This beautifully simple. yet effective idea was shared on the internet mailing group SLN, and I immediately asked the librarian, Gavin Jones from Melbourne Girls Grammar, if I could share this with all of you. Gavin runs the website Read it! Loved it! and tweets about his love of books at @readitlovedit
The flipguides are a beautifully simple way for pupils to be independent in finding books, yet under the remote guidance of the librarian. They are simple and cheap to put together, and easy to add and take away books from once made. Laminated, they are durable and will survive much handling. Gavin has agreed to share his template with us, so that everyone can build their own guides, and it can be found here on his website, where examples of the flipguides he has already built can be found. If you do find this useful, a shout out to Gavin on Twitter would be great!
Sarah Masters, of Thomas Deacon Academy, usually kicks off the Christmas season on Heart by sending me her powerpoint Advent calendars, which she sends round to all tutors in December. This year, we have two from her, one for seniors and one for juniors. Enjoy!
The Senior calendar is too large to show in a preview, but you can download it with this link:Advent calendar 2018
And for the Juniors – the download link is under the presentation
I hope that most of you noticed that this wonderful Campaign was launched yesterday, 20th September 2018. I was certainly busy on Twitter with it!
Most of you know that with my other hat on I am Chair of CILIP’s School Libraries Group, and in this capacity I am on the team that launched this initiative. Working in partnership with Alison Tarrant of the School Library Association and with other partners, we have started a three year campaign with the objective of raising the profile of school libraries with the government, Ofsted and educational professionals everywhere. Our aim is to get them to realise the value that a school library brings. and therefore to properly fund them where they exist, and put them back in schools where they have been taken out.
To this end, we would value your help! We have a data collecting team who is compiling a lot of information to prove the value that we bring. If you could help us by sending us a case study (or two!) on how you have made a difference to teaching and learning. I am attaching a template here, and an exemplar case study for you to look at. If you need any further help with this, please contact me on this page and I will put you in touch with someone on the team who can help.
On the website you will also find two wonderful posters to put up in your library, and an exercise for your students to do as well, celebrating your library and what it means to them. You can send pictures of these to us – send them to me and I will put them on the page.
Let’s celebrate our #GreatSchoolLibraries! Please tweet about your successes using that hashtag, and let’s make this three year Campaign make a difference!
Children’s author Karen McCombie is on the committee of the SHINE SCHOOL MEDIA AWARDS, and would love to get the word out to more secondary schools – state, independent and special – about this amazing competition for school newspapers, magazines, podcasts or websites( both print and online). And of course, she knows the best way to spread the message is via the school librarian – the font of all school-related knowledge! Here’s how Shine works: schools register an interest via the website, which is full of useful advice about how to start and run school publications. Shortlisted schools are then invited to attend a ceremony in the City of London, where pupils have the chance to take part in workshops, have lunch in the ancient and beautiful Stationers’ Hall, and step on stage to accept some prestigious prizes, which include offers of master-classes and work experience from some of the major communications industry bodies that support Shine.
Schools can find out more and register at www.shine-schoolawards.org Why not enter your school?
CILIP’s Information Literacy Group have produced a great set of research sheets aimed at schools, and even better, they have chosen to allow this as a free download for everyone. They were originally created to go with the Teen Tech Awards, but they adapted them for use in all settings. These ten sheets help students become information literate and smart researchers themselves. Download them here. CILIPILG has also produced a very helpful new definition of what Information Literacy means in all sorts of contexts, and you can download that here.
It’s the time of year when inductions start happening for new students, or we start thinking about how we introduce the library to our incoming Year 7 students. This introduction is from Matt Imrie, blogger at Teen Librarian. If you haven’t yet discovered this wonderful resource, then sign up today! Matt has created one of the best fun introductions to Dewey – in my opinion! – with this fun activity using the Dewey Decimal Classification card game. Playable in several ways, Matt provides the rules and a free download of beautifully visual cards. Feel free to use this resource – but remember to credit the Teen Librarian!
If you have any great induction activities you’d like to share, please contact me.
Has your school ever taken part in the wonderful collaborative writing project called The Write Path, run by Bev Humphrey? Mine has – and I can tell you it is a wonderful and enriching experience. Students carry on writing each others stories, all around the world, so that the completion of a story can take 24 hours and go all around the world! Students get the chance to Skype with the school before or after them – my school loved talking to the school in Australia which had kangaroos in the distance! To find out more about how your school can take part in this wonderful collaborative project, see this page on Heart.
