From Left: Phil Everett, Sarah Foulds, Niamh White, Isobelle Price, Lara Gimbuta, Emma Gold, Luca Santillo, Oscar Bowden, Tom Massey, Adam Dodd and Emma Carroll
On Friday 16th June, eight year 7 students attended the regional inter-schools Carnegie Book Award Event, this year hosted at West Exe. Following on from the success Clyst Vale students had last year when we hosted the event, this year we did even better coming second place!
This prestigious annual book award, widely regarded as one of highest accolades a children’s writer or illustrator can achieve, is unique in that the long and short lists are chosen by librarians to celebrate the most compelling and innovative new books for children and teens. This award is nationally supported, with local secondary schools holding Carnegie events, where each school performs one of a books from the shortlist at a host school. This year we are especially proud of our Clyst Vale year seven group who chose to perform ‘The Bone Sparrow’ by Zana Fraillon. This book is an extremely powerful and moving story about a Rohingya Muslim boy who is born and raised in an immigration detention centre and explores issues of hope, freedom and fundamental human rights. It has won the 2017 Amnesty Honour for its portrayal of the plight and suffering of refugees.
Our year seven group worked collectively with the Literacy coordinator, Nathan Simpson and the Librarian, Sarah Foulds to create an excellent representation of the book through a poignant drama performance, which explored the fact that refugees have no voice. Indeed many asylum seekers face mandatory detention in centres that the outside world will never see. Access is strictly prohibited and even human rights organisations such as Amnesty struggle to gain access. The students demonstrated excellent understanding of the book and portrayed a moving account of the lives of refugees. We are so impressed with the level of commitment shown by the group and the amount of innovation demonstrated to create a compelling performance.
We were also lucky to hear local author Emma Carroll (In Darkling Wood and Letters from the Lighthouse) speak about her writing experiences and what it is like being an author. Emma, who helped judge the performances, deemed Clyst Vale’s portrayal of ‘The Bone Sparrow’ as visually “stunning”.