Hans Christian Andersen Award Blog

   17/07/2019 - 08:18 AM

STEAM Children?s Book Prize winners

Steam Logo


The inaugural £1,000 STEAM Children’s Book Prize has been won by author Christopher Edge for The Infinite Lives of Maisie Day.

Edge's novel is a mystery about a girl who wakes up on her birthday to an unsettling, all-consuming blackness. Maisie must work with the laws of the universe to try and set her world right.

Roman Belyaev won the best information book award for How Does a Lighthouse Work?  How the Borks Became by Jonathan Emmet and Elys Dolan was named the best early years book.

White Rabbit Red Wolf by Tom Pollock won the YA prize and Battle of the Beetles by M G Leonard was the winner of the ‘Your Choice Award’, which is voted for by school pupils.

The prize was set up by UCLan Publishing to celebrate children’s books that highlight the importance of science, technology, engineering, arts and maths.




   17/07/2019 - 08:18 AM

Development and Discussion 2019 8: Power of Storytime

This month's Development and Discussion blog comes from Alison David, Consumer Insight Director at Egmont Publishing. It's a fantastic study into the power of storytime. And I would argue that we need to continue doing this: what you read changes; how you discuss it changes; but it is valuable, regardless of whether it's 'The Tiger that Came to Tea' or 'The Odyssey'. This post helps show the full extent of the positive impacts. 


What happened when storytime was introduced in Key Stage 2?

Through extensive research at Egmont we know that reading to children, for fun, is the most powerful agent in encouraging independent reading. However, most parents stop reading to their children at around the age of 8, believing that once their child can read, he or she will choose to read for pleasure. Only:

  • 32% of 0-13s are read to daily by their parents

  • 29% of 0-13s read daily for pleasure

  • 19% of 8-10s are read to daily by their parents

By contrast, when 8-13s are read to by their parents less than weekly, 29% also read independently for pleasure daily; when 8-13s are read to by their parents on a daily basis, 76% also read independently for pleasure daily.[1]


Reading for Pleasure is a statutory requirement on the curriculum

The Department for Education's 2015 report, Reading: the next steps, states that nothing is more important in education than ensuring every child can read well, and the way to do this is to instil a passion for reading for pleasure.

 "Pupils should be taught to …develop positive attitudes to reading and understanding of what they read by…listening to and discussing a wide range of fiction, poetry, plays, non-fiction and reference books or textbooks"

Department for Education English programmes of study: Key Stages 1 and 2.  National Curriculum in England. September 2013. Statutory requirement

The use of language is interesting – ‘taught’, ‘discussing’. There is an implicit expectation that children should have an opinion and will be expected to share it. It naturally leads to testing their understanding and comprehension, and it means that children are very likely to view reading as a lesson and not a pleasure. It also reveals there is a belief that reading for pleasure is a subject that can be taught. However, pleasure is an outcome. It cannot be learned, though it can be shared.


Case study St Joseph’s school, Goldenhill, Stoke on Trent

Egmont’s most recent research has a simple idea behind it: many children are not being read to at home, so what happens to their attitudes and motivations to read for themselves if their teachers read daily to them, just for fun, with no testing and no formal learning agenda? Egmont worked with KS 2 to investigate this. 

The project findings:

  • Across KS 2 over a 5-month period, reading comprehension improved dramatically:

  • Year 3 improved by an average of 15 months

  • Year 4 improved by an average of 9 months

  • Year 5 by an average of 10 months

  • Year 6 by an average of 7 months


The school is of mixed ability so the averages include some already capable readers who might not be expected to improve so much. There are some truly astonishing individual improvements within those 4 years:

  • A boy in Year 3 improved by 2 years and 8 months

  • A girl in Year 4 improved by 2 years and 1 month

  • A girl in Year 5 improved by 1 year and 7 months

  • A boy in Year 6 improved by 1 year

  • The project was galvanising and joyful. Behaviour and attainment changed.

  • It was a great stress release for children and teachers, and children were much more keen to read

  • Teachers found it impossible to make time to read daily due to the already heavy demands of the curriculum.  They managed 3-4 days a week on average over the autumn term 2018

It seems that the more reading for pleasure is uncoupled from lessons, the greater the impact it has on attainment. It is an easy and low-cost solution to the challenge to get children reading. Being read to, just for pleasure, should be an intrinsic part of the school day, as normal, unquestionable and as unchangeable as lunch break.

At Egmont we believe it is every child’s right to be read to every day.


Alison David

Consumer Insight Director, Egmont Publishing


To read the findings from the research at St Josephs in more detail, click here: https://www.egmont.co.uk/stories-and-choices-research/


[1]Nielsen’s ‘Understanding the Children’s Book Consumer 2018



   17/07/2019 - 08:18 AM

Congratulations to Merseyside Librarian


Echo Schools Awards in association with Excell Supply celebrates schools, teachers, pupils & support staff from across Merseyside. The winner of the School Support Staff of the Year is Jacque Hale, the school librarian from St Hilda’s School. Huge congratulations to Jacque in this vital role.






