Doha College joined schools across Qatar and in over 100 countries worldwide to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the world’s biggest celebration of reading – World Book Day.
Staff and students at Doha College celebrated their love of books and reading, in a week-long series of concerted activities across the year groups. It was a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and,W most importantly, a celebration of reading.
In the Secondary school, there were quizzes, “drop everything and read” (DEAR) sessions, a short story read out across five lessons, a book sale in the library, a recycled book sale organised by the Eco Committee and, most exciting of all, everyone dressed up as book characters.
In Primary, apart from the book character costumes, children talked about their favourite books in circle time, and they had secondary students coming to read to them throughout the day. Teachers and staff read their favourite books to the children in various location around the school, for which children had signed up in advance. The most popular were ‘The Maze Runner’, ‘The Secret Society of Dragon Protectors’, ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’.
The objective of celebrating World Book Day was simple: to get everyone reading. The tagline for World Book Day this year was ‘Do Something Booky’ and the children had a great time collecting evidence of the ‘booky’ things they had done.
Doha College have excellent libraries in both Primary and Secondary, with librarians on hand to help children choose age appropriate books too. All children have dedicated library slots where books are shared and borrowed. The children can come to the library at any time after school to choose their favourite books. The libraries are stocked with the most popular and up to date books from all the children’s favourite authors. Additionally, as a digital school, Doha College provides all children with access to Kindle readers on their ipads.
Why so much focus on reading books? The more books children read, the faster their vocabulary is expanded. Reading books regularly stimulates children’s imagination, accelerates their emotional development and fosters natural curiosity. Children quickly learn to visualise the scenarios from the stories by reading the text alone. As children read different books, their knowledge on various subjects increases multifold. In addition, everything that they learn at this age stays in their mind for a long time to come.
Here are some titles of recommended reading: The Gruffalo, Winnie the Witch, We’re going on a Bear Hunt (age 5-8), Fantastic Mr Fox, Horrid Henry, The Illustrated Mum (age 8-10), Harry Potter, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Tom Gates (age 10-12, and over).
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