Shadowing the Carnegie Greenaway
Rosemary Woodman, Reader Development Adviser for Berkshire Education Library Service, tells us about the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway shadowing scheme is helping to create a new generation of passionate young readers
Suspense is rising as announcement day approaches for all those shadowing the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards with the Berkshire Education Library Service. Animated debate, heated discussion and lots of laughs can be heard across the Thames Valley as nearly 70 schools make their choices using the same criteria as the judges. Primary schools focus on the Greenaway books whilst secondary schools choose either shortlist or both. Who will be this year's winners?
In my second year as a CKG judge, I am in a unique position - privy to the secrets of the panel but unable to whisper a word to keen and curious pupils and colleagues. Sometimes it seems a balancing act as tricky as the one Emily's Gravett's wolf negotiates in this year's shortlisted book… But I love the fact that in shadowing everyone has a voice. And this year with eight amazing titles on each list there really is something for everyone.
Shadowing began with great excitement at our networking meetings in March. The Spring break gave everyone time to start reading and they haven't stopped yet. Now, celebration Week is nearly here - the highlight of the calendar. Everyone is thrilled to be welcoming Patrick Ness, author of A Monster Calls and Catherine Rayner who will drawing and talking about Solomon Crocodile. Both days are fully booked - actually overbooked - I've already been searching the building for extra chairs!
Meanwhile wonderful activities are going on in our groups all over the local area. Here is just a taster of a few of the activities that are taking place:
- Langley Grammar in Slough has been celebrating with an Olympic theme. The librarian feels that if house points are always given for sports why not for reading challenges?
- In Bracknell, Easthampstead Park School's new scrapbook and pupil notice board has been so popular that it will continue running as a Diary/Scrapbook Club to encourage creative writing and imaginative thinkin
- Three different areas are celebrating 'Carnegie Days' with groups of neighbouring schools meeting for debate, hi-tech presentations, votes - and of course lots of cake
- Some year 12 pupils at LVS Ascot (pictured below right) have been shadowers for five years with experience of Skype discussions and youtube presentations and now really enjoy encouraging the younger members
- Brookfields Special School shadows the Kate Greenaway with the whole of Key Stage 3 integrating maths, art, citizenship and reading activities
Highdown Book Hounds in Reading sum it up 'The pack…have been steaming through the shortlist …the debates are heating up…' And the benefits continue beyond the school gates. One former 'book hound', now a beautician, has started her own workplace book group combining film trips with new reads. (Although she told me 'read the book first - it's always better!')
Primary schools find that the Greenaway selection naturally lends itself to cross-curricular activities. Redlands School in Reading report that the library area is now filled with 3D crocodiles inspired by Catherine Rayner's shortlisted book. Some schools have been shadowing with the whole school with lots of sharing between older and younger classes and sometimes nearby secondary schools too. Many report that the older children feel more confident reading aloud to younger children than to adults. Schools on a very tight budget find that by creating a rota with book monitors (a very popular job) so that books can be circulated to every class and every child will have the opportunity to see each book. Other schools like St. Mary's in Slough buy multiple sets as an investment purchase which is used in future years across the whole age range.
Everyone reports that it is such a delight to see older children recognising Greenaway books from previous years and returning to them with enthusiasm. Reading for pleasure is an important but sometimes challenging issue for many schools, and the superb illustrations in the Greenaway books naturally lend themselves to encouraging children to pick up the books and start reading. St. Finian's in Cold Ash have been promoting reading in upper Key Stage 2, by using the books 'to reawaken the children's love of stories through reading, writing and their imagination.' Several schools are focused on gifted and talented children; others have targeted reluctant readers, especially boys and are keen to involve parents. A number of schools use the shortlist as the basis for their summer literacy programme. Oakfield First in Windsor say 'Greenaway is perfect for us! It is such a good way to learn "reading" pictures. Dare we mention - it also helps us to address the assessment foci in our reading in an exciting way!'
Readers for life are in the making as shadowing fever sweeps through Berkshire. And maybe in future years these shadowers will rediscover their 2012 favourites and pass them on to a new set of readers.