   17/07/2019 - 08:18 AM

Authors? impact on children and young people's literacy ...

The NLT have pulled together research into the impact author visits have on children and young people’s reading and writing enjoyment, behaviours and attitudes.

Far more children read above their expected level, enjoy reading more and have increased confidence after an author visit.

Plus SAS personnel turned author  Andy McNab recounts his love for reading.









   17/07/2019 - 08:18 AM

Member benefit reminder

Reminder about an SLA member free trial to Q-files with access to a wealth of info for your pupils.



   17/07/2019 - 08:18 AM

Kwame Alexander author visit prize draw

BookTrust is excited to offer secondary schools the chance to win a visit from Kwame Alexander (The Crossover), and a copy of this brilliant verse novel for every student, when they sign up to Bookbuzz.

Kwame Alexander

Encouraging Year 7 and 8 students to spend more time reading for pleasure, BookTrust’s Bookbuzz is a reading programme gets students excited about reading. It supports them in developing their identity as a reader and discovering the value of book ownership. Bookbuzz gives every student the chance to choose a book to keep from a range of titles and supports teachers and librarians with practical resources to build a buzz about reading in their school.

This exciting prize draw will give one lucky school the chance to enhance their students’ Bookbuzz experience and find out more about The Crossover straight from the author. Kwame Alexander is an innovative and incredibly exciting author of many novels and poems, often experimenting with formats and genres. Students will get the chance to ask Kwame about his writing, the inspiration behind his stories and share in his love for books!

As well as The Crossover by Kwame Alexander, Bookbuzz offers a range of seventeen books of a variety of genres and interests, with everything from spooky thrillers to interesting non-fiction about the world’s animals.

‘Giving students a free book, at the beginning of their first year in a new school, is a wonderful way to start.’Claire Friedli, Librarian, Carterton Community College

To be in with a chance of winning this great prize, schools must sign up to Bookbuzz for £3 per student by Thursday 4 July 2019.

Visit booktrust.org.uk/bookbuzz  to find out more!


Terms and conditions apply.



   17/07/2019 - 08:18 AM

School Librarian of the Year Award 2019: 2019 Winner ...


Ros Harding from The King's School Chester has been awarded the honour of the School Librarian of the Year 2019. YA Book Prize winner Sara Barnard presented Ros Harding with her award at a special ceremony at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel London Kensington on 27 June 2019.

Head Librarian and Archivist at The King's School Chester (an independent selective school for ages 3-18), Ros Harding contributes in many ways to the life of the school and to the wellbeing of its students and staff.  She was described variously as  "caring, for people but also for the library itself", "inspiring curiosity" and a "tour de force". As well as establishing a School Book Award, Ros is an excellent ambassador of research skills and ensures all aspects of the school to have a place within the library. She empowers pupils and gives outstanding support and pastoral care.

 Sue Bastone, Chair of the SLA School Librarian of the Year Selection Committee, said:
"It was a real honour to visit the three exceptional librarians on this year's Honour List and it was incredibly difficult for the judges to pick a winner. Ros's professionalism and contribution to teaching and learning make her a highly valued equal among her teaching colleagues. Her caring and inclusive nature is appreciated by students, staff and parents, many of whom describe her as inspiring, not least in the way she makes things happen to the benefit of all who come into contact with her, from junior school pupils to the Senior Leadership Team."

Noting that the award is a unique and wonderful celebration of the work of school librarians, Alison Tarrant, Chief Executive of the School Library Association, said:
"The Honour List this year are fantastic examples of the impact that effective school libraries can have, as shown by the affection and respect with which pupils and teaching staff talk about them. All three have all had a positive influence on the learning that goes on within their schools, both formally and informally. Ros has 'redefined the role' according to her nominee and all prove that the stereotype of a school librarian who sits behind a desk and stamps books is just that – a stereotype. All the Honour List should be incredibly proud of their contribution to ensuring all their pupils have a fully rounded education."

Two other exciting and innovative librarians were shortlisted for the Award: Helen Cleaves (Librarian/Learning Resources Manager at Kingston Grammar School) and Chantal Kelleher (Learning Resource Centre Manager at Herne Bay High School).

Read the full press release:


PDF file, 244 kB (Requires Adobe Reader)

More Details...



   17/07/2019 - 08:18 AM

Job Vacancies, School Librarian: The Hemel Hempstead School

School Librarian

The Hemel Hempstead School

Grade: H6 – H7 (Depending on Experience)

Salary £22,462 - £26,999 (£18,653 - £22,420 Actual Pro-Rata)

Full Time 37 Hours per Week / Term Time Only

Closing date: Friday 5th July 2019, 12 noon

Interview date: TBC

We are seeking to appoint an experienced, enthusiastic and highly efficient School Librarian with substantial relevant experience, ideas and commitment, to join this popular school.

The successful candidate will lead, develop and manage the facilities in our School Library which is used by the whole school community. They will have excellent communication and interpersonal skills, appropriate IT skills and be able to work confidently with both students and staff.

