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World Book Day: Hampstead pupils don fancy dress as schools transform into ‘fantasy wonderlands’

PUBLISHED: 14:16 06 March 2020 | UPDATED: 11:59 17 March 2020

North Bridge House in costume enjoying their books. Picture: North Bridge House School

North Bridge House in costume enjoying their books. Picture: North Bridge House School

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Hampstead and Highgate pupils dressed up as their favourite fictional characters on Thursday (March 5) to celebrate World Book Day.

Children from University College School Hampstead. Picture: UCS HampsteadChildren from University College School Hampstead. Picture: UCS Hampstead

Primary and nursery pupils from North Bridge House (NBH), University College School (UCS) and St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School (SJCPC) donned outfits from the heroes of their favourite books - old and new - during a special series of activities including themed assemblies, peer storytelling and ‘drop everything and read’ sessions.

Christine McLelland, NBH nursery headteacher, whose school used costumes made from recycled or previously owned material, said: “ World Book Day is always such a colourful annual event for us in every way.

“Beyond the marvellous costumes this year, our lunch was deliciously Roald Dahl inspired, the school was brimming with creative energy and most importantly, the children had the opportunity to celebrate what they love most about something they do not just on this day but every day - reading!”

At UCS, staff transformed the school into a ‘fantasy and fairytale wonderland’, with their pupils entering through a gingerbread house made from sweets, before working their way through Hansel and Gretal’s ‘breadcrumb trail’.

Kids enjoyed a day off from their normal routine. Picture: University College School HampsteadKids enjoyed a day off from their normal routine. Picture: University College School Hampstead

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Local illustrator, Sharon King Chai, then shared the secrets of her design processes and drawings in her latest book Starbird.

A UCS spokesperson said: “Many pupils dressed as their favourite literary characters and staff joined in the fun – Cinderella, Rapunzel, a Fairy Godmother and a wicked witch were all spotted about the school.

“These teachers shared their favourite stories and the boys enjoyed reading books with each other during their House assemblies, where they also showcased their fabulous costumes from their chosen book.

World Book Day aims to provide every young person with a book. Picture: North Bridge House SchoolWorld Book Day aims to provide every young person with a book. Picture: North Bridge House School

“It was a wonderful day and was a fitting celebration of the rich genre of fairytales and fantasy writing.

“For those who were lucky enough to see Little Red Riding Hood, Prince Charming and the Three Little Pigs at the Hampstead school, it will certainly live long in the memory.”

SJCPC headteacher Angela Noronha added: “World Book Day is a great way to get budding bookworms excited about reading and show how magical books can be.”

World Book Day is a charity and annual event aiming to give every child a book of their own, while also celebrating authors and illustrators.

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