Students and staff have enjoyed celebrating UNESCO World Book Day at The British School in The Netherlands (BSN). For our Junior School campuses, Junior School Leidschenveen (JSL) and Junior School Vlaskamp (JSV), the festivities took place on 25 April, and our two Senior Schools, Senior School Leidschenveen (SSL) and Senior School Voorschoten (SSV) celebrated on 5 May.
This year's Junior School Book Day theme was 'Using Our Voice'. After all, the books we know and love are all thanks to authors' sharing their voices to tell a story!
Junior School Leidschenveen Class Teacher, Helen Harper, said of the day:
"We thoroughly enjoyed celebrating the wonderful power of books and the joy of reading. Our students were visited by four different authors, who all inspired and ignited imaginations. The authors also delivered powerful messages about perseverance, passion and dedication.
The atmosphere of the day was fantastic, with children queuing for book signings, creating their own characters and taking part in workshops with the authors to learn some tricks of being a writer. Through book talks, our children also shared their favourite stories written in a variety of languages.
Welcoming Authors to the BSN
We were delighted to welcome four talented, published authors – two of whom are BSN staff members staff! – to our Junior School campuses. The authors we were lucky to have join us for the day were Ellie Irving ('The Matilda Effect' and more), Chandrakant Bhosle ('The Extraordinary World of Cats'), Marianne de Best (Dutch Teacher at JSV, and author of 'Een Gorillababy in het Paleis') and Alison Zeitler (Teaching Assistant at JSV, and multiple published author, including 'The Legend of Dragon Moon'). Our Junior School students were excited to meet the four authors and to have copies of their books signed!
It was amazing to meet different authors!
Junior School student
Additionally, we enjoyed author-led assemblies, story times featuring their brilliant books, and writing workshops, such as how to create our own book characters with author Ellie Irving. There were some very creative ideas from the students, such as 'Zularo', whose one wish is to become the best pirate there is, who loves pizza, and whose best memory is defeating Blackbeard!
Each Junior School student received a keepsake from the day – a Book Day-themed bookmark with a fitting quote from 'The Matilda Effect':
There are no limits to your imagination! And don’t be afraid to fail! Every time something goes wrong, it’s a chance to learn what to do right the next time.
Ellie Irving, 'The Matilda Effect'
At Senior School Leidschenveen, students were (virtually) visited by Chris Bradford, author of the popular 'Bodyguard' and 'Young Samurai' book series. Year 8 students had the incredible opportunity to hear first-hand about the skills required to be a successful bodyguard as Chris shared his insights and answered their questions. The students were visibly engaged and inspired by the talk. The SSL Librarian commented: "Since the visit, we've noticed a significant increase in the borrowing of Chris Bradford's books from our library!"
Sharing Our Love of Books
At both Junior School campuses, students could share their favourite book with their peers: each brought a wrapped and an object connected to that book. Students were very inventive with their clues, and we all had great fun guessing each other's books.
One of the most exciting activities of the day at Senior School Leidschenveen was the 'Guess The Shelfie' competition. Staff were invited to submit a picture of their bookshelf at home, and the students were challenged with matching the staff to the bookshelves. Well done to the winners who guessed correctly!
Senior School Voorschoten accessorised their uniforms for the day with items inspired by their favourite book – some even came in full costume! There was also a book-themed sale of baked tasty treats, of which all proceeds will be donated to Read to Grow – a charity that supports projects in developing countries with book donations.
It's safe to say that Book Day at the BSN was a resounding success! What a way to celebrate one of life's treasures, books. We hope the day has enabled students and staff to discover new, exciting authors and books and has solidified their love for old favourites. Thank you to all the staff and students who made the day possible.
We're already looking forward to next year's celebrations!