Who needs sleep when you can read? Jimmy from NorthGate High School in Dereham tells us about their 24 hr Readathon!

As part of our World Book Day celebrations, we held a 24 hour Readathon and library sleepover in the Learning Hub. 24 pupils from years 7-9 and 4 members of staff took part in the Readathon and had a variety of reasons for signing up- Sam, who read 2 books during it, had some books he wanted to finish and thought it would be a good opportunity to read them, while Hannah, who read 3 books, wanted a chance to read more as she doesn’t read much outside of school. Harriet just wanted to challenge herself and see how many books she could read in a day-she read 5 in total!

Jimmy, one of the students who took part, tells us more about the day…

On Friday 9th of March 24 people came to the Leaning Hub at 9am with bags full of books, blankets and bedrolls (also a rather large amount of chocolate and sweets). When we arrived we laid out our sleeping spaces and settled down for a full hour of reading. After the first reading stint we built cosy reading dens and then voted for the best one; we then read again for another hour in our dens.

Next we played a game of book-themed would you rather with questions like “would you rather see you favourite book dropped into a wood chipper or drop it down the toilet?” Then it was time for break when we could do whatever we wanted. So obviously I kept reading. About this time I finished my first book.

We kept reading until lunch when a lot of us went to the hall to get a hot meal. I got fish and chips. But I couldn’t finish because I had eaten too much chocolate earlier in the day. When lunch was over we played a game of Pictionary- I played twice and guessed a lot more. Then we read until the end of the school day when we had a break while some people went to drama rehearsals until 17:00. When they got back we played giant Jenga where all the blocks had reading related questions attached such as ‘Which book do you wish had a sequel?’ and ‘Where is your favourite place to read?’

After jenga it was time for food. We had sandwiches, biscuits, fruit and squash. After this we were free to relax with our friends or keep reading. Later we ordered pizza from Dominos and rounded off the night of by watching ‘A Monster Calls.’ After that everyone stayed awake for a few more hours before most of us fell asleep. Overall, we read 34 books and I personally read 4 books over the course of the day. It was really excellent, I loved the reading and the dens and hope we can do it again.

Other pupils commented:

‘The best thing about the readathon is that I read books I wouldn’t usually pick to read.’- Laura, year 8.

‘It was really fun. Can we do it next year?’ Harriet, year 8.

‘The best thing was reading and making friends.’ Kerri, year 7.

Miss Ling, the school librarian added: Not only was the event a fantastic opportunity for our most avid readers to come together and spend the day reading and sharing books, but the premise of staying at school for the night and raising money for charity encouraged a variety of pupils to get involved. There was a real buzz around school and I’ve already been asked numerous times when we’ll be holding our next read-a-thon! It was a huge success, raising the profile of reading across the school.’

Northgate High School
Northgate High School

Miss Donna Ling and Students

Literacy Librarian

Northgate High School

@NgateLhub