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The Panda Awards Encourage Reading

20 February 2014

Last Friday afternoon saw the culmination of this year’s Panda Awards in Secondary, with the final ballot for best book of the eight short-listed. These were books nominated by the Panda Award steering committee, run by librarians from international schools across China.

At BISS Puxi, the Panda Awards have been an on-going reading challenge since August 2013 for pupils in Years 7-10. This has been organized by the English department and the Learning Resource Centre with the aim of encouraging reading and the enjoyment of literature.

All pupils have been participating by reading all 8 books and doing a variety of activities in English lessons and form time. EAL pupils have been completing the Penguin Awards and have read a selection of Penguin Graded readers.

Justine Young, the teacher organizing the programme here said:

“This is the first year we have participated in the Panda Awards and it has been a huge success. Students have experienced genres they might not necessarily have chosen for themselves. It has been an exciting opportunity for children to explore new fiction and expand their knowledge of the English language.”

Last Friday, all pupils dressed up as characters from the short-listed books adding to the colourful atmosphere of the afternoon. There were prizes of a non-uniform day for the best-dressed individuals and the most imaginative form groups.

Student Presentations of the Books

Students across Key Stage 3 performed presentations in the auditorium to refresh people’s memories of the short-listed books before the final vote. There were 9 presentations in total, all of which were extremely professional and wonderful examples of the High Performance Learning that goes on at BISS Puxi. They used drama sketches, brilliant PowerPoint presentations, quiz shows and interviews with authors making sure that the afternoon was thoroughly informative and entertaining. We also had some great readings of extracts from a few of the favourite novels before the final vote.

The Vote

Everyone in the auditorium cast their votes and staff quickly added up the total votes for each book. The winner for the Panda Award was ‘Sidekicks’ by Jack D. Ferraiolo, with 75 votes it was a clear favourite. ‘Matilda’, by Rhoald Dahl won the BISS Puxi Penguin Award.

Chelsea from Year 9 said of the Panda Awards: "The Panda books were what motivated me back to reading again. Previously, I had enjoyed reading but I wasn’t really that bothered to find new books to read. Reading the panda books let me find the joy in reading, it was enjoyable and was a great experience because I got the chance to read different styles of writing and different genres of books ranging from romance to non-fiction, therefore, it made me want to read more. As a result, I always spend time reading books every day now."

Brooklyn in Year 9 enjoyed being one of the presenters on the day of the vote: “I feel really proud of myself, mainly because I overcame the terror of being on stage and stuttering. I hope that I will have more opportunities to be on stage and present to an audience, because that will strengthen my courage.”

Joakim from Year 8 enjoyed researching his presentation: “My partner and I sent an email to the author asking him some questions and I was really astonished when he actually replied! I learnt a lot of things from talking to the author and it was pretty cool that I was able to talk to the author of my favourite book!”

Special thanks must go to all the Panda Presenters who really made the afternoon a special event!

They were:

  • Sofia Pricolo - Year 7
  • Joakim Sckerl - Year 8
  • Max Rolando - Year 7
  • Lizzie White - Year 8
  • Charlotte Ferguson - Year 7
  • Rebecca Peedle - Year 8
  • Lucy Shi - Year 7
  • YuYu - Year
  • Sasha Severenchuk - Year 7
  • Olof Broman - Year 7
  • Natalie Lok - Year
  • Chaehyeon Lee - Year 7
  • Henry Barlow - Year 8
  • Rebecca Jacobs - Year 8
  • Ryan Johnson - Year 8
  • Brooklyn Han - Year 9
  • Simon Yang - Year 9
  • Chelsea Ngan - Year 9
  • Rae Tasker - Year 9
  • Sheena Troemer - Year 9
  • Sarah Sadiq - Year 9


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