Born for Brilliant Books

Kath Saunders, Independent Usborne Organiser

School of the Term

10th July 2020

We are thrilled to announce that Winkfield St. Mary's CE Primary School are the winners of our School of the Term award for Summer Term One.

Celebrated six times a year, School of the Term is a half-termly award that is given to one UK or EU school that has had a fantastic event with an Usborne Organiser. We are very keen to showcase the amazing things that schools have achieved through working with their Usborne Organiser  it isn't just about the amount of money raised, but the difference made to the positive reading culture of that school.

It's been a difficult time for teachers and pupils recently, but Winkfield St. Mary's decided to adapt to the current climate, and worked with their Usborne Organiser, Elise Patrick, to hold a virtual event to connect them all through a shared love of reading.

Elise tells us what the school got up to:

"During the week of 18th May, I ran a three-day virtual book fair for Winkfield St. Mary's CE Primary School. In the lead up to the book fair, I worked closely with the English Lead, Mrs Alley-Mohindra, to ensure that the content would reflect key topics being covered during the second half of the summer term and to showcase Usborne's fiction books that matched the reading programme that the school currently follow.

Most important of all, was to promote the joy of reading for pleasure! This is something that is really important to Mrs Alley-Mohindra and the school and I was really inspired by Mrs Alley-Mohindra's passion for instilling a culture of reading for pleasure across the whole school.

I ran the book fair through my Facebook business page, and tried to bring the fun and excitement of a physical event to the virtual world! During the book fair I had live story times, reading short snippets from a range of our fiction books and ran interactive posts and competitions to encourage parent/carer/teacher engagement, in addition to posting regularly showcasing many different books and activities. As the book fair was across three days, I focused each day on a different age range, starting with EYFS on day one, working through to year six on day three. Through a mixture of photos and videos of the books, I was able to engage virtually with lots of different parents to share recommendations for the best books for their children.

There was so much enthusiasm and positivity throughout the event from the school and parents. The parents and pupils showed a real interest in non-fiction books such as encyclopedias and books about science and art which highlighted the broad range of interests the school encourages, and the amazing work the school does to promote reading different genres of books and to support their pupils to be lifelong learners.

I was really pleased with how well the virtual bookfair went with Winkfield. I was also blown away by the support from the PTA and the school themselves who were continually sharing posts from the bookfair reminding parents and carers about it. I have also been so impressed by Mrs Alley-Mohindra's passion for wanting to build a reading for pleasure culture in the school and think the school thoroughly deserve their accolade of School of the Term. I can't wait to work with the school again next term!"

English Lead, Mrs Alley-Mohindra stated 'Our virtual book fair was a great success due to the super organisation and creativity of Elise. Great advice and support.'

Congratulations Winkfield St. Mary's! We're so inspired by your amazing ethos towards reading in the most difficult of circumstances and by how you brought the whole school together with a fantastic reading event!