Shakespeare come to life!

Shakespeare 400I absolutely LOVE this display that Senior School Librarian Terence Chan has created in North London Collegiate School!  He told me that Year 7 pupils got a shock when they entered the Library only to be confronted with a life sized Shakespeare staring back at them!  “It is amazing what you can do with a mannequin and a plastic skull from the Science Department” he told me.

Terence is known for his creative displays using mannequins; you may remember his beautiful dress made out of book pages for his ‘Strike a pose’ writing competition a year ago.

Anime Club at Fort Pitt Grammar School

Kim Davis, Librarian at Fort Pitt Grammar school in Medway, wrote to tell me about the Anime Club she runs in the Library.

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“We run Anime club weekly after school where we show two episodes of an all-ages Anime followed by two of a slightly more mature theme. Manga club runs fortnightly at lunchtime and focuses on drawing, craft and sharing Anime/Manga news. We also run special events such as “Live Action Day”, when we showed live action drama adaptations of Anime and compared them to the cartoons, which was really popular! This term we also made “Naruto” style ninja headbands and next term we are going to hold a “Cherry Blossom Picnic”, collaborating with the food technology department to make our own Japanese bento style lunches and then eat them under the blossom trees.

Anime and Manga can be educational in much the same way as literature, but with a distinctly Japanese flavour. It can engage reluctant readers, help develop visual literacy, encourage creativity and has a valuable role in widening perspective. We’ve even presented these benefits to a school focus group for enrichment to promote the club! Many people worry about violence in Anime and Manga, but there is a lot out there that is suitable for younger years, just like with any media. Legal streaming on subscription websites such as Crunchyroll provides an easy way to show anime in school.

It can be difficult to get support from parents, who may not understand “the point” of Anime or Manga and who may be apprehensive about it. To combat this I made a leaflet outlining some of the benefits of anime and manga and introducing parents to Anime they might like to share with their children at home. I love to watch students from all years chatting eagerly with each other, especially those with social difficulties who struggle otherwise to make friends. School can be a very stressful place for students today, but the students who enjoy Anime and Manga are creative, more able to create a home/school balance and bounce through the halls, knowing there’s something to look forward to (apart from homework!) when they get home.”

You can download the wonderful leaflet that Kim has so generously shared with us here.

6 word story competition a great success!

6 word storyboard

I love this 6 word story competition noticeboard, and the idea behind it! Gloria Clarke from Gillotts School sent me this photo from a competition she ran in the library on Open Evening.  There were over 100 entries from parents and prospective students viewing the school!  The English teachers saw it, loved it, and got the pupils involved as well, so that over the 3 days the competition ran there were 130 entries.  The English Staff judged the winning entries, which were:

Year 7 (1st place): Beneath the ground, her father moved.

Year 9 : Without my Sensai, I am lost.

and a honourable mention to a Year 11 entrant: Burnt the haystack, found the needle!

What a fantastic way to promote the Library to parents and prospective students – and what a great competition to run.

Being Me – book resource pack around being different

SLG logoThe CILIP School Libraries Group have produced another excellent book pack, following on from the World War One resource pack.  This time the theme is ‘Being Me’, and it centres around difference and disability.  The books cover a wide range of subjects, with questions and exercises suitable for all reading groups.  Primary as well as secondary books are included, as well as poetry.  SLG members can download the pack for free from the CILIPSLG website here; non members (and members) can buy a beautifully produced pack at a very reasonable price. Details on the flyer here.  Please contact Sarah Masters   for more details.

NPD Poetry Slam at Heartlands High School

Helen Swinyard, LRC Manager at Heartlands High School, wrote to tell me all about the wonderful Poetry Slam she held at her school:

‘We celebrated National Poetry Day in style with the first Poetry Slam of the year. Pupils and staff performed either their own poems, or some of their favourites, and were judged in categories by our scoring judges and an avid audience. Our wonderful host poet, Michelle Madsen, kept things running smoothly and performed her own poetry too.

Winners in each different category won prize bundles including a poetry book. 

Category 1: First Story poets

Category 2: performers reading favourite poems

Category 3: performers reading own created poetry

We discovered some great new year 7 poets as well as hearing from some seasoned performers. There was a wonderful mix of poetry too – some funny, some poignant, some clever. We also learnt some Poetry Slam jargon such as ‘score creep’ where judges get more enthusiastic as a slam goes on (that’s why you have several judges and discount the top and bottom scores).

Michelle Madsen is our current Poet in Residence, running the First Story creative writing club with pupils for the second year in a row.  You can find out more about First Story here and on Twitter @FirstStory. You can find out more about Michelle Madsen here and on Twitter @mishmadsen .

Mr Bola is our secret Poet in Residence. By day he is one of our Engage Officers; by night, a world-class poet. You can find our more about his poetry here or on Twitter @JJ_Bola ‘

Sounds like a great idea for next year!

National Poetry Day 2015 – what did you do?

QEGS Blackburn, where librarian Val Dewhurst works, always celebrates NPD in style!  This is what she reports from this year’s celebration:

On Thursday, 8th October the Senior School Library held a mass celebration of poetry and all things poetical –  which also marked the 21st birthday of National Poetry Day.

