Carnegie Shadowing Sees Students Light Up On Stage

Ten Year 7 students travelled to Stover School to celebrate the annual Carnegie Book Award nominations in a ‘shadowing event’ on 15 June. 

The national shadowing event sees schools and colleges from across the country allocated a book from the Carnegie Award shortlist that is then read and presented to other schools in the local area. Presentations can take any form including dramatic pieces, readings and musical interpretations. 

Year 7 students performing at the Carnegie Shadowing Event
Year 7 students performing at the Carnegie Shadowing Event


Newton Abbot College was allocated overall winner of the award for 2017, ‘Salt to the Sea’ by Ruta Sepetys, portraying the stories of those travelling on the ill-fated German Ship, Wilhelm Gustloff, late in the Second World War.   

The College's allocated text was 2017 Carnegie Winner, Ruta Sepetys' 'Salt to the Sea'
The College's allocated text was 2017 Carnegie Winner, Ruta Sepetys' 'Salt to the Sea'


The dramatic student performance, portrayed from the point of view of some of the casualties from the ship, covered some of the thematic interests in the book including those of humanity and friendship. As well as performing their own work, students were also treated to performances by other schools as well as a workshop with visiting author, Emma Carroll, who gave an insight into the life of a writer, where she gets her ideas form and how she goes about the business of novel writing. 

Students had the chance to meet with visiting author, Emma Carroll
Students had the chance to meet with visiting author, Emma Carroll


The visit was a huge success, as Year 7 student, Toby Cude, explains: “I really enjoyed performing to everyone. There were a lot of rehearsals and we had to push ourselves to be the best we could be. We had to try and make the book seem incredible to everyone watching and it was fantastic to get involved in something different. The whole process has helped encourage us to read more which is incredibly important; it helps with ideas and your vocabulary. I would definitely recommend it to others!”

Newton Abbot College students and staff with author, Emma Carroll
Newton Abbot College students and staff with author, Emma Carroll


Performance Director and Teacher of English, Gareth Davies, was equally as pleased: “Events such as these bring the magic of story-telling to life with energy and enthusiasm from everyone involved. Our story encouraged us all to find out about the tragedy of the Wilhelm Gustloff and the circumstances leading to the little known disaster. Reading stories is so powerful for us all – books fire our imaginations far beyond anything on TV, at the cinema or in computer games -  and to meet and talk with an author such as Emma Carroll gives our students the opportunity to consider writing as a future career.”

We had to try and make the book seem incredible to everyone watching and it was fantastic to get involved in something different. The whole process has helped encourage us to read more which is incredibly important; it helps with ideas and your vocabulary. I would definitely recommend it to others!

Chloe Coleman Min
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