How one school used the School Library Pack to get students talking about books

Published on: 07 October 2019 Author: Sarah Day

Sarah Day, LRC manager at The Ridgeway School, explains how her school ran the Gr8 Book Debate using the School Library Pack to get students involved and enthusiastic about the books.

The pack of forty books and accompanying resources including reading group guides and posters, aims to boost the school library’s resources and support group reading activities. We wanted to use the pack to see if regular 'book chat' could help students to see themselves as readers, learn more about what they do and do not like reading, and get them reading more often.

 Group of girls reading together in the school library

Running the Gr8 Book Debate

We registered for the pack in September and received it in January. Once we received the books, we quickly processed and catalogued them ready for the launch of the debate. The event took place at Lydiard Park Academy, who we partnered with for this project, and the 30 year eight students were introduced to the project and the titles. The students read the descriptions and decided which books they wanted to read first.

Books and biscuits

After the launch, we ran weekly breaktime 'Books and Biscuits' sessions in the Learning Resource Centre, where the students joined us to talk about what they had read and swap their book for a new one if they'd finished it. It was great to have a relaxed environment where the group could explore and share their opinions on these books in an informal environment.

The final debate

We ran these sessions from March to June before our final event in July. At the final debate, the 30 students from our two schools came back together to discuss the books. In groups of six, the students discussed one of the titles and made a presentation showing what they liked and did not like about the book. The groups then voted for their favourite book.

Winners of the Gr8 Book Debate

Our joint winners were Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes and Boy 87 by Ele Fountain.

It was great to see our students so enthused about the books, and we can’t wait to get involved this year!

Sarah Day is the LRC Manager at the Ridgeway School in Swindon. She is one of the librarians and teachers that have helped develop this year’s resources, which accompany the fifteen titles selected for the School Library Pack.

Find out more about School Library Pack

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