This is Churchill Academy’s second year in getting involved in voting for the Red House Children’s Book Awards and the students really enjoy it. This is not a “shadowing” programme like the Carnegie Medal Shadowing Scheme. Students here and across the country read the books and vote for their favourites, and their votes count towards choosing the winners. The Red House Children’s Book Award is still the only national award to be voted for by children and young people only. This is a great incentive for young people.
Our book group has been reading the younger reader and older reader categories. Ratings sheets are available to help students work out which book is the most deserving winner, but often students know fairly early which one is their favourite!
Katherine (year 9) says:
I really enjoy the Red House Children’s Book Award. It is better than Carnegie because we actually help choose the winner. My favourites were “One Dog and His Boy” and “My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece”.
The award is a great way to ease our reading group into shadowing the Carnegie Medal as well which is much more intensive as it has more titles. Also, the RHCBA shortlisted books often appear on the longlist for the Carnegie Medal, which works well for us. Students enjoy having a say in who wins the Red House Children’s Book Award.
All year 7s students get a choice to vote for the younger children category (the picture books) as part of their LRC reading sessions. Students are split into small groups and have time to look at each book, and use a ratings sheet to help them with getting an overall opinion on the books. The sheets allow us to teach them a little bit of visual literacy, as well as looking at suitability of text for the age group. Then we use a voting slip for students to rate and choose their winners. It is always heartwarming to see students read books to each other and share books together and it is always a very successful and fun lesson!