Debbie Kennedy, the Librarian at Wilmington Academy wrote to tell me of an amazing event her school held for World Book Day:
So this year’s theme needed to be even bigger and better and after a lot of deliberation we chose the Harry Potter series, turning our Academy into Hogwart’s to hold a Tri-Wizard Tournament.
I 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.
Kim Davis, Librarian at Fort Pitt Grammar school in Medway, wrote to tell me about the Anime Club she runs in the Library.
“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.
Pupils at the King’s School, Worcester took part in an interactive display in the Library, led by Librarian Annabel Jeffery. The UK Safer Internet Centre wanted to promote respect and kindness online with a campaign to encourage young people to share positive messages in specially designed heart signs which were printed off and made available to pupils. Gold DofE volunteers kicked the whole thing off by volunteering to be poster boys which inspired other pupils from all years to take part. Pupils wrote some lovely messages such as “I only tweet positive messages” and “I will only be kind and considerate on social media”. These were added to a display in the library throughout the day. The main focus however was sharing these messages with the online community by uploading photos of the pupils with their messages on the Library Twitter feed (@KSWLibrary) which is where the unfolding picture of the day can best be appreciated. Another display in the library highlighted online safety issues such as trolling, grooming, cyberbullying, and staying safe on social media. Pupils had great fun and hopefully gained a better awareness of how positive behaviour online can make the internet a better (and safer) place.
School Librarians across the UK have always looked to Scotland as an example of best practice. In Scotland, for years, all school libraries had to be overseen by a chartered school librarian, and were well stocked. Unlike England, where professional qualifications were less and less valued, and the cheapest option often held sway – often with libraries closing altogether. Well, no longer. Argyll and Bute have now decided to do away with ALL of their school librarian posts – but not to worry, they have decided to keep their hanging baskets and municipal flower beds instead. The towns will carry on looking pretty whilst the children lose a valuable educational resource – so that’s all right then, isn’t it? Children in Argyll and Bute will now be educationally disadvantaged compared to their peers in the rest of Scotland. If like me, you think this is certainly NOT all right, please protest. Write to the council, and please do sign this petition to Save Scotland’s School Libraries.
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.
The 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.