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The importance of World Book Day: instilling a love of reading in our pupils

Each year World Book Day enables us to generate creative ideas to celebrate the variety of benefits which reading provides – however, across our trust, instilling a love of reading continues to be at the heart of our everyday approach to delivering an exceptional education to every pupil.

Lead practitioners for English across the trust, Emma Levins and Kate Moloney share more about the importance and what our schools are getting up to this World Book Day!

About World Book Day

Celebrated across the country, World Book Day is a charity which aims to transform lives through a life-long learning of books and reading, with a particular focus on supporting children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Reading for pleasure is one of the biggest indicators of a child’s future success.

In every classroom in every academy across our trust, reading continues to be a central component of every one of our pupil’s education. This is why this World Book Day, we are committed to creating exciting ways to engage each of our pupils in reading.

The World Book Day theme for 2023 is ‘making it your World Book Day’ and so we decided this year we wanted to draw attention to the fantastic storytellers who create immersive stories for every child to enjoy.

We also thought this theme provided us with a good opportunity to celebrate audiobooks and how they have played a role in inspiring a whole new generation of readers.

How OAT is celebrating

In the lead up to World Book Day, we have been encouraging our academies to take part in a range of exciting activities designed to celebrate our diverse community of readers across OAT.

This includes a true highlight of OAT’s World Book Day celebrations, our Extreme Reading challenge. Each student is encouraged to try reading somewhere unusual and this year we have had some absolutely wacky and wonderful ideas from our students, including reading whilst balancing on walls, while exercising, and even reading at the Back to the Future Fest in front of the DeLorean Car! Our pupils have also been turning a potato into their favourite literary characters and we have also been encouraging our students to reflect on the reasons they read. We’ve had some wonderful ideas from students, such as: ‘I am a reader because it’s nourishment for the mind’ and ‘I am a reader because of the revolution!’

As part of our overarching theme of celebrating audiobooks we have also invited each academy to enter our ‘Are You Listening?’ competition. The competition offers pupils the chance to be included in our Audiobook Anthology and win some really fantastic prizes – including a Kindle Fire and a 12-month subscription to Audible.

The competition involves pupils recording themselves reading aloud, whether it be an extract from their favourite story, a poem or their own writing. We have already received a wide range of amazing submissions and are looking forward to announcing the winner on the 17 March.

Finally, our trust CEO Nick Hudson has led the way in promoting audiobooks for all of our pupils. During a visit to Packmoor Ormiston Academy, Nick performed an exciting retelling of the story ‘Look Up!’ by Nathan Bryon (published by Penguin Random House UK), and illustrated by Dapo Adeola.

The book tells the story of Rocket, a young girl on a mission to encourage her teenage brother to put down his phone and ‘look up’. The recording has been made available to all our primary academies, so they are able to embark on the literary adventure together.

World Book Day is truly a highlight in the OAT calendar. We are always excited to solidify our commitment to supporting each of our academies to promote a love of reading and to ensure every child has access to an exceptional English education.

Reading and writing opens the door to many possible future career opportunities for our pupils and expands their imagination, instilling a belief that the sky is the limit.

By Emma Levins and Kate Moloney

Emma Levins and Kate Moloney are OAT lead practitioners for English, and support schools in the London and south OAT regions.