Each year in our school we shadow the Carnegie prize, from the longlist through to the thrilling announcement of the winner. Our Readers’ Club also make suggestions for the longlist the following year. Our most exciting experience was attending the British Library event for the announcement of Beverley Naidoo as winner for “The other side of truth”, which was our favourite that year. The pupils met all the shortlisted authors and chatted with some of them. It is also fun to get together with pupils from local schools to review and discuss the books. For a few years now we have also shadowed the Greenaway prize, working with talented pupils and the art and English departments. We encourage pupils to share the books with younger siblings at home and create their own picture books, inspired by the shortlist. We also partner with a local primary school, arranging for an illustrator to visit both schools and holding a finale voting event.
by Karen Hans, CILIP School Libraries Group National Committee member
We are fortunate to have a Junior School on site and work closely with Years 5 and 6 throughout the year to encourage reading and literacy. After KS2 SATS, all of Year 6, with their teachers, come to the LRC for a big launch of the Greenaway Project. We take their photo which is uploaded to our school page (we have two – one for Greenaway, one for Carnegie Critics) We start by talking about the Award and my precious Kate Greenaway book is carefully passed round. After that, the shortlisted books, all wrapped in clingfilm to prevent opening, are given to groups of children to discuss. It is amazing what they come up with without even being able to read or see the rest of the book. During the next few weeks, Year 6 spend many happy hours reading and producing posters, reviews, bookmarks and posting their reviews on the website. At the end of the event, usually on the day of the announcement, we have our own judging ceremony in school. Their work is displayed in the LRC so that when they arrive in Year 7 it is there to welcome them. From the lofty heights of Year 7 they remember Shadowing the Greenaway with much affection and are keen to take part in it again in book group sessions the following year.
By Sue Bastone, Chair Central and East Berkshire School Library Association