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Action-packed World Book Day event inspires Pool Hayes Academy pupils

To celebrate World Book Day, pupils at Pool Hayes Academy in Willenhall, part of Academy Transformation Trust, were treated to an action-packed week of events which included visits from two Children’s authors, a virtual reality adventure with Google Expedition and a university writing workshop.

In the first of two events, Year 9 pupils took part in an audience with Birmingham-born writer Dave Cousins. Dave read from his humourous and compassionate works ‘15 Days Without a Head’ and ‘Waiting for Gonzo’, and retold the captivating, colourful story of his life. Children’s author Michael Grant, who specially produced World Book Day title ‘Dead of Night’ and writes the ‘Gone’ novel series, also met Year 8 pupils for a fascinating talk.

Google Expeditions also visited the academy on World Book Day to help teachers take Year 9 to 12 pupils on a virtual trip around real landmarks and in to fictional settings. Their virtual experiences began in San Francisco at the Google headquarters where pupils were taken on a virtual guided tour of the facilities, and ended up in locations including the Grand Canyon, the oceans of the Caribbean and the moon. Key Stage 3 pupils were then submerged in the magical world of Roald Dahl and his stories, visiting iconic settings including his writing hut, Matilda’s library and the stage of the West End musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Getting behind the pen to create stories of their own, several Year 7 pupils travelled to the University of Wolverhampton for a writing workshop. They received a masterclass in how to write short stories before listening to a thought provoking short story, which ended with the most unexpected twist. The pupils will showcase their new writing skills in a writing competition, which will be judged by the university. Pupil Ethan Williams who took part in the workshop said: “I learnt a lot in just one hour! It was excellent. The story I am writing is based on what happened to certain characters from Harry Potter, while Hogwarts was being created!”

Pupils at Pool Hayes Academy got involved in sharing the benefits and joys of reading books, with Head Girl Amie Troath delivering World Book Day presentations to every Year 7 and 8 pupil. Sixth Form Reading Champions Georgina Jones, Sophie Maiden, Bradley Prat and Chloe Westley presented the pupils with their World Book Day tokens. Amie Troath, Head Girl at Pool Hayes Academy said: “I hope that by giving the talk and book tokens to pupils, it provides them with an opportunity to own a book and they aspire to become avid readers.”

World Book Day occurs annually to celebrate books and a love of reading and in 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of World Book Day being celebrated in the UK. 

Luke Baker, Principal at Pool Hayes Academy commented: “We are committed to putting a love of reading at the heart of learning and all of the academy’s marvelous and memorable celebrations of World Book Day were designed to encourage this. Reading daily helps pupils achieve well and reading for enjoyment also helps pupils to become lifelong learners and improves wellbeing, benefits which we hope these opportunities have instilled with them. I also want to congratulate the wonderfully dressed, world class staff of Pool Hayes Academy, who took the time and effort to dress up as a literary character for World Book Day.”

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