16 March 2020

During the annual celebration of World Book Day, the school became a hive of activity as boys from across the year groups got involved. We were particularly fortunate to be visited by author Tim Leach (The Last King of Lydia, The King and the Slave, Smile of the Wolf), who ran our two main events for a selection of interested students.

Boys in the 1st – 3rd year were given the opportunity to attend a creative writing workshop run by Mr Leach; where they explored Kurt Vonnegut’s theory of stories, and charted the success or misery of various famous characters to discover that many books cover the same basic plots. This was then transferred to their own writing, where they engaged with the room around them and imagined scenarios where a character’s fortune could change in a matter of moments. The workshop was thoroughly enjoyed by all, and it was wonderful to see the students really delve into their imaginations. There were some mature and thoughtful questions asked by many of the boys, and two particularly engaged students were very excited to be given free copies of Mr Leach’s books!

This was followed by the second event of the day, where members of the 5th and 6th form were invited to a Q&A lunch with Mr Leach. There was a lively discussion about life as an author, and the young writers benefitted from writing advice and book recommendations based on their expressed interests. We are incredibly grateful to Mr Leach for coming to speak to the boys, and all of them expressed a real enjoyment for the event, which is what World Book Day is all about.

Other activities included a literary themed Scavenger Hunt across the campus, leading the boys to a final prize of sweet treats in the Library. We had reports of dozens of students getting involved, many of them completing it in record time. At lunch time, students were treated to “tasting plates” of recommended reading for all age groups; extracts were carefully chosen by the English Department who then roamed the hall to discuss with the boys what they had read. It was great to see so many of the students enjoying the extracts and passing them along to each other; encapsulating the spirit of the whole day. The World Book Day Bonanza Quiz was also made available to tutor groups, and enjoyed by many of the older students.

At the start of the week, students were given the opportunity to enter the Design a Book Token Competition as part of the National World Book Day celebrations, in addition to a school-based contest. The Abingdon School winner was 3rd year Crescent boarder Boco To, who designed a very colourful and thoughtful image. He will be entered into the national competition, with results due in May.

The literary fun wasn’t just limited to the English Department either, as staff across subjects were encouraged to share what they were currently reading with boys in order to highlight the benefits and enjoyment of reading. The Modern Languages and History Departments additionally ran their own activities; ranging from historical fiction book challenges, to a quiz of classic book titles in other languages. It was a wonderful day enjoyed by staff and students alike, and we’re very much looking forward to more activities next year!


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