World Book Day celebrated with a 'read-in' at St Benedict's junior school in west London

World Book Day was celebrated at St Benedict’s Junior School in west London during the afternoon of Thursday March 3 with a “read-in”.

A profound silence reigned, with pupils and teachers in classrooms, corridors, the school hall, even under tables and on staircases immersed in reading books. Celia Sweetman, the librarian, said: “The purpose of the school read-in is to get everyone reading for half an hour.

“Everyone reading together underlines the importance of reading in all our lives – for pleasure, instruction and mental well-being.

“Reading together also encourages children to learn and enjoy ‘chilling out with a book’.”

Many children brought in their favourite cushion and snuggled down comfortably. Observers said that was wonderful to see them totally absorbed in their books. A hand-bell after half an hour broke the spell and classes resumed.

St Benedict’s School, Ealing, was established following the arrival of Benedictine monks from Downside Abbey in Ealing in 1897 to found the first Benedictine Abbey in London since the Reformation.

Under the leadership of Dom Sebastian Cave Ealing Priory School, as the school was first known, opened on October 2 1902, with three boys enrolled.