School librarian Kate Gieler was proud to attend the live final of the BBC 500 Words competition.
She was selected after judging some of this year’s 135,000 stories and was thrilled to attend the show at Hampton Court Palace last Friday with her 12-year-old son, Torrin.
Mrs Gieler is volunteer librarian at Glebe Primary School, in Church Lane, Southwick, where the pupils have had a good year celebrating reading.
Some of the Glebe children had entered stories into the competition but sadly none of them made it through to the final 50.
Mrs Gieler said: “It was an incredible experience and all six winning stories were worthy of their medals. The one about the robin had everyone in tears.”
Torrin shadow judged the stories with his mum and his personal favourite was The Poo Fairy.
He said: “I thought David Walliams was the perfect choice to read this out. It sounded like something he might have written himself.”
The event was broadcast live on the Radio 2 breakfast show, so it was quite an early start.
Mrs Gieler said: “We left the house at 4.30am but it was worth it to be part of this.”
The show featured performances from John Newman, Bastille and Alexandra Burke, as well as Chris Evans driving the Duchess of Cornwall in to the historic palace courtyard in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Afterwards, Mrs Gieler and Torrin were treated to free tickets to explore Hampton Court and were lucky enough to meet and chat with two celebrity judges, Charlie Higson and Frank Cottrell-Boyce.
Back at school, Glebe pupils have been enjoying their two new purpose-built libraries, getting to know their new patron of reading, author Vashti Hardy, and welcoming Stewart Foster, award-winning author of The Bubble Boy and All The Things That Could Go Wrong, who got the whole school buzzing for books.
The Chatterbooks reading group scooped the top prize in the Royal Society’s national competition to make a video review about science books and were sent copies of Sophie Anderson’s heart-warming debut novel, The House With Chicken Legs, to read and review for Usborne and the Reading Agency.
The next reading-related event is a visit from author Grant Koper, who will be sharing his book The Day Granny’s Knickers Blew Away with reception and key stage one.
Then the whole school will be getting ready to join in with the Summer Reading Challenge, with support from Southwick Library.