Children and adults adore his sense of humour, his fantastical characters and his more realistic ones too. With more than 250 million copies sold worldwide, the books of beloved British children’s author Roald Dahl have been delighting readers for generations. Always original, often hilarious and sometimes just a little bit scary, Dahl’s larger-than-life characters and situations show us how important and exciting the world of reading really is.
Wellington College International Shanghai has celebrated Dahl’s birthday on 13th September in previous years and 2018 is no exception. This year, however, the Prep School is extending the celebrations by having an entire Roald Dahl week! Starting today, the different year groups will be engaged in a series of literary activities surrounding the stories, characters and ideas of this iconic author and his love of telling tall tales.
Year 3 have already got things going with their outstanding display board about The Magic Finger. Later this week they’ll be writing stories of their own inspired by the book, as they prepare to give a special Roald Dahl-themed assembly based on their literary adventures. Today, year 4 are busily investigating the life and times of the man himself, and later on in the week they’ll be putting together their own comic strips of “the good teacher and the bad teacher” based on their character investigations of Miss Honey and Miss Trunchbull from Roald Dahl’s timeless classic Matilda.
As well as the Prep School classrooms, the College Library is going to be a hub of Roald Dahl reading and storytelling. This week we welcome back Eden Ballantyne, an exceptional children’s educator and storyteller who was with us for the most recent Wellington Arts Festival. Throughout the week, Eden is going to be running a series of storytelling workshops with years 3-5, helping them bring the characters to life in their minds – you will have to wait for the surprise of which character he will be dressed as!
Celebrating Roald Dahl Week is just one of the many ways in which we are transforming Wellington’s Prep School into what the National Literacy Trust calls an “outstanding reading school”. By that we mean we are developing new ways to make sure that our pupils are falling in love with reading a little more every day. We want them to be exploring new books, new stories and characters, different genres and ideas each day. Reading is not only an essential learning discipline for encouraging creativity, literacy and communication skills, it’s also a gateway to entirely different worlds that both children and adults can (and should) dive into every single day.
So watch this space and look forward to lots of new events and opportunities for Wellington’s teachers, parents and pupils to share their love of reading with everyone throughout the College.