How to Use #ScotTeenBookPrize to Enthuse a Class About Reading - Clydebank High School

Last year the Libraries and Cultural Services department of our local authority decided to create a core offer in which all five of our secondary school libraries would celebrate, promote, and engage with several national initiatives in a collaborative manner. Taking part in the newly formed Scottish Teenage Book Prize was something which all our librarians were enthusiastic and excited about. Involvement in children’s book awards had previously been sporadic, and varied from school to school; however, all our school library staff believe such awards to be a creative, educational, and inspirational experience. We felt that the participation of all our schools in this activity helped to strengthen interest from pupils and staff alike and enabled us to share good practice, ideas and resources.

Across all schools our pupils and staff felt that participating in the Scottish Teenage Book prize was a highly rewarding experience

In each school, the librarian liaised with the English department to select an S3 class to take part in the process, as well as the established book/reading groups within each library. With a keen English teacher keeping the class focused and providing engaging and relevant tasks and activities, the library staff could focus their attention on their own book groups. The school librarians ordered ten copies of each of the three books for their chosen class, as well as whatever was required for their book groups. The books were circulated and read within the class over a period of about four months. After the books had been read and votes cast, the library then accumulated some of the books into their stock, some into future reading group selections, some to class libraries, and some as prizes. Across all schools our pupils and staff felt that participating in the Scottish Teenage Book prize was a highly rewarding experience.

Claire McFall, winner of the 2017 Scottish Teenage Book Prize
Our school libraries also benefit from our public libraries’ annual Booked! Festival of Words, which last year saw us lucky enough to have STBP winner Claire McFall (pictured right) visit each of our schools to talk to all of our participating young people (and lots more interested pupils too!). This was a fantastic finale to the book award experience and was greatly appreciated by all our pupils and staff. One pupil was even lucky enough to win the competition to select Tristan’s surname for the sequel to Ferryman, Trespassers!

We will be participating using the same format this year, and are very much looking forward to the experience.

One of the teachers involved stated:

“My class did indeed thoroughly enjoy the experience and voting for their favourite book. In groups they discussed the book they were reading and sold it to their peers – which was great fun. I actually used the experience as part of homework – summarising skills, etc, which went down really well.

It was great when the author of the winning book, visited the school. I would love to do it again but perhaps it is someone else’s turn.

Thanks for all your help and allowing my class to take part last year.”

It's easy and free to sign pupils up to take part in the Scottish Teenage Book Prize - find out more here. You can also take part in the fantastic graphic novel and book trailer competitions, which are supported by comprehensive teaching resources.

Stay tuned for more posts about how to take part in the Scottish Teenage Book Prize with classes and book groups! You can read all previous posts about the prize for inspiration and ideas.

Alison Crawford

Alison Crawford is the librarian at Clydebank High School in West Dunbartonshire.