BUDDING bookworms have been guessing who lies behind the mask as they join a global celebration of reading.

In a series of virtual assemblies before returning to school, pupils at Barnard Castle Preparatory School were asked to guess which teachers were behind various masks, including a lion, a unicorn and a dragon mask, as they gave them clues to which books they were describing.

Every year the school marks World Book Day with a number of novel events to highlight the importance of reading as the foundation of all their learning.

This year staff streamed the celebration as part of pupils’ successful home learning programme which they have been engaged in since the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

By video link headmistress Laura Turner told pupils: “UNESCO’s World Book Day has been running for more than 20 years in over 100 countries with 14 million children receiving a special voucher to exchange for one of ten specially selected titles.

“The more you read the more you know. Books are magical and immerse us in other worlds and times. They spark our imagination and help us become better writers. If you find a special book you have got a friend for life and reading is so relaxing. Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.”

At Senior School all year groups also marked the occasion with a series of house competitions and World Book Day goodies.

They were challenged to build the highest free-standing tower of books, photographing their efforts against a tape measure.

A Jackanory special tasked them with performing an extract from their favourite book for a 75 second long video set in a relevant setting, with marks for performance, delivery and dramatic effect. They also had to say why they had chosen the particular title and passage