The Hemel Hempstead School is a popular over-subscribed school sited in pleasant grounds in the village of Boxmoor close to national rail and road links to London.  An Ofsted inspection in May 2016 judged that the school continues to be good, stating:  'The school's values of 'Responsibility, Respect and Relationships' are at the heart of the atmosphere at The Hemel Hempstead School.  You and your team prepare pupils to be courteous, considerate and capable young people, ready for the adult world'.  There are 186 students in each of Years 7 – 11 and a thriving Sixth Form of more than 230 taking a range of A Level and BTEC qualifications.  This year we will expand to 210 students in Year 7.

Further details, including application forms, are available on our website at https://www.teachinherts.com/find-a-job/view,school-librarian_55143.htm

Please send completed forms to Mrs J Avey, School Business Manager, The Hemel Hempstead School, Heath Lane, Hemel Hempstead, Herts HP1 1TX.  Tel: 01442 390100, email: j.avey[at]hemelschool.com by the closing date.

You may also apply online at www.teachinherts.com

Please note, if you have not been contacted within one week of the closing date you have not been shortlisted for interview.

The Hemel Hempstead School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of young people and expects all staff to share this commitment.  All post holders are subject to a satisfactory DBS enhanced disclosure.

Job Description & Person Specification are available on the website: 

More Details...



   17/07/2019 - 08:18 AM

Branford Boase Award 2019 Winner

In the Branford Boase Award’s 20th anniversary year Muhammad Khan and his editor Lucy Pearse have won for Khan’s debut novel I Am Thunder.


Branford Boase Winners release 2019 (1)

PDF file, 156 kB (Requires Adobe Reader)




   17/07/2019 - 08:18 AM

BBC Radio 4 Today Student Journalism Awards 2019

The BBC is offering a paid position on the BBC News Journalism Trainee Scheme for winners of these student journalist awards. There are different categories, depending on strengths, so if your students are interested in accurate, impartial, trustworthiness news as a career, they have until 31st August to submit their work here




   17/07/2019 - 08:18 AM

Childnet internet safety Film Competition


Childnet Film announcement (PDF file, 164 kB)



Each year the Childnet Film Competition invites schools and youth organisations from across the UK to capture their internet safety messages in a short film. The two winning films and four finalists are decided by a panel of industry experts and their films used to educate other young people about online safety and inspire others to use the internet positively and safely.   

Details of 2019 winners can be found on the pdf.



   17/07/2019 - 08:18 AM

The Queen's Knickers Award 2019


QK AwardA new children’s book illustrations prize to keep an eye out for. 

This prize, administered by the Society of Authors and generously funded by Nicholas Allan, author of The Queen's Knickers, is awarded to an outstanding children's original illustrated book for ages 0-7.

It will recognise books that strike a quirky, new note and grab the attention of a child, whether this be in the form of curiosity, amusement, horror or excitement.

Entry to the 2019 Queen's Knickers Award is now open and closes 15 November.

More details here.





   17/07/2019 - 08:18 AM

2019 CLiPPA winner announced

The winner of the 2019 CLiPPA (Centre for Literacy in Primary Poetry Award) is Steven Camden for his debut collection Everything All At Once ( Macmillan Children’s Books). The announcement of the winner took place at the Poetry Show on Lyttleton Stage at the National Theatre, London on 3 July 2019.  Eloise Greenfield was highly commended for her collection Thinker: My Puppy Poet and Me (Tiny Owl) .

The CLiPPA  is now in its 17th year and is the only award for published poetry for children in the UK.




   17/07/2019 - 08:18 AM

50th anniversary of Moon Landing

For those pupils still in school, why not use the last days of term to focus on Space with STEM activities? 

Apollo 50th

On July 16, 1969, three astronauts lifted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on a journey to the Moon. Four days later Armstrong and Aldrin landed Apollo 11’s lunar module, Eagle, on the Moon’s Sea of Tranquility, becoming the first humans to set foot on the lunar surface.

NASA will celebrate the 50th anniversary and look to the future of space exploration. Details here.

Discovery Diaries are also offering resources here.

If your school is putting on any events, UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres will be pleased to hear about them.

Plus we have a booklist of a few titles to satisfy enquiring minds.  

Space (PDF file, 200 kB)



   17/07/2019 - 08:18 AM

The Female Lead Society

If the success of the women’s football teams have inspired your students, here is an opportunity to present more positive female role models.

The Female Lead is an educational charity with a mission to shine a spotlight on the women who shape our world. Currently, only 7% of world leaders are women but studies show that positive role models can truly affect the futures of young women.

This September The Female Lead Society is being launched which provides resources to run weekly meetings about ambition, careers, confidence and role models. Students will discuss the stories of inspiring women whilst also exploring the larger issues to which these stories relate - gender equality, gender stereotypes and lots more. 
There will be opportunities for students to connect with inspiring role models, attend exclusive events and become part of a strong community who are inspired to find success and fulfilment in their own lives.
If you would like to get involved simply send an email to becky@thefemalelead.com    to say you are interested.  

To receive a free copy of The Female Lead book nominate your school here: