This was the first time that Taylor High School had taken part in the Carnegie Medal Shadowing Scheme, I thought that it would be a fun way to encourage pupils to read a variety of books, engage in discussion, review and post online to the dedicated shadowing page on the Shadowing Site.
We had seven S3 girls meeting twice a week in the library. The discussions were very lively as their reading preferences varied immensely.
A colourful display promoted the 8 shortlisted books, the Carnegie Shadowing Scheme and all the free publicity material including posters, bookmarks and stickers.
We linked in with the school’s iPad initiative, the girls signed a contract whereby they were allowed to take the iPads home initially for the Easter holidays. This iPad pilot was so successful that the group were allowed to extend their contract until the end of May.
The books were downloaded onto the iPads providing the ability not only to read the books but electronically highlight certain paragraphs and passages. They also had the opportunity to discuss the books with each other before posting their reviews on the Group Page.
They enjoyed having access to their Group Page, they could post reviews, create blogs, chart their favourite Carnegie books, create videos. The group also entered the ‘Shadowing Competition for the Best Shadowing Group Magazine’ There is a chance to win tickets for 12 shadowers and 2 adults to attend the awards ceremony in London on 22nd June plus other prizes.
This was a pilot scheme so group feedback was very important. They loved having responsibility for the iPad and the downloaded books but most of them still preferred the hard copy to the e-book.
Our meetings took place in the library during their English periods, latterly this caused some tension as some within the group felt that they were missing important coursework. So we compromised, one English one other subject.
We were late setting up a group so the S3 girls were picked as they were all good readers. At the first meeting they all maintained that they would be able to read all the books within the allocated timescale. Due to the different types of genre and content within some of the books this was not possible. They recommended that future Shadowers should divide the books between themselves and that more time be set aside to achieve the aims of the project.
Every member enjoyed taking part in the pilot but suggested that next year we widen the group to include boys and girls of mixed reading ability
They predicted that the 2015 Carnegie Medal winners would be:
- Cuckoo Song Frances Hardinge
- The Fastest Boy in the World Elizabeth Laird
- Tinder Sally Gardner
Learning Resource Centre Manager