Authors have been dropping into classroom lessons to entice pupils to read more and get their heads into books as part of a Harold Hill school's Festival of Reading.

Prizes were handed out to youngsters from nursery to sixth form at the five Drapers’ Multi-Academy Trust schools.

The festival was organised by Drapers' Maylands Primary principal Trudy Spillane.

“Pupils in all our schools have shown enthusiasm and passion for reading” she said.

"We hope that this joy for reading that we have seen over the past few weeks continues.

"Each school ran its own activities, some now having arranged visits by authors throughout the year."  

Drapers’ Academy secondary held a ‘book race’ for pupils to read and review as many works as they could in two weeks.

Author Neal Zetter ran workshops with Year 7, teaching self-confidence through poetry and performance.

The comedy poet, author, entertainer and educator has had a huge following for nearly 30 years, developing literacy skills for ages three to 103.

Also dropping in at the school was local author Nicholas Kasparis from Clayhall, who ran sessions with special needs youngsters.

Nicholas has been a teacher for 20 years and has taught every age group at primary and secondary schools, from four-year-olds to teenagers.

Drapers' Maylands Primary had a 'catch me reading' competition where pupils took their favourite book into the playground to read on the grass — or stand on one leg. Some read while sitting on the climbing equipment.

Drapers' Academy also had a 'shelfie selfie' contest where teachers took photos of their bookshelves at home and pupils had to identify who they belonged to.

Two special ‘book grab’ sessions were held after school at Drapers' Academy, where pupils helped themselves to books to take home and keep.

And Drapers' Marylands held a creative costume contest where pupils dressed as their favourite book character.

Staff at Drapers' Brookside Infant and Junior schools changed classes during ‘teacher swaps’, each reading to a different class from their own.

Drapers' Pyrgo Priory had classic fairy tales to read aloud in class like Jack and the Beanstalk and Hansel and Gretel.

The children also had drama and role play to bring the stories to life by stepping into the characters’ roles. They performed poems in a special assembly, then had a ‘book parade’ dressed in costumes to see how many book characters they could spot.