The month of November was an extra special month here at QEGS, when the highlight of National Libraries Week continued into National Non-Fiction November, when our own pupils/judges from the Royal Society Young People’s Science Book Prize for 2018 continued their shadowing of the six shortlisted books.

Together with the Library’s weekly Book Club, eight hand-picked young scientists from Years 7 and 8 soon became involved in the book prize, becoming expert judges by reading and reviewing the six shortlisted titles: Curiosity, Dinosaur Atlas, Science Academy, Women In Science, Optical Illusion and Exploring Space.

Ideas flourished with one member of the group Samantha McDermott from Year 7, suggesting that we created a classroom within Google Classroom for the book prize, where pupils could submit their reviews, which resulted in a discussion page being created.

It was overwhelming to see so much activity in the online classroom throughout the award (even during the half-term holidays). Scores soon started to feature on the page, with lots of discussions about each individual book. There was no need to ensure pupils stayed on task, or even meet their deadlines, as they were thoroughly engaged in the science book award.

Dr Saunders also had a brilliant idea – Logic Alley (an initiative from a recent staff INSET, shared with us by trainer Jane Simister). Lots of fun and lively persuasion took place as pupils battled out the books, helping them to choose a final winner.

Soon it was time to cast our own personal votes, which were emailed off to the Royal Society. An exciting time lay ahead as our group eagerly awaited their invitation to view the live-streaming of the final ceremony. Tensions were high as authors of the books were introduced with the final winner being announced – Optical Illusion!

Both Mrs Dewhurst and Dr Saunders would like to say a huge thank you to all of our young judges, who went above and beyond the requirements of a book club member. We very much hope we have the opportunity to take part in this prestigious book prize next year, with returning young scientists and new young scientists joining us.

Well done to our young scientists: Hana Hanif 7EJG, Samantha McDermott 7EJG, Fatima Adnan 8BPV, Muhammad Ali 8BPV, Abdullah Amaan 8BPV, Christopher Chen 8BPV, Bilal Chishti 8SNR, Mohammed Patel 8SNR and Adam Sidat 8JLN. All pupils involved have each received a personalised certificate.

A display put together by the judges can be found in the Science Department and the actual shortlisted titles will remain as Library stock.  Thank you to The Royal Society for their generous book donations.

Furthermore, and still celebrating National Non-Fiction Month, more than two hundred and fifty extra non-fiction books were borrowed this month.  This was all down to the promotion surrounding the month and of course other key events which also took place; Remembrance Display with a wealth of history books and even some war memorabilia for all to see.  Thank you to Miss Ash for her group bookings, short talks and research tasks in the Library.

To see more about our Library events and happenings, please visit the Library FB page

More details about National Non-Fiction Month can be found at