Last week, Wellington College Hangzhou celebrated Literacy Week and World Book Day. Pupils enjoyed a vast range of activities both in class and out. This included book character cosplay, book swaps, online author visits, sponsored reading, bookmark designing and more.
Highlights from Literacy Week 2022
Although we cannot have authors on campus, our pupils could still enjoy some engaging sessions with authors who joined us online.
Our younger pupils enjoyed sessions with Nick Toczek, a poet, author and magician who began writing over fifty years ago.
Older pupils in Primary were able to interact with Ali Sparkes. She had written over 50 popular books and took them on a journey back in time to when she struggled with reading and writing in school and explained how finding the ‘right’ book in the library helped open her world.
Finally, our Junior High and Senior pupils met with Chris Bradford, who has written series including Young Samurai and Bodyguard. He explained that his technique for writing involves a lot of personal experience – he even spent time in Japan training as a samurai.
Books by each author are available from our school libraries.
Our book swap saw over 200 pupils take part across the whole college, with over 2000 books contributed to the swap. Children taking part in the Nursery and Lower Primary visited the Main Library where the Huili swap was held. So many excited faces were browsing and choosing books to take home, which was a joy to see. Swapping gently-used books instead of buying new ones also reminds our pupils of the importance of re-use, which is especially poignant when celebrating Earth Day.
Artworks from pupils
Our bookmark design competition was very popular among our pupils, with over 150 entries. Judging the entries was a tough job for the librarians. We considered a few criteria in the judging, including practicalities for having it printed, clarity of image and writing (relative to the pupil’s age), and overall design appeal. While we wish we could have chosen them all for printing, we managed to whittle the entries down the some of the very best. The winners will be printed as bookmarks and be available to everyone in our campus libraries. A few of our favourite entries are included below.
Our sponsored reading event encourages our pupils to read more while helping others. 164 pupils across the college have raised/pledged RMB 40,489 so far. All money raised will be donated to The Library Project https://www.library-project.org/, which works with the Lingshan Foundation to develop school and classroom libraries in rural schools in China. Many children in these schools do not have ready access to a wide range of children's novels and nonfiction; some have none. By supporting the installation of new libraries and book corners and the training of staff and parents, our pupils can help disadvantaged children become confident readers.
Dress up Day
Our pupils also had a lot of fun dressing up as their favourite book characters, as did many of the teachers. The junior high English team joined forces to dress as the Hogwarts teaching staff – even Delores Umbridge made an appearance!
In Upper Primary, we started the week with an assembly that showcased some of the poetry and book-based drama that Grades 4 and 5 learned in Drama lessons. Pupils also got to enjoy a game guessing the identities of famous characters from science fiction and fantasy stories from quotes, descriptions and small slices of pictures.
Throughout the week, pupils worked on special English lessons around the theme, culminating in a piece of writing entered into an in-school competition – winners to be announced.
Finally, on Thursday, pupils across grades 3-6 enjoyed two lessons off their regular lessons to take part in a ‘carousel’ of activities organised and run by their English and Chinese teachers, exploring different types of texts and writing skills, such as being given a book cover and brainstorming possible stories for it, or using amazing adjectives to describe classic book characters.
Literacy Week was celebrated in the Junior High English and Chinese department with a highly competitive dubbing competition; even the staff involved. We had some outstanding entries from all grades and some hilarious performances of Zootopia, Despicable Me, Nuhuo Zhongan and Xihongshi Shoufu, but a clear winner, with an excellent impression of the evil witch from Snow White, was Angela S.
Linda L, Kevin Ch, Tara Ch, Angela S, Allison X, Edison Ch, Mason F, Jocelyn Ch, Christina C, Harry J produced an engaging performance of Luoyi Changge supported by the Chinese department.
On Thursday, students and teachers celebrated the importance of reading by dressing up as a favourite literary character, which was a success, as many photographs can attest. We also celebrated by burying our time capsule and through a Read Theory readathon won by Brady W, who gained over 300 knowledge points.