STAFF and pupils at St Matthew’s Catholic Primary School, in Prudhoe, part of the Bishop Wilkinson Catholic Education Trust, are organising a 12-hour story marathon to raise money for charity and to try to make home schooling a little more exciting.

#tuckedupthursday will be streamed from 8am to 8pm on February 11, where guest storytellers will read children’s books back-to-back. Readers include Waterstone’s Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell, Piers Torday, winner of The Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, Gabrielle Kent, author of The Knights and Bikes and Alfie Bloom series, Jenny Pearson, who wrote The Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates, and celebrated picture book partnership Paul Linnet and Sue Hendra.

The story marathon is the brainchild of St Matthews’ headteacher Martin Gray, who originally launched #tuckedupthursday shortly before the first, national lockdown when he started doing live story times for the school’s children on Facebook with the aim of encouraging them to read at home whilst maintaining contact with the school.

Martin said: “When the latest lockdown started in January, we decided to go one step further with #tuckedupthursday and hold a special online event to mark almost a year of our weekly story sessions, whilst raising some money too.

“I feel a bit like the teacher in the Nativity film who promised that Hollywood would come and see their play,” He added. “We had this idea of an amazing end result with top authors taking part and have had to work backwards from there! So, in a panic, I sent out lots of pleas to North-East and national authors and we’re astounded by the support we’ve received. It’s going to be an amazing day for everyone.”

All 158 of the school's pupils are being encouraged to watch but it is hoped that many other children, parents and fans of the authors will also tune in.

The children have been working on delivering different stories with their class teachers, recording their own sections at home and parents have been uploading them ready for the big day. The authors and teachers will also host Q&A sessions and Helen Stephen’s, of ‘How to Hide a Lion’ fame, will also do an illustration workshop.

Viewers are encouraged to donate money to help develop the school’s library and to also support the World Literacy Foundation.

The trust has supported the school with the technology needed for the event.

Donations can be made to St. Matthew’s GoFundMe page at and by searching for “St Matthews PTA fundraising".

To tune in to #tuckedupthursday on February 11, visit or go directly to