The books we read as children are some of the most important we’ll ever read….. good books are doorways through which we can step into other worlds and go on amazing journeys that expand our imaginations.
Chris Riddell, Author and the UK's current Children's Laureate
Much of learning is limited to observation until we learn to READ! Once the learning of reading is achieved, what better way to practice than to read some more, and some more… At Dolphin School, we celebrate books and offer a wide range in our lively little Library, crammed as it is with everything from picture books, through adventure to some more serious non-fiction.
We learn how to further observe through pictures, to formulate ideas through graphic novels and to challenge daily events through current affairs topics. More importantly, we offer plenty of time to read; from one-to-one to ‘whole school’ reading, on a daily basis – each and every child is given the time to embark on a journey through words and illustrations. This is further brought to life in our annual Book Festival where the children discover new books and authors, get to meet the people behind the stories and try their hand at creating their own characters and story lines.
We are a trial school for the Federation of Children’s Book Groups where we get to read and review new publications and our feedback goes directly into a vote for Best Children’s Book Award of the year. All the joy of reading is further enhanced through our active drama programme, our visits to the British Library and many other events and trips, too numerous to mention.
Kirsty Harrison, Librarian
Dolphin School Book Fest. 2018 was a whole school event. It began in silence! Staff, students and authors all in Assembly, each with our own book, totally absorbed in reading. A brief film followed, then the Juggler’s Hat came out with all our names in – the ‘chosen ones’ were asked, amongst other questions, what books had influenced them when young. Interestingly, three of our visiting authors claimed that comics had been their first reading attraction. What? Comics! Assembly done, Marilyn Brocklehurst (Norfolk Children’s Book Centre) went into action, transforming the now empty hall into a fantastic, all-encompassing mobile bookshop - to be visited throughout the day by the different Year Groups and later by parents and families. Marilyn gave encouraging talks on what to read while the authors went into action – Tom Palmer gave wonderful talks centred around ‘Reading for Pleasure through Sport’ to ‘Fair Trade’ and a sort of Penalty Quiz Game. Robert Thorogood was ‘Plotting a Murder’ storyline in his sessions with students hanging on his very words.. while Ross Montgomery centred on words like ‘Empathy, Sympathy and Apathy’ when he wasn’t talking to the younger ones about his ‘Space Tortoise’! Meanwhile, the very talented author/illustrator, Chris Wormell, began the day guiding Year 6 on ‘how to write’ their own Picture books for Nursery and spent the rest of the morning illustrating wild, imaginary creatures which the children dreamt up; and reading some of his own delightful creations. The staff were kept busy too; Year 5 and Years 7&8 devised ‘poetry’ from newspaper cuttings and a great industry of wordiness it was too. An informative and happy day by all accounts. FunRaisers set up the much appreciated Book Café and Ice cream Kiosk and the Authors took a brief break to enjoy the colourful and very tasty lunch, conjured up by Lisa and Bel. Before we close on this exciting day, a mention should be made to the varied and imaginable displays by Year 2, centred around Dragons with Chris Wormell’s ‘George and the Dragon’ centre stage; and Year 4 with their very detailed and beautifully executed selection of 3D models based around Betsy Byars Book ‘The Midnight Fox’. And a very final nod to the weather gods for the glorious blue skies which favoured both our Book Festival and the Royal Wedding and gave us sunshine throughout the weekend.