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Reading Events at Goldstone Primary School

Over the academic year, we provide a large number of events that encourage the enjoyment of reading. We have a very positive relationship with The Book Nook in Hove and this enables us to have visiting authors create enthusiasm and excitement for their own books and the love of reading and writing. We have been lucky enough to have Danny Wallace, Laura Ellen Anderson, Guy Bass, Chris Riddell, Jenny McLachlan and many more in the last few years. 

Over the years, we have turned the school into a smaller version of Hogwarts for an evening to celebrate the Harry Potter book night. During the evening, the children got 'picked up from Hogsmeade Station' by Hagrid, brought to the Grand Hall where they were 'sorted into houses' by Dumbledore and the Sorting Hat and then spent the rest of the late afternoon with their 'Housemates' creating art, cakes, wands, and gaining Potter knowledge. The Key Stage 2 children enjoyed this enormously and it is always an oversubscribed event. We plan to change the focus of the celebration to another author due to JK Rowling's comments made about the Trans community. 

In 2020 we ran a similar afternoon celebration of reading for Reception and Key Stage 1. The author of choice was Julia Donaldson, who is a local author. The children read some of her stories and created artwork or character props inspired by the story. We had Stick Men a-plenty, Tabby McTats and lots of 'squashes and squeezes'. This event was also oversubscribed and so we had intended to run a second-time event for the year 2s, but sadly COVID prevented this. 

Every year we celebrate the World Book Day event by spending the day reading together, learning from favourite books, having a catwalk of costumes, and discussing the books that we enjoy. Everyone is involved, from our smallest children in Little Owls to our eldest children in year 6. We spend time reading with children from different classes and sharing with our peers. 

We always support the Library Service with their annual Summer Reading Challenge and a large number of our children get involved with the various challenges that they set.

Our Year 3s adopt an author - Guy Bass - to support their learning of storytelling in the spring term. We have weekly emails and challenges set by Guy to help us improve our writing and character development. Click here to see more.

Whilst the council was able to fund and support it, our Year 5s took part in the annual Big City Read project, which was organised through the Brighton Festival. A book is chosen for all participating schools to read, and over 10 weeks, writing and guided reading sessions have been based around the text. At the end of the project, all participating schools are invited to meet up at the Brighton Dome to meet the author and illustrator for a morning. We hope that this event will come back when the festival organisers have recouped some of the lost revenue due to COVID.

2022 - 2023

On the 28th September, Year 2, 3 and 4 children were lucky enough to have a visit from Nadia Shireen who wrote the Grimwood Stories. Nadia introduced the children to the different characters in the Grimwood series and we even got to do a draw along of Eric Dynamite the Journalist Woodlouse. The children were laughing their socks off and engaged with Nadia's fun and joy of writing. We then got to have a question and answer session with Nadia, who was very impressed by the ideas the children had. Lots of families bought a copy of the books after school.

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2021 - 2022

In the Autumn Term, we have had 2 authors in to visit the KS2 children. On October the 5th, Thomas Taylor, who has written all about a fictional town called Eerie-on-Sea (very similar to local towns along our South-East coastline), came in to talk to the year 5 and 6s about his new book in the Eerie-on-Sea mysteries - Shadowghast. The children really enjoyed asking Thomas questions about his writing and how he got his ideas and even did a draw along with him. Thomas is a fabulous weaver of mystery and his books are so enthralling to read. 


Then, on the 21st of October, we had a return visit from Jenny Mclachlan for the Year 3 and 4 children to talk about her book series all about the Land of Roar. Jenny was, as always, incredibly captivating and brought a 'friend' along to explain where she gets her ideas from. The children enjoyed asking her all about what made her want to become a writer and how hard it is to get those first ideas. Lots of children were inspired to start their own stories about fantastical places with mysterious beasts. 


Excitingly (or should I say, Eggcitingly!) on Wednesday 2nd March 2022, Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet who wrote the Supertato series of books came to school to celebrate their new book - SUPERTATO the Great Eggscape. They worked with the EYFS and KS1 children for an afternoon of fun, laughter and frolics! 


Liz Pichon

A hugely exciting event occurred on Monday 28th March, when Liz Pichon, author of the Tom Gates series of books, came to Goldstone. Not only that, but Liz was using Goldstone pupils to help promote her new book You can Draw, and brought her own film crew and a film crew from Newsround. Once we had got over the star X Factor, 26 of our pupils had photos taken and recorded snippets of why they enjoy Liz Pichon's books so much. Liz then led all of KS2 in a doodle-along, to help us draw characters like Tom and his friends in the book. We had a wonderful time and our doodles can help to donate books for children who don't have access to them. We can upload any extra doodles here: http://www.scholastic.co.uk/youcandraw.

After we had our doodle-along, 3 of our year 6s interviewed Liz for Newsround with questions that they had created themselves. Liz and her publicist were so impressed with Goldstone pupils engagment and enthusiastic love of her books! 


2020 - 2021

Due to COVID 19 our normal range of reading activities and author visits have been reduced. However, we have been able to participate in several virtual author events. 

In March, we were able to join up with the Bournville BookFest for the week of World Book Day and watched lots of recordings of authors and illustrators talking about their work. Nick Sharratt was the patron of the Bournville BookFest and we were able to draw along with him. 


Within the school staff, we created a 'Masked Reader' event, which took a lot of inspiration from 'The Masked Singer' on ITV. Many of the staff in school dressed up and read a short story that we then posted on our learning platform, in the Reading is Power community. Children then guessed who was who. This was a super way to stay connected with our staff whilst we were in the second national lockdown. The children watched the videos and then over the week, 3 clues appeared for each reader so that the children could guess. On the Friday, we revealed who each reader was to much excitement and 'I told you so..!!'

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Virtual author events

Despite being unable to have authors into school, we have been able to be involved in various author events over the past academic year. We couldn't get our fantastic opportunities without the amazing help of The Book Nook, Hove's number 1 independent Children's bookshop. 

In March, our KS2 children were able to take part in a live zoom meeting with Liz Pichon who wrote the Tom Gates books. It was an excellent time and she was able to answer lots of our questions. Children from across Year 3 to 6 were able to join in with the event including all of the children who were in school as children of key workers and those children considered as vulnerable.


In April, our KS2 children were able to take part in a pre-recorded presentation with Clare Balding who has written a new book, whilst she wasn't able to go to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. It is all about how we can have bad things happen to us and how we can learn to get back up, dust ourselves off and keep on trying. It is called Fall off, Get back on and Keep going. Each year group had the flexibility to watch the presentation and complete work related to the book during the week.  

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In May, our KS2 children will be able to take part in another live author event. this time with Cressida Cowell - the Childrens' Laureate and author of both the How to Train Your Dragon and the Wizards of Once, amongst many other stories. It is a celebration to coincide with the release of The Wizards of Once in paperback. We are very excited to be able to take part in this event. 


We are, as ever, enormously grateful to The Book Nook for helping us get real authors into school to inspire and excite our children. 

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Some photos from our Harry Potter Evening 2020

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Some of our Reading superstars who completed the Summer Reading Challenge 2019

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A visit from one of our authors - Sam Copeland

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A visit from one of our special authors - Guy Bass

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Some of our KS1 children enjoying the Julia Donaldson Celebration Evening

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Reading Buddies sharing a book on World Book Day

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Reading Buddies sharing a book on World Book Day

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