Book Week got off to a flying start last Friday, with a visit from local author, Helen Hareldsen. Upper School sat enraptured, while she told them all about the adventures of the pony, ‘Little Pearl’, on the Cumbrian Fells. The children particularly enjoyed understanding what goes into publishing a book, and they got the chance to do some editing of their own. Helen was so impressed with the edits of some of the children that she decided to include them in her next edition! Letters went out in school bags with an opportunity to buy signed copies of Helen’s books. Anyone who is interested needs to return the slips with payment to the school office.

We needed to make sure we started Monday morning in a dynamic ‘Book Week’ style, so we worked in class teams to produce book jackets to decorate each of our classroom doors. From’ The Creakers’ to ‘The Magic Finger’, the children displayed imaginative ideas, creative flair and impressive attention to detail. Year 3 and 4’s door, ‘The Places You’ll Go’ was declared as the winner by our governor, Charlotte Young.

Tuesday began a bit unusually, with the normal Hunter Hall teachers strangely absent, replaced with ‘The World’s Worst Teachers’. The children laughed uproariously as the extravagant acting of ‘Miss Palaver’, the trembling screams of ‘Mr Phobe’ and the whizzing scooter of ‘Miss Spick’ entertained children from Reception to Year 6: a ridiculously silly but fun way to start the day.

Book Week then took a less frivolous turn, when the Upper School learnt how to read skilfully with younger children, learning how to question and discuss books effectively to bring on the reading skills of younger ‘reading buddies’. They then got to practise these skills with children from Lower School that afternoon. All the children thoroughly enjoyed it and got a lot from the experience. We hope to make ‘reading buddies’ a regular part of our school routine in the future.

Dress-up day for Book Week did not disappoint, with all children and staff going to a monumental effort as they embodied all sorts of characters from our favourite stories of adventure and magic. Matilda Harling won the Upper School costume award for her impressive effort as Susan from ‘Swallows and Amazons’, bringing not just her period costume, but a boat, bedecked in a pirate flag and a bag full of fitting accessories! The Lower School prize went to Tate Bullimore for her imaginative take on ‘The Creakers’. We had a fun day of ‘Where’s Wally’ hunts, code-cracking and quizzes, and the winners of the hotly contested book week competitions were announced. Raffery Antrobus won the ‘Extreme Reading’ challenge, having read a book underwater… with his school uniform on! The ‘Potato People’ award went to Matthew Hetherington for his spudtastic ‘Squirrel Nutkin’. We enjoyed our very own ‘Hogwarts Feast’ for lunch, complete with Butterbeer to wash it all down.

Quite apart from the individual events and activities, the whole week was full of book-themed surprises, from the daily book mystery foxing children and parents alike at the gate at drop-off time, to fictional characters coming to life and wreaking havoc each morning in the Lower School classrooms. Parents also kept popping up in lessons and assemblies to read some of their favourite stories, which the children loved.

Book Week was complemented by our Scholastic book fair. Special thanks must go to Lola Yaseen, Eleanor Tebbutt and Lucy Harnwell for their hard work, dedication and reliability running the stall. Thank you all for supporting the fair- we are due to receive a healthy contribution of books from Scholastic as a ‘thank you’ for running it, which will help to replenish school library stocks, and will help to continue to nurture Hunter Hall pupils’ undoubted love of reading.