Storybooks come to life at Riverview

Samera Patel, Sky da Silva, Milan van der Nest, Evie Ralfe, Mike Wybrow, (back) Vava Magaia, Holly Muggeridge, Ruby James, Reneé Sutherland and Emily Pretorius.

MALALANE – Storybook characters were seen everywhere at Riverview Prep School on March 3 as pupils dressed up to celebrate World Book Day, held the previous day.

Pupils could dress up as their favourite book character, and had to read a bit of the book they used as inspiration.

Outfits ranged from Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings’ Gandalf the Grey, to Dorothy from Wizard of Oz and Pinocchio. A few of the teachers also played along.

Mss. Grace Sutherland as Little Red Riding Hood, Michelle Johnson as Mrs Twit from The Twits and Emily Key as Miss Honey from Matilda.

Teachers chose a winner per class, who received a small prize. All the winners gathered on stage during the school assembly and an overall winner was chosen.

Evie Ralfe, won a R300 voucher from Exclusive Books for her Paddington Bear outfit.

Overall winner Evie Ralfe dressed as Paddington Bear.

Reading is strongly promoted at the school. The headmaster, Mr Gareth Dry writes: “At the beginning of the year, Riverview Preparatory School decided to no longer send children home from school with hours and hours of homework.

“The reasoning behind this has a strong scientific foundation, with all studies over the past decade showing that homework is ineffective and sometimes damaging to children in primary school.

“Instead of homework, Riverview children are expected to read for at least 20 minutes every day. In grade R and below, parents are expected to read to their children to engender a love of reading.”

“Each class teacher has their own unique system of checking reading, but it is checked daily and the teachers are strict.

“Why? Because reading is the foundation of all learning. If a child cannot read, they cannot do any of the other subjects. As a former matric teacher in English and drama, I was shocked every year at the number of children in matric who couldn’t read. In content-heavy, word-driven subjects like English, drama, history, and others, the ability to read a question accurately in an exam is paramount, as well as the ability to answer coherently. Reading hugely improves comprehension and literary clarity.”

Olivia Ralfe as Harry Potter.

“Do you want your child’s spelling and communication to improve? Get them reading. Do you want your child’s general ability in understanding the language to improve? Get them reading.

“Studies have shown that schools with strong reading programmes have better literacy and numeracy marks and generally happier children. Does anyone need a better excuse to get children’s noses away from the TV and into a book?”

Nova Sutherland dressed as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, complete with a toy dog.

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