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Published 6th Mar 2018

World book day for pupils from park end primary school

Pupils from Park End Primary School in Middlesbrough marked World Book Day by taking a literacy-themed train journey to York to see Tim Peake’s historic space capsule at the National Railway Museum.

Thanks to a partnership between the National Literacy Trust and Grand Central Rail, Year 5 pupils boarded a train at Eaglescliffe today. In support of the Middlesbrough Reads campaign, pupils received free space-themed books to encourage reading for pleasure during the journey and took part in quizzes and activities about space, a topic they have been learning about this term.

When they arrived at the National Railway Museum, the class came face-to-face with the impressive spacecraft that transported Tim Peake back to Earth after his visit to the International Space Station in December 2015.

This is the second consecutive year that the National Literacy Trust and Grand Central have celebrated World Book Day together. In 2017, pupils from The Avenue Primary School enjoyed a Where’s Wally?-themed rail journey to York.

The National Literacy Trust Hub in Middlesbrough, which was re-branded as Middlesbrough Reads this year, brings together a range of partners to promote reading and improve literacy levels in the town. Established in 2013, successes to date include an award-winning project to encourage parents of premature babies to read to their children, and improvements in early years attainment after running the National Literacy Trust’s Early Words Together programme.

As part of World Book Day, every pupil in Middlesbrough received a special £1 book token, which can be exchanged for a World Book Day book or be used to get £1 off a full price book. This year’s 10 titles include Oi Goat! by Kes Gray, Brain Freeze by Tom Fletcher and The Girl Who Thought She Was A Dog by Clare Balding.

Middlesbrough Reads also gifted an additional 100 £1 books to NEPACS, a charity that supports the families of prisoners in the North East.

Allison Potter, Manager of the National Literacy Trust Hub in Middlesbrough, said:

“World Book Day is a fantastic celebration of everything that’s great about reading. We know that children who enjoy reading and read regularly do better at school, which in turn helps them to fulfil their potential and succeed in life. We’re thrilled be working with Grand Central for a second year to offer another group of children the amazing chance to receive free books and visit Tim Peake’s space capsule. It promises to be out of this world!”

Janine Sykes, Grand Central’s Stakeholder and Communities Manager, said:

“Initiatives like this are really important to Grand Central. Supporting our communities underpins all aspects of our business and we’re excited to see so many people doing such great work. Moreover, though we love trains, how could we not be excited about seeing Tim Peake’s spacecraft?”

Amy Hampton, teacher at Park End Primary School, said:

“We are delighted that our pupils have the chance to embark on this special journey for World Book Day, as part of the Middlesbrough Reads campaign. We are about to study space and so the visit to Tim Peake’s Spacecraft will be a unique way to introduce the topic in an exciting environment outside the classroom, and take home brilliant books to inspire reading!”

To find out more about the work of the National Literacy Trust in Middlesbrough, visit

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