Eltham Hill School in Greenwich, London, has won this year’s £20,000 World Book Day Award, funded by author James Patterson.
The prize was launched last year by Patterson to encourage children to love reading. The prize money for the winning school has doubled this year from £10,000 in 2015.
Patterson helped pick Eltham Hill School as the winner along with Jane Jackson from library furniture company BookSpace, World Book Day director Kirsten Grant, The Sun books columnist Natasha Harding and children’s laureate Chris Riddell.
Eltham Hill School won £10,000 of books and £10,000 worth of library furniture for its response to the question ‘where does your reading take you?’. Pupils at the school wrote hundreds of postcards to their friends, family, favourite writers and fictional characters, which were then published in a book.
Amy Lloyd, a spokesperson at the school, said the new resources will bring a “new energy to reading”. She said: “Winning the World Book Day Award highlights our commitment to reading across and beyond the curriculum. We’re hugely grateful to James Patterson and BookSpace and we are already seeing the results of their generosity. All these new books on this wonderful new furniture – it has transformed our library.”
The school will spend the money for books at Foyles and GOSH Comics in London, she added.
Riddell said: “As Children’s Laureate, I visit as many schools as I can, and know the differences in library facilities can be staggering. School libraries are not cheap and have no legal protection, but I believe access to books in schools is more vital than ever, so I am very grateful to James and to BookSpace for their generosity in sponsoring this extremely welcome competition.”
A second prize of £5,000 to spend on books was awarded to The Wells Free School in Tunbridge Wells, whilst runners-up Aston Academy in Sheffield, Loreto High School in Manchester and Preston Lodge High School in Preston received £3,000 each.
Sibford School in Banbury and Brooklands Farm Primary in Milton Keynes were highly commended and were each given £500.
According to the rules of the award, the prize money must be spent in local bookshops.