The day began with groups from Year 7, 10 and 11 from the English Department working with our storyteller and poet for the day, Sue Allonby.  Pupils in Year 11 were given the opportunity to write their own emotion and antonym diamante poems and also recite their poems using the theme of ‘light.’ Sue Allonby was absolutely thrilled by what she read and heard, saying  “It was a delight working with the English groups at QEGS on National Poetry Day, I was so impressed and thrilled with the Year 11’s poems; if they can do that in 20 minutes…..” Year 7 and 8 enjoyed writing Kennings poems (riddles made up of several lines of kennings to describe something or someone – expressing one thing in terms of another) and also had fun with jumbled up poems (rearranging to improve.)

Following on from the morning session a Poetry Picnic took place during lunchtime with over forty Year 7 and 8 students attending.  Tables packed with poems and anthologies not to mention cakes and treats adorned the Library annexe  – with a lively buzz of poetry in the air …..including the following chosen poems being read aloud …..creating much poetic discussion:

Playing with Stars – Brian Moses
Eternity – William Blake
The Owl And The Pussycat – Edward Lear
Six Facts About Light – Rachel Rooney
Bright Spark – Michaela Morgan
I Love The Moon, But – Roger Stevens
A Light Exists In Spring – Emily Dickinson
Light-Bringer – Joseph Coelho
Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night – Dylan Thomas

Head of Library, Mrs Dewhurst commented “I was very proud to see so much interest in the day especially the lunchtime session.  We had great pleasure in listening to so many poems by such confident readers, a real  treat for all who attended – just for the day our pupils had the opportunity to dream, speak, live, act and think like a poet. Sincere thanks must go to Sue Allonby who helped to make the day extra special, the English Department and also Mr Vyse, Mrs Fleming, Mrs Frost and Mrs Parker for all their help and support, thanks also to Mr Sutton and his catering team for the delicious picnic food provided and not forgetting all the pupils who took part in the day.”

Poetry themed bookmarks were also created in the Bookmark Club leading up to National Poetry Day and stories through poetry were shared the following day in the  Telling Tales Club.

More details/photos can be found here:
https://www.facebook.com/QegsLibraryBlackburn

So – how did you celebrate? Share your stories here, we love to have inspiration from all of you!

Celebrating 20,000 loans last school year at Plumstead Manor

Plumstead 20000 loansJennie Paton, Librarian at Plumstead Manor, held a very special celebration at the end of last year.  This is what she told me:

Plumstead Manor is a London girl’s school with a little under 1500 students and last term at PML we noticed our students were on the verge of doing something spectacular: they were well on their way to borrowing 20,000 resources in just one year!  Well, we couldn’t not celebrate, could we? We had high hopes and lots of plans but with the end of term approaching we had to settle on just three of our original schemes. So, we chose one idea which would reward the whole school, one to celebrate our best readers, and one that would let us share our student’s love of books with the world.

To reward the whole school we allowed students, much to their delight, to take a book over the summer holidays. It might not sound like much, many schools do it every year, but after years of books lost in exotic locales it was quite a leap for us (and were waiting with baited breath to see how many we get back!). There’s nothing like getting a cheer from a class full of year 8’s when you tell them they can read more, that is what they mean by ‘reading culture’!

To reward our best readers and our regular visitors we gave awards for some of the more (and less) obvious achievements, most books borrowed, most reviews written, biggest otaku; and prizes for the borrower of every 500th book until we reached our total. Students loved checking our totaliser in the school reception every day to find out if they were the umpteenth-hundreth borrower.

The hardest and most ambitious part of our celebration however is the one that is going to continue to be the most rewarding for years to come: we decided to Bookcross (www.bookcrossing.com) 100 of our school’s favourite books of all time! Bookcrossing lets you ‘release’ a book into the wild and track its journey wherever it goes.  

Leading up to the last week of term we sent surveys to every form group and every member of staff asking them to nominate their top ten books of all time and let us know why they were so great. Then we had a couple of weeks to work out the top 100 (surprise, surprise John Green got a lot of votes), find the books, and get them all labeled up ready for their adventures.

On the last Wednesday of term our Readers’ Club headed out to London with many bags of books, to drop off as many as we could at landmarks around the city. We live tweeted our whole adventure (@pmschoollib) and the girls, and even some of the authors loved it!  Cathy Cassidy sent her followers straight out to find the copy of Cherry Crush we hid in Leicester Square!  Though I think by far the best moment of the day was outside the Tower of London, when the girls spotted a couple picking up the book we had just left. They were ecstatic!

Anyone else have comparable figures? I would be very pleased to loan out half as many books!

 

Alice in Wonderland Celebrations at Bishop’s Stortford

DSC_8849On Monday 29th June, the Prep School had a day full of Alice in Wonderland. For the Prefects Charity Day pupils were invited to dress to meet the Alice theme! There was also a themed Tea Party as part of the Library book club, at which over 60 pupils, from Year 3 to 6 attended, ate some truly wonderful cakes which had enticing messages, and answered questions in the Mad Hatter’s Quiz.

The White Rabbit made a very late appearance… There was a dormouse librarian, who unfortunately kept falling asleep.

The pupils over the last few weeks have been enjoying a range of Alice themed activities – from maths lessons featuring Alice in Numberland, to entering a short story competition in which they were invited to describe their idea of Wonderland.

As this is the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carrol’s children’s classic, it was the perfect theme to celebrate the end of term for the Prep School who have all worked so hard this year.DSC_8850