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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 (https://booknookuk.com) 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. 

For the last 5 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 enjoy this enormously and it is always an oversubscribed event. 

Last year 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 Little Owls to our biggest 'Wols' 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. 

Our Year 5s take part in the annual Big City Read project, which is organised through the Brighton Festival. A book is chosen for all participating schools to read, and over 10 weeks, Literacy 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.  

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. 

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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 vulnerable. 

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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. 

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We are looking forward to being able to get more authors who have written EYFS and KS1 books into school, as soon as restrictions allow. But we know that the children in KS1 and EYFS would get far more excitement and engagement from an author actually being in school with them, rather than through the screen. 

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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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Mr Pearson and his Willy Wonka doppelganger on World Book day

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Reading Buddies sharing a book on World Book Day

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