetry should have a place in schools all year round. Elena Aquilar makes a good case in this blog post: “Five Reasons Why we Need Poetry in Schools”. She says “Poetry promotes literacy, builds community, and fosters emotional resilience. It can cross boundaries that little else can.” Read more

And the following benefits of reading poetry for older students are given in a blog post on synonym.com:

  • Improves Verbal Skills and Memory
  • Improves Critical Thinking
  • Develops Empathy and Insight
  • Encourages Engagement with other Art forms

Read more

So if you are a teacher looking for ideas for World Book Day, I hope you come away with the idea you could do the same kinds of activities on other days too.

What are you doing for World Book Day on Thurs 5th March?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In the UK and Ireland, World Book Day is on Thursday 5 March 2015. In other countries World Book Day takes place at a different time of year – usually in April.  There are lots of resources for schools on the World Book Day website http://www.worldbookday.com/resources/

Many school have activities throughout the week that World Book day falls, including dressing up as characters from children’s books, like the teachers in the picture at Oldfield Primary School, who I visited a few years ago https://bernardyoung.wordpress.com/2012/03/14/world-book-day/

World Bok Day 2015

World Book Day, March 7th 2013 A day of poetry at Northlands Primary School, Rugby

WelcomeA big thank you to Northlands Primary School, Rugby for delaying World Book Day by 24 hours. Car trouble prevented me from getting there for the official event and, just like that, the school happily moved my visit to the following day.

As the photograph illustrates, on a snowy day the welcome couldn’t have been warmer.

I worked with all age groups and we had a brilliant get together before school ended to listen to new poems written and performed by the children. It was fantastic that we were joined by many parents for that.

Thanks again to the school for looking after me so well and producing some great poems.