students judge ‘Young Quills’ competition

Wednesday May 23, 2018

Concord students relished the opportunity to help judge the annual ‘Young Quills’ Book Award – the only national book award where young people help produce the shortlist. In previous years, subjects covered have varied from Tsarist Russia to British Tudor queens to Black Civil Rights in America. This year, Concord was delighted to invite Form 3 English classes and Form 4 History classes to be involved in the competition. Students were asked to select a book from the 24 books on the longlist and write a book review explaining if they liked or disliked the book, why, and whether they would recommend it. Concord Librarian, Mrs Anne Williams said: “The competition provided an opportunity to promote an excellent selection of historical fiction for young people.” History teacher, Dr Danielle Donaldson added: “The collaboration between the departments involved was exceptional – the competition provided a unique opportunity for the students to read more historical fiction and become involved in judging a major competition.” The group of Form 3 and Form 4 pupils produced over 43 reviews, with many students producing more than one review after having enjoyed the process so much. Concord’s Head of English, Mr Phil Woods said: “Our students relished the opportunity to take part in both helping to compile the shortlist and writing their book reviews. “The multi-cultural, multi-context nature of the books also ensured that the students were able to learn more about the lives of others – a vital thing in an international school like Concord.” From a national collection of schools’ book reviews, a shortlist is created and sent to a judging panel that read the books and assess the children’s comments to decide upon the winners. The award winners for this year’s book prize will be announced in June. Mrs Anne Williams added: “We were delighted by the students’ enthusiasm, maturity and intelligence with which they responded. “We have since set up our first-ever Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medal shadowing group, tracking the judging process for the two most prestigious UK young people’s book awards.” Concord’s book reviews have also been published online and can be accessed by clicking here.