Author Dan Freedman scores with QEGS!

Val Dewhurst, the librarian at QEGS, sent me this article:

Snip20150709_66“The senior school library recently received a wonderful gesture and gift from author Dan Freedman which included a copy of his prequel to the Jamie Johnson series, Born to Play to use as a prize for the most promising football player in Year 7, and to celebrate the end of the school year and football season. This was swiftly forwarded on to our PE Department where Mr Hindle took control and was quick to announce that Tom McCann 7NJP was the student who deserved this award.  The author Dan Freedman is eager to know of our student choice and has promised to include this news on his own website www.danfreedman.co.uk
 
Dan commented “over the last few weeks to celebrate the end of the school year we have been sending copies of Born to Play to some of the schools around the country, that I know well (QEGS being one of those schools) and have asked that they be presented to their most talented footballer in Year 7.  I’m sure it’s been a very difficult choice for them but I am very much looking forward to hearing their news.”
 
Dan Freedman who came to visit QEGS 2 years ago, has himself a strong passion for reading, writing and for football and loves nothing more than to encourage reading through sport and sport through reading… particularly football.”

Pupils star at the Carnegie and Greenaway Awards

Angela Yates and Emma Hopkins, librarians at Swanshurst School Library, sent me this fantastic story about the achievement of two of their Year 8 pupils.

“We have been running four C&G shadowing groups in our school library during lunchtimes each week throughout the duration of the shadowing scheme, with almost 80 students involved. We celebrated the official awards last Monday with our own lunchtime award ceremony for group members, rewarding achievements such as best review, video review and picture.

This year as part of the shadowing scheme students entered a national creative writing competition organised by Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society Ltd (ALCS) on the theme ‘what reading means to me’. One of our students, Aleena Ali in Year 8, was one of three national prize winners.

Aleena’s reward of a box of books was presented to her at our award ceremony by our head teacher. Aleena’s work is now on the ALCS website and will be published by ALCS News next month.

At the national C&G awards ceremony, in her acceptance speech for ‘Buffalo Soldier’ Tanya Landman quoted at length from a review posted on the shadowing website by Firoza Ahmed, also in Year 8 at our school.

With well over 11000 reviews on the website, it was an outstanding achievement for Firoza to be noticed in this way! Tanya Landman wrote a lovely letter to thank Firoza and is sending her a signed book.”

Both Firoza and Aleena are in the same shadowing group and English class at Swanshurst School in Birmingham. Aleena’s prizewinning article can be read here.  Swanshurst’s Carnegie Shadowing page is here,  and their Greenaway page is here.  What an inspiration, and how proud the school must be of these two girls!

 

LitPick – Read and review new books!

Snip20150707_62LitPick is a site I only found about recently, and it is one I really like the look of.  Although the site is based in the US, it is just as relevant to your keen readers in the UK, or any other country where students are happy to read books in English.   I contacted the people who run the site, just to check that there were no hidden costs, and was reassured that it was completely free to use.  Students can join to review books, which are then sent to them as eBooks  if they live outside of the United States.  Once a student submits a review, it is evaluated by one of their adult underwriters. Feedback on the writing is given, and once the review is approved, the student is able to choose the next title.  Students can sign up to Litpick here.   Students can earn points and badges for good reviews as well as the feedback, which is invaluable.  If you wish to sign up a group of students instead and have an overview on what they write, that is also possible here.  I have spent a little while looking at this and thinking about it, and can see no downside.  Pupils get to read new books, and they are theirs to keep.  Have a look – we all have keen readers who would love to be the first to get their hands on a book!  And, just to make clear, as with everything I post, I do not get any financial reward for posting this.  Enjoy!

School Library Camp, Midlands

For the second year running the Midlands will host a School Library Camp.
This year we have decamped (sorry!) to the north of the region and the 2015 event will be held at the University of Derby’s main campus at Keddleston Road.
More details about the location here:
We will be shamelessly using the same date as Darren’s Manchester event which is Saturday 11th July of course. Doors open 10:00 and we expect to be finished and wiping up cake crumbs by 3:00pm.
Click here for more information and to grab your free tickets:
At last year’s event we discussed all sorts of stuff from our policies towards noise to using Minecraft. What will you discuss this year? Pitch your ideas or see what others want to talk about here:
We look  forward to seeing you there!
Sonja, Karin and Carl – 2015 organisers.

 

Are you up for a summer reading challenge?

Kathryn Houghton, librarian at Bancroft’s School in Woodford Green, created this wonderful summer reading challenge to get her Prep pupils through the long summer holidays.  This would also work perfectly as a transition project between Year 6 and Year 7.  The challenges are innovative and fun, and she has given me permission to reproduce her booklet here so that you can be inspired as well.  The original was in a Publisher booklet, so converting to pdf has muddled up the order of the pages – so please ignore that and just enjoy the challenge!

summer reading challenge

School Librarians’ Network – an essential resource

A lot of readers will already know about the amazing email list called School Librarians’ Network (SLN).  In fact, most of the articles on Heart come from SLN members.  But for those of you who have not caught up with this amazing resource, this is how you join.  School Librarians’ Network is a Yahoo Group, and to join SLN you first have to have a Yahoo identity.  This is quick and easy – just ensure that you put that you are a school librarian, or if your job is of interest to us.  We have many authors on the list, for instance.  There are 1000+ of us on there so it is probably best that you use a different email to your school one, as there are a large volume of emails a day. (You can of course access all emails straight on the site).  SLN is a wonderful source of knowledge and wisdom – whatever you ask, someone, somewhere, has done it before and has great advice to offer.  We also have a huge files section, worth it’s weight in gold!  You won’t regret joining SLN, the brainchild of school librarian Elizabeth Bentley, who moderates the group. Simply send a blank email to :

sln-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

to access the group.  You will still need your Yahoo profile set up to access the files.  Hope to see you there!

National Share a Story Month at Bishop’s Stortford College

dragonsHave you been celebrating National Share a Story Month in your school?  If so, please send me what has been happening in your own school.  Have a look at the wonderful things that have been going on at Bishop’s Stortford College.

The Prep School Library at Bishop’s Stortford College is celebrating National Share a Story Month with a Dragon theme. The library displays have embraced this mythical theme and Library lessons have focused on how dragons have been represented in stories, poetry and in art throughout the ages. A Dragon app that revealed dragons flying around the library was especially popular.

bookshelves The Picture Book Benches, painted by Prep School pupils with the help of Hertfordshire based artist James Mayhew earlier in the year, have been ideal for sharing stories in the sunshine. (previous post) Pupils have also been challenged by the “Shh! Who’s Reading Here” competition; a selection of clues have been arranged for 24 titles and pupils have been invited to make an educated guess! Thanks to parents who helped create the literary challenge for everyone.’