UKEd nomination for best Educational blog!

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I am proud to announce that Heart of the School has been nominated as one of the best Educational Blogs in 2016!  This is in UKEd Magazine, and the blog is featured alongside teacher’s blogs.  Thank you to everyone who has contributed stories to Heart – all your hard work has been acknowledged!  Please do keep your contributions coming in – everything from lessons you teach on information literacy to displays you put up.  It is really important to show the breadth of things that school librarians do – we don’t just stamp books, we have a vital role to play in educating children.  If you wish to read the UKEd magazine with the nomination in, then you can download it from here.  Thank you everyone – and keep it coming!  We passionately want to show that school librarians make a difference to every school!

Pupil Library Assistant of the Year Award

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The Pupil Library Assistant of the Year Award is a joint venture between the School Library Association and the CILIP School Libraries Group. As well as promoting the work and achievements of pupils within their school libraries, work which involves dedication and commitment but which often goes unnoticed and unrewarded, it also highlights the benefits and values of the school librarian.

Do you have a pupil librarian who could become the Pupil Librarian of the Year 2017?

Someone who is reliable, volunteers regularly and who has made a difference to the library, being a role model for others?

Someone who is an example of the synergy between a school library and the pupils?

Why not nominate them?

Watch out for more details when the award opens on September 19th

The award is supported by a number of leading children’s books publishers and the company, Authors Aloud UK, and judged by a panel of leading figures from the children’s book world and school library community.

For further information including nomination forms, contact details and sponsorship: http://libpupilaward.wixsite.com/home

About the CILIP School Libraries Group

The School Libraries Group (SLG) of CILIP affirms that school libraries and school library services are fundamental to the development of a literate population able to participate fully in a thriving democracy, culture, civilization and economy. www.cilip.org.uk/slg

About the School Library Association

The School Library Association is an independent charity that believes that every pupil is entitled to effective school library provision. The SLA is committed to supporting everyone involved with school libraries, promoting high quality reading and learning opportunities for all.  Website: www.sla.org.uk

Information Literacy and Teen Tech Award

Snip20160112_2There is some fantastic new material available if you are involved in teaching information literacy in your libraries.  Members of the CILIP Information Literacy group and the School Libraries Group have been collaborating on documents to support the  Teen Tech Awards, and they have produced some excellent sheets which are free to download which you can use in order to support teaching this subject.  You can find the sheets here  and more information about how to enter the Teen Tech Award here.

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!

 

Carnegie and Greenaway winners – and all that fuss!

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Congratulations to Jon Klassen for winning the Greenaway Medal with ‘This is not my hat’ and Kevin Brooks for winning the Carnegie with ‘Bunker Diaries’.  You can read more about the winning books on the official page.  However, you can’t have missed the controversy surrounding the Bunker Diaries, with some newspapers deeming it unfit to be read  by children, too disturbing and damaging, whilst others took the completely opposing view.  Here are the links, judge for yourselves.

Telegraph: ‘Why wish this book on a child?’

Guardian: ‘Why teenagers need bleak books’ and ‘Why we’re glad the Bunker Diaries won the Carnegie’

Also Shoo Rayner, children’s novelist, believes that the Carnegie has taken the wrong turn, and that the Carnegie Medal should be for children’s, and not young adult, books.  It has caused a Twitter storm from angry YA authors and librarians – read his post here.

And finally, Barbara Band, CILIP President and school librarian made an excellent speech about school libraries on announcement day, advocating for school libraries.  Read her blog post which includes the speech in full here, or watch it on Vimeo here.

Let us know what you think – at least it has got people reading the book,  and commenting, if nothing else!

Libraries Change Lives Award – will you enter?


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Have you heard of the Libraries Change Lives Award?  This is for UK libraries, and the criteria specifically mention that school libraries are welcome to enter.  The website states that ‘The CILIP Libraries Change Lives Award highlights and rewards partnership work that changes lives, brings people together and demonstrates innovation and creativity. Our judges, from the CILIP Community, Diversity and Equality Group, are keen to promote social justice through the use of library, information and knowledge services to empower people and improve their quality of life.’   

This is the very thing that school libraries are good at, and I think that it is time that we considered putting school libraries forward for this award.  I know that many of you run reading schemes to help pupils who have difficulty reading, we use differentiation, we include and encourage Looked After Children and EAL pupils; and some of you even run Adult Literacy classes, or Computer Literacy classes.  Our main work usually consists of promoting social justice through our libraries.   So have a think – entries have to be in by the end of April.  If you would like to discuss this further, CILIP President and School Librarian Barbara Band is very keen to include a school library in this year’s submissions, and is happy for you to contact her to discuss your eligibility further.  Contact Barbara on: barbara567band@hotmail.com. Or use the contact button on Heart to contact me. Please do think seriously about this – what better way to promote school libraries and the reason we desperately need them in schools, than to win a national award like this!

Stan Lee Excelsior Award Shortlist 2014

Stan Lee Excelsior Award

Regular readers of Heart will know all about this amazing Reading Award, now in its fourth year.  It is currently the only award for graphic novels in the UK, and is immensely popular.  Run by Sheffield Librarian Paul Register, the numbers grow from year to year.  If you wish to register, or just see which books made the shortlist this year so that you can buy them for your own library, then follow go to the website.

School Librarian Lyn Hopson amongst top 10 Literacy Heroes!

National Literacy Trust logoOn Heart we are really pleased to announce that Lyn Hopson from a school in Doncaster is one of the top 10 Literacy Heroes named by the National Literacy Trust.  Also Teaching Assistant Velda Jackson from Leeds was nominated by her school librarian, and made the list.  They share the honour of being in the top ten with luminaries such as JK Rowling and Henry Winkler.  Read the report on the BBC website here or on the National Literacy Trust website here.  Congratulations to Lyn and Velda – and everyone else on the list who is working to show that reading – and libraries – DO make a difference!