A selection of events funded by the Basic Skills Agency on behalf of the Welsh Assembly Government
Williams Medical Supplies plc
Williams Medical Supplies plc (WMS) opened its doors to 60 local school children to undertake reading sessions (held both in English and Welsh), creative activities and interactive play. The event was funded by the Basic Skills Agency and all books and equipment were donated to two local primary schools and a day care nursery.
WMS employees undertook reading sessions with their children both from their own favourite 'classics' to more contemporary fact and fiction literature.
Children were encouraged to participate in competitions by designing their own book covers and bookmarks and also to build models and colour complex fabric art boards.
The books and equipment will form part of the school's library collection for the future and encourage reading and creativity amongst the children who participated.
WMS has strong community links and World Book Day presented an ideal opportunity to work with local school children and raise the profile of the Basic Skills Agency.
Merthyr Tydfil LEA
The funding for the LEA’s World Book day activity was utilised in a variety of ways throughout the County Borough. Activities ranged from dressing up as favourite book characters to visits by authors and storytellers. Many of the pre school settings held parties with children being given two story books to share at home with their parents.
Other groups asked the little people to bring in their favourite books which were shared with other children through storytelling sessions.
One of the special events took place at Greenfield Special School where they devoted the day to different approaches to story telling. Some of these included
The story of the Little Mole involved a lively interactive approach, using visual prompts and props. On the Way Home involved pupils’ individual participation in the story development and offered opportunities in using technology to enhance the story. The Match again involved total pupil participation in supporting their team, with oranges at half-time – a very noisy affair with lots of energy required! Bumps in the Night was told in the darkness of a tent. Pupils had to use torches to light the way and to see the story unfold. You are Special offered a more formal approach with children sitting comfortably on the mat.
At the end of the day, a school assembly took place where all the children were awarded with a book token to mark the day. As you can see, the day proved a real hit with the pupils.
Pen y Dre Library:
Book Wave event
The grant was used to extend an existing ‘Book Wave’ project based around Pen y Dre and schools in its catchment area. Book Wave involves author visits and the chance for children to borrow a book published by that writer. Those who read the books were invited to write a review and discuss the book with the author. They were also given details of similar books available from the library service.
The grant was used to extend the range of the Book Wave sets by buying extra book for promotional use in 2006-2007, including:
- 200 copies of the Faber poetry anthology for children for use by any poet making future promotional visits to schools and play schemes.
- 190 copies of Barkbelly by Cat Weatherill to add to the range of Welsh authors
- Some new promotional titles for the mobile library
It was also used to arrange promotional visits by author Cat Weatherill to schools in other areas of the County Borough. During March, Cat Weatherill made two visits to each of the following primary schools (some visits using one of the mobile libraries): Ynysowen, Trelewis, Bedlinog and Edwardsville and contacted an estimated 1800 children.
Topics for discussion during the visits included stories and poems that the children enjoy reading and whatever they had read on World Book Day. They were also given suggestions of some new books they could read. Books and topics identified during the visits are being added to the mobile library that visits the areas served by the schools.
The following extracts from Cat Weatherill’s report indicates the range of activities undertaken with children:
“The children brought me poems they had written and we made up a story based on pictures in the book The Black Cauldron, which we found on the library shelves. We talked about real life stories and urban myths, and ghost stories.”
“Year 4 children had brought in their favourite books, which we discussed. Interestingly, many of the books were picture books they had kept since infancy. These children were especially fond of dragons, so they loved Custard! I also did a well-received story session with nursery and reception children.”(Cat Weatherill Book Splash Report, 2006)
Coleg Gwent, Ebbw Vale Campus
Read a Book in a Day Activity
The activity took place on Wednesday 8 March. Three groups of students from the Basic Skills Workshop and the Independent Living Skills Unit took part. Each group read at a different level.
The objectives of the activities were to:
- To build on and develop existing literacy skills
- To motivate students to read a book to the end
- To provide enjoyment of reading in a group
- To encourage peer support
- To enable students to find out what they can achieve
- To test comprehension
The outcomes of the activities were:
- Students were motivated to read a book to the end
- Student feedback was very positive – students requested to repeat the activity
- Students supported and encouraged each other throughout the activity day
- Students were delighted to complete the reading of the book
- Students discussed the contents – story and characters
- Students completed worksheets to check comprehension