22 Feb Summer Book Club: helping with the transition to secondary school
We are very excited to announce that Summer Book Club is back for 2023! In 2022, over 120 schools signed up to the project, and we are aiming to get more involved this year.
Summer Book Club has run successfully for two years, with well-received book choices. In 2021 When Secrets Set Sail by Sita Brahmachari was the featured book and in 2022 it was Twitch by M.G. Leonard.
Building on feedback from previous years we are aiming to make the programme even better.: we are opening sign ups earlier and making material available early in the summer term so schools have more time to plan. We have also involved year 7s that did Summer Book Club last year in choosing the book.
The idea behind the project is to create a simple, low-cost way for secondary schools to link with their new year 7 pupils. Working closely with the publisher we are able to offer print copies of the book at 50% off and e-books for 99p. At BCiS, we also create resources that are easily downloaded for pupils to engage with different activities as they read the book over the summer – providing something in common with their new school friends when they start school in September. Alongside these pupil resources, we create all the materials schools need to run the club. These include slides for use at transition events, materials to send out to parents and resources to run a special assembly or form time session to discuss the book once new Y7s start school. The finale event is a live author Q&A where pupils can hear from the author directly and ask questions. This is recorded so that pupils can watch live or at a time that works best for the school.
The resources are free of charge but we do ask schools to complete evaluation questionnaires. These questionnaires help us to secure publisher support, as well as enabling us to improve the project each year and understand its impact.
STARS research from UCL and Cardiff University, which aimed to discover what helps children make a successful move to secondary, revealed that: ‘Systemic strategies at primary school which involve building links and continuity between primary and secondary school (e.g. bridging units – work projects that children begin in primary school and complete in secondary school) was related to lower school anxiety.’ Summer Book Club is a fun way to offer this with minimal preparation time for teachers.
This year, we are delighted to be working with Walker Books again. We’ve just announced the book. Year 7s at Neston High School selected it, and they’ve chosen wisely: The Chime Seekers by Ross Montgomery!
‘A quest like no other: Ross Montgomery is on spectacular form in this brilliant, edge-of-your-seat story.’ Emma Carroll
Photo: courtesy of MG Leonard via Twitter