With my other ‘hat’ on, Chair of CILIP School Libraries Group, I am really proud to tell you about the new campaign backed by CILIP that was launched at our 2018 Conference. The Great School Libraries campaign was launched by CEO Nick Poole in his opening speech. Working closely together with the SLA – School Librarians Association – CILIP, CILIPSLG and SLA are campaigning for the end of the closures of school libraries all over the UK. Not only that but we would like to go further and we are stating that every secondary school should have a professionally staffed, fully funded library. Please follow the link to register your support for this campaign, and to watch the presentation to see how we hope to achieve this together.
Jo tells us of her work in promoting wellbeing in her school.
I wanted to share some work I have done regarding wellbeing for Students with other librarians as I am aware this is a growing area of concern for schools, which may fall within our gifts to support.
I’ve been in my role as Library Assistant at a large Hampshire secondary school since the end of September, when I changed careers having spent a few years at home with my young daughter. I’ve learnt so much about working with teenagers and in a school but have so much more to learn!
I was originally asked to host an assembly for every year group at our large secondary school , providing an outline of how the library can support them. Feeling fairly confident of what I would say to the lower years who are much more engaged with reading than the older GCSE years, I wondered what was the best angle to approach it from that felt interesting and relevant to the students. So I created a very short anonymous survey and asked the following questions:
– what is important to their friends right right now?
-what is exciting their friends?
-what are the challenges facing their friends?
I pitched it from the ‘friends’ angle to enable students to be more likely to open up about others than themselves. Distributing the survey to all in Year 10 and 11, I received many results within 24 hours that highlighted some very interesting themes, so I decided to roll the survey out to all year groups. About 80% of tutor groups completed these surveys, the results of which were very enlightening.
The main theme that ran across the year groups was the importance of ‘gaming’ – I’d never heard of Fortnite, the X-box game, before reading the survey responses but I made sure I read about it afterwards as about 60% of all surveys across the year groups mentioned this as important and exciting! Anxiety was a common thread, the ’causes’ of which differed between the year groups. Years 7-9 suggested anxiety was mainly due to navigating difficult friendships, starting to think about choosing options, and completing a lot of homework. Years 10 and 11 suggested anxiety stemmed from a pressure to achieve in their exams (self imposed or from family), coping with the amount of revision, balancing revision with hobbies, not having enough time to do everything, eating poorly, worry about starting college, and concern over what they are going to do after college. Interestingly spending too much time on phones/gaming was also cited as a cause of stress!
I took the survey results and looked at how well the library supporting the emerging themes of Wellbeing and Gaming and worked with Peters to identify a bespoke book list relevant for these themes. I also looked at the Literacy Trust’s article on GameLit which proposes a new genre, of fiction set in the same alternative realities to what users of video games experience. https://www.booktrust.org.uk/whats-happening/blogs/2018/january/5-virtual-reality-books-for-your-gaming-mad-tweens-and-teens/
I captured images of the new books that were coming in and included these in my assembly presentation, as well as creating a ‘New in the Library” display in the corridor outside the library
For Years 10 and 11 I drew upon the wisdom of Danielle Marchant, founder of the Pause retreats who had previously acted as my business coach when I was working in a senior HR role in Asia. Danielle, who had experienced burnout and set about to design the retreats that she needed but weren’t available, is the author of “Pause@ by Octopus books https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pause-press-pause-before-life/dp/1912023091 and we came up with 5 tips to Pause that were relevant for Years 10 and 11.
1) Breathe – I demonstrated the different between belly breathing which we do when relaxed and fast upper body breathing that we do under stress
2)Worry Jar – the act of writing down your worries and putting them in a jar, taking the worrying thought out of your brain and onto paper helps you to question if it really is something worth worrying about, stopping your mind worrying over and over about the issue causing it to be bigger than it really is, freeing up space to concentrate on other things!
3) Importance of Blank space – allocated unstructured time to help deal with the constant busyness of their life. This also included tips on using their phones less – e.g. not charging overnight in their bedrooms, switching off devices two hours before bed and picking up a book instead, ‘see the Sky before a screen’.
4) the importance of getting outside to re-energise – whether its walking the dog, playing football with friends, going for a run or eating your lunch outside
5) Readaxation – I referred to Nicola Morgan’s work on Readaxation and positioned this as the link between the library and wellbeing. That by finding a great book they can lose themselves in will help them reach ‘flow’ and take their mind off their anxieties or exams, as well as helping them sleep if reading before bed!
I signposted the following categories of books to them:
Since the assemblies, the books have flown out with reservations constantly being made. The GameLit has certainly been popular with the boys, they have been shocked to find something that taps into their game playing passions!
I am also hoping to set up a ‘Thrive’ lunchtime club to support wellbeing, and am in discussions about inviting Nicola Morgan in to the school to speak to Year 10 and 11 students, as well as parents, in October as they enter the crucial GCSE years.