Wycombe Abbey Celebrates World Book Day

World Book Day at Wycombe Abbey

World Book Day began in 1995 as a worldwide celebration of books and reading. The mission was to promote reading for pleasure, offering every child the opportunity to have a book of their own. The day is marked in over 100 countries and this year was the 25th anniversary.

This year we chose the theme of Alice in Wonderland and curated a week-long display of related books, illustrations, and objects. As well as featuring some A level artwork by Bea (UVI). We also sought out the skills of one of our art technicians, Ms Evans, who loaned us tea-party props, framed Bea’s artwork and the stunning Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser exhibition poster that was donated by the V&A Museum. Collaborating with the Art department made the display especially magical.

During the lead up to World Book Day, we ran a book fair that allowed pupils access to over 200 titles and the opportunity to use their £1 World Book Day book voucher. Scholastic Book Fairs reward the host school with a 60% commission of sales in the form of book tokens, making it the perfect opportunity to raise money. Over the four days we managed to surpass an amazing £2000 in sales. The House Librarians decided to donate the tokens to one of our partner schools to help support their library collections. Thank you to everyone who made a purchase.

In the spirit of kindness, a team of pupil House and School Librarians, as well as some Resident Tutors, volunteered to support running the fair. Inspired by Random Acts of Kindness Week, I asked Ms Harbour to nominate four pupils who had been especially kind, and they each received an extra £5 voucher to spend at the fair (Lucy and Ashley in UIII, Isla and Rahi in LIV).  

UIII were treated to a visit by author Joseph Elliott where they heard about his trilogy, the publishing process and his career including his achievements as being a CBeebies actor and a screenwriter! The queue to get a book signed was so long – Joseph and I were late for supper!

Our Assistant Librarian, Ms Weatherby, organised an evening looking at humour and creativity in the Wycombe Abbey archives. Items on display included the many magazines produced by pupils across the years, handmade programmes for House plays, pupil artwork from the past, and photographs of creative endeavours such as music and drama. The event began with a short talk from Irina and Argia (LVI) about the importance of pupil magazines and their experience of editing The Pub.

On World Book Day itself, pupils and staff dressed up as one of the many characters from Alice in Wonderland (or as any literary character of their choosing). There was a great turn out of characters and the costumes were fantastic. The winner of the pupil costume competition was Clemmie (UIII) for her Mad Hatter outfit, I was particularly impressed by the handmade elements such as her paper mâché dormouse in a teacup.

World Book Day at Wycombe Abbey. The winner of the costumes.

The House Librarians were tasked with asking their fellow boarders for a wish list of new books for their House libraries, and a box of new books was sent up to each House the week after World Book Day to keep that enthusiasm for reading flowing.

Overall, the combination of events brought joy and excitement to both staff and students alike. And that really is what World Book Day is all about!

Fay Myers

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