Gangsta Granny and Frankenstein book their places at top school

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Gangsta Granny, Skulduggery Pleasant and Frankenstein were just some of the characters to be found strolling around the corridors of a leading North Wales independent school on World Book Day.

Myddelton College students from dressed up as their favourite literary character and donated pre-loved books to the college’s expanding new library.

Harry Mead, 12, of Connah’s Quay, dressed as Frankenstein for World Book Day as he has recently read the Mary Shelley classic and he said: “I really enjoyed Frankenstein. It has important moral messages. Things like it doesn’t matter what people look like so we should give everyone a chance. And if you create something or get into a situation you can’t run away.

“I enjoy the fact reading is important at Myddelton College. We have reading sessions every day and that’s important. I like horror stories as I like being scared by what I read. I read Stephen King’s The Shining which was very good.”

Isabella Stone, 12, of Ruthin, is a big fan of David Walliams books and dressed as a member of the Midnight Gang she said: “David Walliams books are funny and are always page-turners. I can never put his books down.

“Reading can take you to different places, especially books with no pictures. I can read a chapter and imagine it differently to my friend.”

“At Myddelton College we get lots of reading time which is brilliant and so important.

“I’ve donated a couple of my old books to the school library which is a great idea. It means someone else can get the same pleasure I had from reading them.”

Elfreda Connor, 11, from Dyserth, said: “I dressed as Lyra Silvertongue from His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman. I love adventure books and fantasy stories that have magic involved.

“I became a word millionaire in September last year. I really enjoy World Book Day and I’ve donated a couple of David Walliams books and a couple of Jacqueline Wilson books too so others can enjoy them.”

Myddelton College Headmaster Andrew Allman said: “World Book Day helps make learning fun and some students have gone to great lengths to get their costumes exactly right. All our students participate in one way or another and all are involved in our accelerated reading programme.

“That programme has seen some of our students improve their reading ability by up to five reading years in a very short space of time.

“Today is an opportunity for our students to share their favourite books and characters by dressing up while also donating books to the Myddelton College college library so that others can enjoy them too.”

Alan Biles-Liddell, Myddelton College’s head of English, said: “We use the accelerated reading scheme which helps to give us a profile of where a student is age-wise in relation to their actual physical age. We are now finding children are reading well ahead of their age.

“When it comes to GCSE’s for example it means students who excel at reading have an important head start.

“Our 10-year-old Year 6 students have been reading an age appropriate version of Frankenstein. It gives them an insight into important moral issues which we can then discuss. Things like cloning and the moral dilemmas surrounding science.

“The accelerated reading scheme also delivers a competitive edge. Students can become word millionaires by reading a million words. In fact we have one student who will soon become a word millionaire twice over.”

Myddelton College, a co-educational day and boarding school, was the UK’s newest independent school when it opened in the autumn of 2016 and is the only school in North Wales with a 5G network.

The Estyn Report issued last year praised the way the school celebrates its diversity, said that pupils’ behaviour was “exemplary” and was also impressed by the high level of support and guidance provided by the “committed staff”.

The school currently has 70 boarders and 150 day pupils with 45 staff, including over 30 teachers, and Mr Allman added: “The school has integrated into the local community very well and people here are delighted is it open again and making a contribution to the local community.”