The City of London School’s Library and English Department have participated in the Trinity Schools Book Awards since its inception in 2014. The Trinity Group is made up of roughly twenty Independent School Librarians in South East England. The Book Awards competition has been tweaked over the years but has remained fundamentally as follows. Each year the TSBA Committee of school librarians agrees on a theme and asks for member schools to recommend YA novels for the Longlist. The Committee discusses these recommendations and draws up a Shortlist. There is a fee for those schools which wish to participate and it is open to non-Trinity Group Schools. There is a higher fee for those schools which also wish to attend the Awards Ceremony. The theme for 2019 was ‘Secrets and Lies’ and six books were on the Shortlist. There were also eight books which were in the Trinity Plus category and were intended for older and more advanced readers. The Shortlisted books are aimed at Year 7, 8 and 9 students and they are encouraged to write book reviews of these and vote for their favourite book. Each participating school can submit the best two reviews for judging prior to the Awards Ceremony.
There is also a Creative Responsive competition in which students can submit an entry which has been inspired by reading any book either on the Shortlist or the Trinity Plus List. The Creative Response can literally be anything and past examples have included musical compositions, dramatic adaptations, videos, podcasts, artworks, baked food and even an ice sculpture.
At City, we decided in November to have a Trinity Cross-Curricular Day with the Year 8s. For one school day all our Second Formers were taken off timetable and spent the day with staff from the Library, English, Art & Design, Design Technology, IT and ICT Departments creating Board Games based on the Trinity books. The boys were divided into teams of six and worked on creating rules,boards, boxes and publicity materials for their games. On the day before I had arranged for Trinity Plus author Non Pratt to talk to all the classes about her appropriately named novel ‘Unboxed’. The Cross-Curricular Day involved the students using technology such as Photo Shop and Scanning Pens and they produced some great results. At the end of the day we all met up in the SchoolTheatre to judge the entries. All agreed that it had been an excellent way to encourage the boys to read more of the Trinity books and get our students thinking.