The Wonders of World Book Day

Ark Academy students were treated to an exciting array of activities to mark World Book Day on Thursday including what one transfixed student described as ‘hair-raising’ magic tricks.

Andy Winters, author of Terrifyingly Talented and a former circus performer, spent Reading Assembly giving Year 7 & 8 a taste of mysterious illusion and spectacular deception – Parbes Ahmed witnessed him ‘blowing someone’s head up!’ Clearly a hoax, but all the same, don’t try this at home folks.

In the Top Ten countdown of Ark Academy’s best loved books, Gangsta Granny was the runaway winner with Diary of a Wimpy Kid a worthy runner up. Proving that some novels never outstay their welcome Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and the Goosebumps series also made an appearance while Divergent and A Monster Calls rounded out the list.

Adults and children alike drew their favourite book on a sticker and wore it like a badge of honour for ‘A book close to my heart’ which encouraged some lively discussions.

Mr Styles’s pick of the parchment was Middlemarch by George Eliot because, ‘It is a wonderful story about real people and the good that they can do, that also manages to campaign for equal rights and be completely absorbing.”  There was no genre left on the shelf by the bookworms of Ark, as choices varied wildly from Dragon Ball and Mr Stink, to perennial classics such as Brideshead Revisited and To Kill a Mockingbird.

The popular library event ‘Real People Read’ was once again well-attended by students eager to hear their teachers perform extracts from a variety of favourite books.

Miss Lisk and Miss Cooper- Wood regaled the group with a reading of one of the most theatrical scenes from all time classic The Hobbit. Miss Cooper Wood said, ‘I remember reading it when I was younger at midnight – I was terrified!’ The teachers’ drama background ensured a captive audience; Year 8 pupil Bisharo Mohammed loved the performance, ‘It was great fun and I enjoyed the expression of Bilbo and Gollum, the teachers did really good voices.’ Miss Lisk chose the novel as she felt it was ‘mysterious, and keeps me wondering what is going to happen next!’

Roald Dahl’s hilarious collection of re-imagined fairytales, Revolting Rhymes, closed the session as Miss Hickling left everyone laughing when she recited ‘one of the best lines ever written in any poem in all of literature’ during Red Riding Hood. Which line is it? You will have to decide for yourself!

During ‘Story Trail’, teachers read a chapter of a story at the beginning of every period, ending on a cliffhanger, which kept everyone gripped until the last chapter was revealed at the end of the day.  Year 7 student Rehan Abbas said he thought Miss Ibrahim’s chapter of Locked Doors by Stephanie Burgis was the best, ‘She read it in a very funny way and with expression; she did the characters’ voices well.’

As part of the ‘Flash Reading’ crew, Miss Cook popped up in the dinner queue to entertain hungry students with His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman, whom she describes as a ‘master storyteller whose Northern Lights trilogy completely gripped me’. Miss Lewis Smith was spotted roaring the ‘exciting and unique’ Lion Boy in the English corridor, while Mr Styles was intriguing pupils in the playground with the excellent beginning of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time.

Great fun was had by all and we expect to see these books checked out en masse from the library as everyone clamours to discover what happens next!

Mr Kirkman judged the day a huge success saying, “World Book Day was a great chance for us all to celebrate our shared love of reading”.