How Pyjamarama gets school children excited about reading

Published on: 28 February 2024

School librarian Lily describes why students and staff look forward to Pyjamarama each year – a whole school day spent celebrating books while wearing PJs to fundraise for BookTrust.

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For pupils at Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Primary School in Worcester, Pyjamarama is a special day in the school calendar.

"Our school loves BookTrust's Pyjamarama day," says Lily McGrath, a Year 5 Teaching Assistant and the school's librarian. "It means children get to share their love of books while being comfortable in their own pyjamas.

"We also believe no child should go without reading a book before bedtime, and our school loves to support this cause. I think we need to educate students on how it can affect a child if they don't have access to reading and books."

A pyjama party at school celebrating a love of books

A child holding up their Pyjamarama activity sheet in a classroom

To celebrate Pyjamarama, each student comes to school dressed in their pyjamas and brings in £1 to help fundraise for BookTrust and support children who are missing out on the life-changing benefits of reading.

Then, instead of their normal lessons, students are treated to a day that revolves entirely around book-related fun, which helps promote reading for pleasure across the school.

When planning the day, Lily and the school's teachers make use of the Pyjamarama resources on the BookTrust website. These include inspiring videos of children's authors, age-appropriate worksheets and ideas for fun book-related activities.

Children in a classroom wearing pyjamas and excitedly holding up Pyjamarama activity sheets

"It's a full day of children being able to discuss reading with each other," says Lily. "Students really enjoy creating their own book covers and creating costumes or pyjamas for characters, as well as the colouring resources. It lets children express their love of books in different ways."

"Being able to go on to BookTrust website, download the Pyjamarama resources, print them off straight away and use them in class has been really helpful for teachers and staff."

Helping schools create excitement around reading

Two children wearing pyjamas and sharing a book as they sit outside together

"Children that read regularly and by choice tend to be more creative," says Lily. "You see it a lot in their art and science work, for example. They carry that love of reading all the way through to those different subjects. It helps them just think about things in different ways."

Speaking at the end of last year's Pyjamarama celebrations, Lily says: "The best part for me has been seeing how excited the children have been, and them sharing their love of reading together.

"The atmosphere in this school today has been amazing. The fact they've been talking about books and sharing their love of books with each other has been absolutely wonderful."

Sign up for Pyjamarama 2024 now to receive your online fundraising pack

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