Shadowing Group Reports
St James' Primary School Shadowing Group, Walsall
Group leader Neil Kinsey says that the Greenaway Shadowing scheme is "a way into books", and sees "a purpose to children looking at books and judging them". His year 6 students get quite involved in the scheme, as they read the shortlisted books to younger children, and ask questions about them.
In this primary school, Greenaway shadowing takes place with the year 6 class, numbering thirty. Shadowing happens after SATs are over, as something more enjoyable after a busy year. The whole class looks at the shortlisted books together, then in smaller groups. The teacher prepares worksheets for the students to work on, and they also write reviews and vote on the best book. Working in pairs, students take a book to a younger class, read it to the children, then ask them questions about it. Depending on other commitments, between two and six sessions a week are devoted to shadowing, totalling around three hours. The class usually manages to cover two books a week in this way.
The class uses the website each time they cover a book, accessing most of the website features. The group leader says that the scheme meets his intention of getting the students involved in books, and keeping their interest going after SATS are over. Neil sees it as a way into books that doesn't involve him standing in front of the class talking. He does not measure the scheme's impact formally, but notes the students' enthusiasm for the project as evidence of achievement.