Shadowing Group Reports

King Arthur's Community School, Wincanton Shadowing Group



King Arthur's School uses the Kate Greenaway shadowing scheme as a way of offering year 6 students the opportunity to come to secondary school for the day and work on a project with older students. Group leader Irene Chant describes it as "quite a highlight in the school calendar."

This school stopped participating in the Carnegie Medal shadowing scheme a couple of years ago, due to lack of funds to buy the shortlisted books. This has not, however, stopped Greenaway shadowing, as this is more open to a one or two day programme of activities. The group leader borrows all the shortlisted books for a few days, and Year 6 students from two local primary schools are invited to come to the school, while twelve to fourteen year 7 or year 8 students are picked to work with them for a day. This makes about eighty or ninety students participating, who are usually split into two groups.

Shadowing takes place over two days, one day per group. Students spend time looking at each book, and write a short review of each one, which they then upload to the website. They also create their own pictures based on the book they liked best. Year 7 students are encouraged to continue using the website once the Year 6s have left.

The group leader uses the website to get information about the shortlisted books and their illustrators, and to post reviews. She finds the question and answer section particularly useful as it makes the illustrators seem 'real' to the students. The group leader also uses the general information section and the librarians and teachers area.

The shadowing scheme is used as a transition exercise allowing primary school children to take part in a fun day at secondary school. "They usually go away with very positive feelings, having enjoyed looking at and reading the marvellous books" which is a positive outcome. Impact on young readers is not measured formally, "beyond listening to expressions of pleasure, which must indicate it has been successful."

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