Author Dan Smith made a guest appearance at a Newcastle school as part of its World Book Day celebrations. The award-winning writer, who is based in Newcastle and whose books include The Child Thief, My Friend the Enemy, My Brother’s Secret, Big Game, Boy X, Below Zero and She Wolf, gave a talk to students at St Thomas More Catholic Academy, where they had the opportunity to ask about his life and work.

He also led a writing workshop for a group of Year 7 and 8 students who had won a creative writing competition at the school.

Other World Book Day activities at St Thomas More, which is a member of the Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust, included a range of themed Key Stage 3 activities, from ‘book buffets’, where the openings of several books were sampled, to creating origami bookmarks.

Students of all ages were also challenged to expand their literary horizons, with teachers posting book reviews throughout the school’s library.

The ‘recommended reads’ were posted on the library shelves by the books, and students were hunting for the reviews,” explained Clare Feeney, who is Teaching and Learning Lead at St Thomas More. “We hoped it would encourage them to explore the library and find new books.

There will be a competition following this to see which students can read the most staff-recommended reads,” she added. “We aim to promote reading for pleasure all year round, but events like World Book Day help us to create that extra special buzz and excitement around reading.

Article prepared on behalf of Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust by Barking Dog Media. For more information email: or call 07754 271086.