AN ENORMOUS painted mural featuring famous fictional characters is helping to inspire schoolchildren to read more books.
Mickey Mouse, Simba, Peter Pan, The BFG, Mowgli, Winnie the Pooh (and Piglett too) are just some of the popular children’s characters featured in the new artwork at Seaside Primary School in Freshbrook Road, Lancing.
The giant painting, which sprawls along a corridor wall, was put up in secret.
“The kids were totally astonished when they saw the wall, it was a total surprise when they came back after half term,” said deputy head Nicola Irwin.
Artist Nick Hobbs, who recently painted sets for Charlie and the Chocolate factory in London, was commissioned to create the piece.
This is what a few of the children thought of it:-
Jessica Redgrave, five, said: “My favourite part is the Hungry caterpillar as he is eating all the pages!”
Seven-year-old Lily McLeod said: “I love the wall as I love reading, we can do our reading with the characters.”
Pupil Ben Caulfield, six, said: “I think it’s really good because there are lots of different characters reading.”
Rowan Raynsford Dyer, also six, said: “I love the big books they are so colourful!”
Year-one teacher Suzy Grant said she was having trouble getting the children to come into the classroom, they loved looking at the characters so much.
As part of the school’s new reading drive, it is adopting an accelerated-reader program for Key Stage Two children which will encourage them to read for pleasure and earn rewards by doing online quizzes about their books.
The school has also teamed up with Lancing Library to promote the Library Reading Challenge which encourages children, aged four to 12, to read six books over the summer and talk about them.
Children will be challenged to make three visits to the library during the summer and collect different scratch-and-sniff stickers and other rewards including a poster to list the books they have read.
Those who read six books and complete all three visits by September 13 will win a certificate and a medal.