Designing book covers at Taylor High

To celebrate World Book Day this year, staff and pupils at Taylor High School were given the task of designing their own book covers for a book or book series. I had been inspired by Scottish Book Trust’s Storify about Book Week Scotland 2013, where I found out about Doon Library’s book covers competition.

As librarian, I began thinking about possible ways my school could incorporate this into their World Book Day celebrations and how to add a Taylor twist; and so, I decided to ask teachers from all subject areas to get involved!

Each teacher was to take a different approach, to allow as many different year groups to participate. However, pupils were asked to follow some simple rules. Designs were to celebrate a book that either:

  • Was related to their teacher’s subject
  • Was relevant to something they were studying
  • Was related to school in general.

This gave pupils the freedom to create something relevant and special for their school community. It was also a great way to brighten the corridors and get people talking about books.

The response by both pupils and staff was fantastic with various departments across the school taking part, including Art, English, Learning Support, Maths, Social Subjects and RE. Even members of our busy Senior Management Team took the time to be part of this fun activity.

The book covers were judged on their creativity, colourfulness and eco-friendliness

The office staff also played an important role by kindly helping to judge this competition. Phew! This let me off the hook. If it had been left up to me, I would have never chosen a winner! The book covers were judged on their creativity, colourfulness and eco-friendliness (recycled from coloured paper and old printer paper).

Mrs Devlin’s S1 Art classes were particularly hard-working and were keen to show their artistic qualities when designing a new book cover for Alice In Wonderland. Their dedication to this project was nothing short of brilliant.

One of the biggest compliments came from a Maths teacher, David Anderson. His S3 class focused on the Murderous Maths series by Kjartan Poskitt. David described the experience as extremely enjoyable (not to mention revealing), and subsequently ordered a box set of the books! Many of the responses from teachers were similar, with most being taken aback by how well their class worked together. Designs were extremely creative, and as a result, we also asked our headteacher to choose his favourite cover.

It also gave a few of our lunchtime clubs a chance to shine. The library’s own entry was created by the S1 Book Club and celebrated Demon Dentist by David Walliams. This had been chosen because they have been exploring his various works. Similarly, Modern Languages’ S1 Euro Club focused on Toro, Toro! by Michael Morpurgo.

I got a sense of how special our community is and the effort that had been put into these inspirational displays

Looking at the various displays, I really got a sense of just how special our close knit community is and the effort that had been put into these inspirational displays. I was taken aback by the response by our pupils. Responses ranged from, “Amazing!”  to “We should have done it over more periods, not just one!” When I visited various classes do undertake other library work, they would ask about the activity or tell me about what they were doing to be part of it.

Many thanks to all who were involved in this activity. Book covers are now being displayed across the school. Yet again, the Taylor High School community’s commitment and passion towards literature, literacy and learning shone through.

If you want to find out about some more examples of creating a whole school reading culture, we have some more blogs you can read, including a teacher who managed to get the whole community reading together!

Anna has written a number of other blogs for us, including activities based around our previous campaigns encouraging schools to contribute pieces of personal writing. To find out about our Scotland's Stories of Home campaign, which is accepting entries until 30 June 2014, click here.

Anna Leslie

Anna Leslie is the Learning Resources Centre manager at Taylor High School.