Book characters take over classes as Southsea pupils celebrate reading

FUN Pippa Elsley, left, and Jessica Mansbridge from Portsmouth High School
FUN Pippa Elsley, left, and Jessica Mansbridge from Portsmouth High School
Newbridge Junior School Picture: Maria Bujor

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VISITORS to a school in Portsmouth could have been forgiven for thinking they had stepped off the street and into a fictional world of make-believe.

A whole host of book characters from Harry Potter to Long John Silver and Wally emerged from every corner of Portsmouth High School to mark World Book Day.

Year 5 at the Southsea private girls’ school rose to the challenge of an alphabet book trail in the junior library alongside their teacher Emma Dowthwaite, who was dressed as The Cat in the Hat from the Dr Seuss books.

Their task was to find a book beginning with each letter of the alphabet and record the name of the author – and they enjoyed coming across books they had never seen before.

Portsmouth High nursery also joined in with the fun with its leader Clare Mills, dressed as Snow White, running fun activities associated with children’s favourite story books.

At the senior school, girls and their teachers were challenged at registration with a quiz ‘First Lines from Which Books?’ – with classic examples including ‘It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen’.

And as part of the celebrations author Martine McDonagh, whose first novel was I Have Waited, and You Have Come, visited the school to inspire budding writers with a talk about her career and her works.

Jane Prescott, headmistress, said: ‘Girls had a wonderful time.

‘World Book Day brings fictional characters to life and inspires girls to read more and simply enjoy books.

‘The Junior School had a parade of book characters in the hall which was an amazing sight.

‘The Book Quiz at the senior school got everyone thinking about books and the girls have an author visit to inspire their own writing for the future.’