From 18th-24th August, Harkaway Hills College held a range of events to celebrate the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book Week. As a school that teaches spelling, writing and reading through a comprehensive and multisensory arts program, we place a great importance on the appreciation of quality literature. Our aim is to develop skilled readers, critical listeners, and accomplished writers and spellers. The Book Week celebrations provided a range of opportunities for students, staff and parents to enjoy and be immersed in literature.

We invited Fiona Basile, a Melbourne based photographer, journalist and children’s book author to run workshops for our students. Her children’s book ‘Shhh…God Is in the Silence’ was recently published by Loyola Press. Fiona shared her breadth of experience with our students and took them through the stages of planning, drafting and publishing a story book. The children relished this opportunity to meet a published author and spent time following the workshop drafting their own stories.

In the months leading up to Book Week, over 95% of our students participated in the Premier’s Reading Challenge. Considering it was our first year to participate, this was an overwhelming achievement made possible by the commitment of the Harkaway parents. Prizes were awarded in each year level for children who completed the challenge first and who demonstrated virtues throughout the challenge.  All students who participated were given a participation certificate. The most highly sought-after prize was the Champion Year Level award, which was won by Miss Burger’s Foundation class. The Foundation students enjoyed a treasure hunt as their prize, as the theme of Book Week was ‘Find Your Treasure’.

The highlight of the week was our Book Parade. Students dressed up as characters from their favourite books. Prizes were awarded for costume creativity and effort. All staff dressed as characters from Martin Handford’s famous series Where’s Wally? Our college principal, Mr Frank Monagle, judged the costume competition dressed as Wizard White Beard. The parade included a concert prepared by the classroom teachers. Each year level performed a poem. The Foundation class performed Alexander Beetle by A.A. Milne; Year 1 and 2 performed Mulga Bill by A.B. Paterson and Year 3 performed a section from George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl.

Book Week was a fantastic celebration of the love of literature cultivated here at Harkaway Hills College. Thank you to all the parents for their support of this initiative. It is evident in the children’s enthusiasm for reading that Harkaway has a culture where children can flourish as skilled readers. This is a reason to celebrate!


Post written by Miss Genevieve Exton, Yr 1 & 2 Classroom Teacher.