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Westbourne’s Junior School celebrate their love of literature. Photograph courtesy of Adrian Wraith.


An inspirational visiting author; creative collaborations with neighbouring schools and teachers as well as pupils dressed to impress in celebration of World Book Day – these are just some of the myriad of activities featuring this term, as Westbourne embraces its love of literature. 

There’s no greater way to bring a book to life, than by meeting its author. That’s exactly what happened when Year 6 were treated to a virtual visit from Berlie Doherty – the author of Street Child, their current class text for this half term. This is the unforgettable tale of an orphan in Victorian London, based on a boy whose plight inspired Dr Barnardo to found his famous children’s homes. Our children were entranced as the author read a chapter from her book before taking questions about the inspiration behind it. Several signed copies now take pride of place in the Junior School library.

For World Book Day in March, Junior School pupils donned the clothes of their favourite literary character and shared an extract of their favourite read with their class. All classes studied the Story Machine by Tom McLaughlin, an inspiring tale about the simple joys of a typewriter in a world of hi-tech machines, while even teachers came dressed as characters from the book. 

At Westbourne, we also believe in collaboration so that other schools can benefit from our array of extracurricular English and drama activities. In January, Nethergreen Primary joined us to watch Charlie and the Chocolate factory in Leeds. At the end of February Nethergreen and Hallam Primary Schools joined us in the new school hall for a performance by the Young Shakespeare Company.

Kate Whitemore, Junior School Head of English said:

“At Westbourne, the way the whole school embraces our creative programme not only enhances the core curriculum but aims to inspire, enthuse and provoke young imaginations. Furthermore, we’ve been delighted that other local schools have joined us for drama performances to share our love of literature.”

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