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Fiona Wilkes, Independent Usborne Organiser

World Book Day Winners 2020

12th June 2020

World Book Day is one of our favourite days of the year, and our Independent Usborne Organisers love nothing more than making World Book Day a day to remember for schools across the UK and mainland Europe. 

This year's World Book Day wasn't what we'd all hoped and planned for, but we are still excited to celebrate the events that were planned and held by our wonderful Organisers! March saw many amazing events across the UK celebrating the joys of reading and the importance of every child finding the book that really speaks to them. Sadly, April saw most our European events unable to happen, but our Organisers found other ways to reach children in these difficult times, and to help them with all kinds of different recommendations.

In spite of these difficulties, we want to celebrate our winning schools and their enthusiasm for literacy, learning and reading for pleasure. We spoke to Organisers about the events the schools held (or had planned to hold), their relationships with the schools, and why they were so thrilled that the schools were winners in our competition.

Our first prize was an author event with Matt Brown (UK primary), Darren Simpson (UK secondary) and Sophie Anderson (EU primary and secondary) - something that we know will be talked about by pupils for years to come! Here's more about the winning schools:

Highfield School, Southampton

"I started working with Highfield School in 2017 when we ran a sponsored read event together in the autumn. Since then, we have held this event annually but moved it to coincide with World Book Day. I set a number of fun sponsored reading challenges for the KS1 and KS2 children so that both the Infant and Junior site could get involved. It has always been so well received by the pupils and teachers and I really enjoy delivering boxes and boxes of lovely new books for them to enjoy." Gemma Cotterell, Independent Usborne Organiser

Bramhall High School, Stockport

"This was the first time the school had worked with Usborne, and I was keen to show what we can do! I ran a sponsored reading event for years seven and eight and we themed it specifically around the benefits of reading for pleasure and wellbeing - my passion! We set up a display in the library so that the pupils could go and check out the books and be involved with the selection. This worked brilliantly, and they raised £950 which, along with their 60% free books, will be spend on fiction for the library once things get back to normal. I'm so proud of what they did and how we have made a difference, and this author visit will mean so much to them after the one they had booked for last month was cancelled." Clare Johnson, Independent Usborne Organiser

The British School of Milan, Milan

"I'm so pleased the British School of Milan was one of the winners of the World Book Day competition for schools in the EU as I have a long relationship with them, both as an Organiser and as a parent, as my son attended the school. BSM has always supported my Usborne events and has a library full of Usborne books to prove it! The Head of English had planned an extra-special World Book Day celebration this year which unfortunately wasn't able to go ahead, but I've been working with them online since so we are making sure the children have plenty to read with an emphasis now of course on Sophie Anderson's brilliant books!" Sandy Wild, Independent Usborne Organiser

Jules Verne Campus, Munich

"Jules Verne Campus is a bilingual school for 5-18 year olds where I run successful book fairs three times a year. I love the World Book Day event as I get to see so many excited students. It's so busy and chaotic but I love it! I'm so glad the school has won as they are so supportive of my business and I love being able to provide so many fantastic English books for the school." Nicky Powell, Independent Usborne Organiser

Our second prize was a class set of fiction titles of the school's choice. Here are our winners:

Kilkhampton Primary School, Bude

"I worked with Kilkhampton Primary School over World Book Day in March 2020. The children took part in a Ready Steady Read and I also ran a Book Fair one afternoon for parents and staff. The children raised over £1400 for their book order - which is just amazing as they're a small village school. So they will receive over £840 extra in free books from Usborne! Well done Kilk - you really deserve the set of class readers." Ailsa Horton, Independent Usborne Organiser

Rainhill High School, Prescot

"Rainhill High have a mission to revamp and freshen up their school library so they took the opportunity to tie in a Ready, Steady, Read with World Book Day 2020. Pupils challenged themselves to sponsored reading challenges and an 'extreme reading' photo challenge. Throughout the day, pupils were involved with a range of book related activities including: a 'book tasting', origami bookmark making, quizzes, and a shared story across the day. There was a great buzz around the school with conversations linked to reading, which were wonderful to hear. The school are delighted to have won the WBD competition and are so looking forward to receiving their chosen title." Christina Taylor, Independent Usborne Organiser

