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One of the main advantages of being a non-uniform school is that children don’t have to wait until World Book Day to dress up as their favourite book character. Indeed on most school days at Highgate Primary there will be at least one Harry Potter, several Spidermen and an occasional Princess Belle. It therefore amuses me when children ask whether they can dress up for World Book Day. They can wear whatever they like on any day, so of course they can.

For many parents this annual event is the stuff of nightmares. You know it’s going to happen but it seems a long way off. You miss the reminder letter and the night before it’s that all too familiar last minute panic. I think the idea is to think of the character and then have a go at putting together the costume, but instead it becomes a case of what have we got that will give the impression we’ve thought about this long and hard. Eventually an outfit is cobbled together, but you spend a sleepless night worrying that your child will be questioned as to why in fact Pippi Longstocking is her favourite book character, knowing that the real reason is because you just happened to notice the clean stripy tights. Anyway, it all comes together in the end and children skip into the playground happy and excited, with parents relieved that once again they’ve managed to pull it off.

Of course World Book Day is much more than another dressing-up day. It’s a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and, most importantly, reading.

The ability to read is probably the most important skill we can teach children. As shared last week, with the digital revolution, the way in which we share thoughts and ideas is changing. Books on the other hand have been around for hundreds of years and it looks like they’re here to stay. They are free to borrow, portable and don’t even require a power supply. And what’s more, they have the power to transport you to a different place, a different time and a different world.

We’ve had such fun seeing the children’s World Book Day book boxes arriving at school. This has been a brilliant project that has involved children and parents sharing books, thinking creatively, working collaboratively and producing work of which they’re really proud. And if they do want to wear those stripy tights and come as Pippi Longstocking, that’s good too.