Carnegie Shadowing Book Award

Partner: The John Roan School, Blackheath, London
Partner type: Maintained School
Project category: Academic


Students 'shadow' the judging process for the Carnegie Award; they read, discuss and review the books on the shortlist selected by CILIP's panel of Librarian judges and engage in reading related activities.


It takes place from May to June; after the shortlist is revealed to the final winners announcement.


The group consists of up to 12 students here, and the same from John Roan, from years 7 and 8. The scheme is not selective but open to anyone who wants to do it.


Meetings are held weekly in the library (at lunchtime or after school). Workshops run between the two schools use mind maps and balloon debates to encourage discussion of the books, if time permits. About a third of the group members manage to read all the books, while most manage two or three. We finish with a special event where the winner is declared.


We use the shadowing website weekly, and encourage the girls to use it as much as possible . . . the group particularly like the author videos and the blog function. It is clear that the students involved develop a real enthusiasm for reading. It provides a good opportunity to promote the library and the activity of reading.


Aims of the project

The aim is to develop a closer relationship with the local schools community. The critical factors for success are that the children have time to read, to meet and discuss the books on the shortlist. The beneficiaries are the children involved at both schools and they are developing in their reading for depth skills.

Background and goals

The project came about because the two Librarians meet at regular inter-borough meetings and saw an opportunity for collaboration on improving reading skills. The two schools are located in close proximity. This partnership has been operating for two years.


The resources needed are time - approximately two hours reading per week for eight weeks; visits to each school; weekly skype meetings and the purchase of books from Blackheath High's library budget. The Librarian s involved for approximately eight weeks.


Each year, at the end of the event period, the students are asked for confidential feedback. There is a group session where students discuss openly about what went well and they suggest areas that could be improved. This is used to fine tune the programme for next year.

Pupil involvement

All students are in Year 7 and 8. Our students are girls and The John Roan selects boys and girls. Each school selects between six and twelve students.

Frequency and duration

This event runs for approximately eight weeks every year.