Books take centre stage

Almost every school does the ‘dress up as a storybook character for World Book Day’ thing. And we love it!

In fact, at West End in Schools HQ we may (possibly?!) spend more time than is entirely healthy planning, sourcing and getting VERY excited about numerous characters and costumes year-round!

More often than not, before we can pack a new costume away ready to go on tour, someone will pop into the office on their way to a rehearsal or audition, spot it and volunteer to try it on!

So, dressing up for World Book Day – we totally get it!

But we also know of some other ways to showcase the brilliance of books and encourage children to explore stories in greater depth.

In this blog we look at...

Using dance to tell a story

We get children active and inspired by books in our Bringing Books to Life workshop. The children don’t just watch and listen - they dance!

Our choreographers help primary schools to explore stories like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl or Gangsta Granny by David Walliams, through dance.

Hayfield Cross - Bringing Books to Life

Hayfield Cross - Bringing Books to Life

Hayfield Cross Church of England School in Northamptonshire chose to explore The Gingerbread Man and Where the Wild Things are with us.

The Assistant Headteacher said; “The workshops and assembly were just fantastic. The children loved the whole morning and it was a great way to celebrate World Book Day in a different way. The choreographer was enthusiastic and so talented and we would be very keen to do this again next year. Thank you.”

Highfield Preparatory

Highfield Preparatory

Highfield Preparatory School in Berkshire shared this super photo of some of their pupils during a dance workshop.  

The English teacher at Highfield said; “It was a fantastic opportunity for the girls to work with a professionally trained dancer from the world of London’s West End theatre and to engage with a story in such an imaginative way.

West End in Schools is highly engaging and relevant. Their show enables children’s imaginations to go wild and promotes thinking, curiosity and good language.”


At St Augustine’s Junior School in Nottinghamshire we ran two Bringing Books to Life workshops.

The school’s Reading Recovery teacher said; “The choreographer was amazing with all ages of our children. He's engaged and inspired them all. Made them laugh, dance and in some cases take part when we least expected it! An amazing success thank you!”

One of the teachers at St Augustine’s published a blog about the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory workshop with some super photos and even a video! You can see it here.


At Lingfield School in Surrey, Years 1 to 5 all took part in our Bringing Books to Life workshops. 

Megan in Year 3 shared a few of her thoughts about the whole experience. She said; "On Wednesday a man called Michael, from West End in Schools came to our school. He is a dancer in West End shows. First, we did some warm ups and then we got into groups. We tried to make a machine from Charlie and Chocolate Factory by acting. It was such fun! Next we learnt a dance and it was funny. Sadly it ended and we said goodbye."

Lingfield School

Lingfield School

We also love the Crediton Courier report featuring the workshop we did with East Worlington Primary School in Devon. They chose to explore Gangsta Granny and Where the Wild Things Are with us. You can read the full story here.

Thank you to all of the primary schools that took part. We'll be back to share some more World Book Day feedback and other Book Week ideas soon!

Here is our QUICK ENQUIRY LINK for anyone who would like to arrange a visit.