It’s hard to find a fun and engaging activity for a secondary school during World Book Day. At primary school it’s simple – everyone dresses up and runs about all day – but it can be trickier to get teenagers to participate and it’s difficult to create an activity that will engage both pupils and staff. This year, however, we hit the nail on the head with a Book Pairs game, a Pets Reading Photo Competition and a Decorate your Door challenge.
The week before WBD pupils and staff were invited to submit photos of their pets reading. We received 18 photos of pets including horses, fish, cats and dogs that were all put on display in the library. Throughout the following week over 100 pupils came place their vote, many of whom never usually come to the library.
Staff and pupils joined forces to decorate 21 doors across the school with ten departments taking part. Photos were uploaded to a Google Form and 250 pupils and staff voted for their favourite.
On the day itself, 90 staff were given stickers with the name of a book character on them and pupils had to find the pairs – we had Dumbledore and Grindelwald, the Owl and the Pussycat, Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara and many more. Pupils filled out a sheet with the pairs and the staff names and the top 3 pupils with the most pairs won a £10 Amazon voucher. In addition, staff who found their pairs and came along to the library together were given a sweetie.
It was a brilliant day with the whole school involved including teaching staff, janitors, technicians, SMT, office staff and every single year group. There was a real buzz around the school with everyone trying to find pairs and work out who was who. Staff who never normally would get a chance to speak with each other during the day were visiting other departments and chatting to colleagues, pupils who never normally speak up in class were helping staff identify their characters and directing them to their pairs and the senior study periods had never before seen such focus! The atmosphere in the school which, with prelims, deadlines and exams looming can be tense at times, was transformed. As one staff member described the day: it was a game changer.