We celebrated some of the wonders of the literary world last week for World Book Day with visits from acclaimed authors Kate Pankhurst and Paula Rawsthorne, who both gave the girls a peek behind the curtain into writing stories for a living.

Kate Pankhurst is an illustrator and author known for her ‘Fantastically Great Women’ book series. After investigating her surname and discovering herself to be the distant relative of famous suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, she switched from writing fiction to documenting some of the most influential women who have shaped the world we live in today, in a way that is accessible for children.

Kate spent the morning of International Women’s Day with girls across the school, clearing up misconceptions about the suffragette movement, playing a ‘guess the job’ game to encourage pupils to think about some of the weird and wacky jobs women might have done through history, and what she uses as inspiration for her writing behind the scenes. As the morning ended, the girls had a chance to have a go at drawing the first woman to climb Mount Everest, Junko Tabei, in Kate’s signature style.

Paula Rawsthorne is the author of ‘Shell’, one of the books on the shortlist for this year’s GDST Book Award. Paula asked some thought-provoking questions to Year 8 related to the book’s plot, following a girl who wakes up in someone else’s body, and guided the class in writing a love letter to their favourite body part before trying their own creative writing. The intriguing session left everyone pondering the question, “Is our body really our identity, or is it just a shell for us?”

World Book Day was additionally celebrated with a school-wide challenge for pupils to come to school dressed as their favourite book character, as well as get stuck in to their own new books at the Infant and Junior book fairs. The day was a fantastic chance to appreciate the power of words, but also have some fun along the way.