The British School of Warsaw, Warsaw

"We've run book fairs yearly at the British School of Warsaw for seven years now. It's a blast every time with hundreds of children browsing through hundreds of books. I strongly believe children need to have the possibility to choose books for themselves and not just be presented with adults' choices. That's to me what really encourages them to follow their interests and thus develop the love of reading. I'm happy they won knowing how creative they are, I'm sure they'll be inspired by the books to do something amazing." Aneta Grzegruzulka-Kanik, Independent Usborne Organiser 

International School of Billund, Billund

"We have held a World Book Day Fair at the International School in Billund, Denmark for the last four years. Usually, I turn up with boxes full of book samples and the students and parents come and visit my stall to browse the books, put in orders and generally we have a good time discussing our favourite books and authors. Because of the coronavirus outbreak this year, things were a little different. We still wanted to go ahead with an event for the school, and we decided to hold a virtual book fair. We invited all the parents and students to take part and the school were delighted with all the free books they received as a result. They were then thrilled when they heard that they had won a class set of books, saying it was the good news they needed right now!" Amanda John, Independent Usborne Organiser

Our third prize was £50 worth of Usborne books of the school's choice. Here are our winners:

St Patrick's Catholic Primary, Romford

"I visited St. Patrick's to give an assembly to the children and get them excited about holding the sponsored read event for their Literacy week. The literacy leader had lots already planned to celebrate WBD and wanted to maximise on the occasion and refresh the books in the school, especially the range of fiction available to the juniors. I could sense from my visit how enthusiastic the children were to get their hands on some new stories and find out more about Unipiggles and monsters! There was a real buzz around their literacy week which was a pleasure to be a part of." Lorna Taylor, Independent Usborne Organiser

Kesteven and Sleaford Girls High School, Sleaford

"I was delighted to work with Clare Gibson at Kesteven and Sleaford Girls High School. The planning started back in November 2019, when I got in contact with the school and Clare kindly invited me in for a chat. I went in with my Usborne bag of young adult fiction books and some of our mindset books, plus a catalogue. It was lovely to see the school library being used by a large number of high school girls independently studying surrounded by shelves of books. I am so pleased Clare and the girls have won £50 of books in the World Book Day prize draw." Sarah Singleton, Independent Usborne Organiser

Istituto Comprensivo Rita Levi Montalcini, Torino

"IC Montalcini is a very big school, it includes children from three to thirteen years old. Sadly we weren't able to have the event we'd planned for World Book Day due to the lockdown, but the last event we had was a great success with happy teachers! I held a book fair and led a storytelling and Poppy and Sam workshop with five year old children. I then participated in an 'international readings' event and read one of our beautiful stories from the Usborne reading programme - I was excited to share our magical world with the teachers! Last week I received amazing news about the WBD competition and it was fantastic for me to know that IC had won third place. The teachers were excited and they are looking forward to having another event with me when it's safe to do so." Federica Frino, Independent Usborne Organiser

Rosenland Education Hub, Prahova

"Rosenland Education Hub is an English language and certification center. The scheduled event was a Ready Steady Read. The main goal was to encourage the children to read. They don't read if they are not getting the 'lecture menu' suitable for their age, individual interest and level. But, with all that, every issue has a solution - a weekly 'bite or taste' of reading (a book borrowed from the Hub). Instead of 'much-loved' homework, the children chose a book and enjoyed it for a week. The children took part in activities such as drawing favourite scenes from books and identifying key quotes in the reading. We sadly weren't able to award the winners due to the global coronavirus crisis, but I am delighted that the Hub library is renewing its wardrobe with this award - there will be more books for children to read!" Alina Marilena Ursu, Independent Usborne Organiser

Want to celebrate World Book Day with us next year? Get in contact with your local Independent Usborne Organiser to find out more about the types of events they can offer you and how they can help you to get free books for your school. To be put in contact with your local Organiser email

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