THE importance of a new reading regime set out by headteacher Kelly James was illustrated this week as World Book Day was stretched out to five days at Lawn Primary School.

On Thursday, staff and pupils across Swindon celebrated the 17th anniversary of World Book Day, with a variety of activities to celebrate authors, illustrators and reading.

At Lawn however, the celebration took place across the week, with people from the community coming into school to read their favourite books to children, and a full parade of book characters yesterday.

Kelly was appointed headteacher in September, and places reading high on her priorities when it comes to education.

A new Kindle club has been launched at the school to coincide with this special reading week. Pupils are given the chance to sit down with their peers and read a book on Amazon’s e-readers.

She has also introduced a new weekly class reading award, which promotes regular reading at home.

“We wanted the character parade to be the culmination of the week’s activities. We stretched it to a week because in one day you can’t do too much out of the ordinary,” said Kelly.

“We have had authors coming in to discuss their books, and members of the community, including a policeman and school governor, read their favourite stories.

“We are trying to teach them that reading is not just for school, it’s for life. We have a saying: ‘If you can read, you can do anything’.

“When I took on the head role in Septem-ber I pushed reading because I have a love of it.

“Children have started taking books out into the playground to read at breaks, which shows the impact they have made.”

Everything from the Cat in the Hat to Where’s Wally was on show as pupils at the school filed into the hall and were judged on their outfits. Winners were given a £5 WHSmith voucher and the chance to buy their own book.

Charlotte Jenkins, 10, dressed up as a Tudor with the plague from Horrible Histories. She said: “It made a nice change to get dressed up. I was very excited the night before, I could barely sleep.”

Madison Sanders, eight, dressed up as one of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’s Oompa-Loompas. Adorned in orange face paint, she was up at 6am to begin getting ready.

“It took a long time,” she said. “I was up at 6am to have my breakfast and then my mum helped me get into my costume.

“In our class we have just finished reading The Witches; I’m a big fan of Roald Dahl’s books.”