Oct 21

Here are the photographs from our fantastic Write Path session, which I wrote about previously.

Here are the links to the stories. Our students worked in pairs to write a paragraph, collaborating on stories with schools from around the world. Please read them and tell us what you think! The names in the links belong to the authors who started each story.

Story started by Alex Milway

Story started by Catherine Fisher

Story started by Joanne Harris

Story started by Jo Craig

Story started by Penny Dolan

Story started by Pete Johnson

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Oct 12

We had an amazing hour in the Library this morning and Mrs Robinson is exhilarated and proud as punch after taking part in Write Path for the first time! All we can say is “Can we do it again next year, please?”.

Write Path is an annual event aiming to encourage connections with students around the world through the means of a collaborative story writing activity. This year, Write Path is taking place over two weeks with over 60 schools from a wide range of countries taking part.

Write Path Ning

 The organiser has been able to enlist the support of some fantastic authors and poets.  They will each write a story or poem “starter”. Each day, six of these are available and the students then write the next paragraph (up to 250 words) so that the story/poem progresses during the day. These are then uploaded to a collaborative website so that everyone can see. The last school each day finishes the story/poem. Each school gets one slot during the two weeks.

 The English Department here were so helpful, choosing the 12 students from Year 7, organising a teacher to help out, getting hold of some Sixth Formers who also encouraged and supported the younger students and much more. Thanks so much!

 The students themselves were brilliant – taking to the whole idea with cries of “Awesome”, particularly when told that the finished stories would be published in book form. They were up and running very quickly, and worked fantastically well. We were amazed at their flexibility when some of the paragraphs from the school before us popped up half way through our session – they simply adjusted what they had written. Our Sixth Form students helped some of the Year 7s with typing and kept them focussed on the task – huge thanks to them too!

A fantastic hour!

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Mar 23
Library Opening with Kay Alexander

Library Opening with Kay Alexander

The Library was officially opened on Thursday 18 March by Kay Alexander, a very familiar face as she is a presenter on BBC Midlands Today.

The ceremony began just after 12.00 with John Wood, our Headmaster, speaking about the importance of the library and how so many people had worked together to create it. Anne Robinson, the Librarian, followed – the text of her speech is at the bottom of this post. Kay Alexander then spoke about how much libraries mean to her – it was lovely to hear this from our guest. She then cut the book-shaped cake and posed for lots of photos with our students and guests.

Kay Alexander with Michael Parker (left) and John Wood (right)

Kay Alexander with Michael Parker (left) and John Wood (right)

A fantastic buffet lunch was provided and all our guests seemed to be very impressed with our great new facilities and plans for how the library service will develop in the future!

This is the video made to show guests the development of the Michael Parker Library:

The text of Mrs Robinson’s speech:

What a school thinks about its library is a measure of what it thinks about education.  Harold Howe, former US Commissioner of Education

You can see around you what this school thinks about its library! The library has come about because of vision – the vision of the school management. To put a library fit for the 21st century into this 1828 building was a challenge. We had to contend with a number of issues with this listed building – the sagging floor, the high ceiling, the lovely windows. The room that you see is the result of teamwork and collaboration: the Library Committee bringing together wide ranging skills from school management, academic staff, admin and technical staff; and consultation: with students, staff, parents, governors, local interest groups, suppliers and colleagues in the wider library profession.

So, what is special about this Library?

  • Bespoke furniture, thanks to a collaboration with Stan Tarver – clever shelving design that tilts and displays the stock to the best advantage.
  • Flexibility of use with specially designed tables and seating.
  • Modern ICT facilities – including wireless access, floor sockets that allow students and staff to use laptops anywhere in the room, a drop-down screen with projector.
  • Attractive, up-to-date book stock – students are enjoying borrowing and reading the new books and also are welcome to suggest new titles.
  • Plans to develop multi-media resources, including online databases and e-books.
  • Access 24/7 to our Library Online Services – our virtual library, which you can see on the screens if you wish.
  • Keen and enthusiastic Student Helper Team – the students who you see here.
  • And I must say it – a committed, experienced professional Librarian. My job is to get this wonderful facility used by collaborating with staff to develop programmes across the school to encourage reading for pleasure, the teaching of research skills and the use of exciting new technologies. These will help our students to be lifelong independent learners able to achieve in Higher Education and deal with adult life in the 21st century.

Here is a slideshow of the best photos from the event – more will be added as soon as possible:

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Mar 15

We had a great time during Book Week! Lots of exciting activities took place in the Library at lunchtimes, including a visit from Dave Cryer on World Book Day and a fun competition all week.

Here’s a fun video of what we did during the week!

Monday 1 March – Brilliant Book Trailer Show

On the Monday, we had a film show with a difference: book trailers and author videos. Book trailers are great little videos that tempt you to read a new book. There are also some really awesome videos from authors available. Here is an example:

Love this great video from a school in the USA!

If you want to see the videos we showed, or keep an eye out for new ones – then watch Library Online’s YouTube Channel. Mrs Robinson will “favourite” videos as she finds them.

Tuesday 2 March – Year 6 Book Quiz

Four teams from Year 6 entered our first ever Year 6 Book Quiz. Each person who entered will get a prize, with a special prize for the winning team members.

Year 6 Book Quiz

The winning team were:

“Fatkid Pony Tellytubby Commandos”!!!!!!!!!

Year 6 Book Quiz Winners

Year 6 Book Quiz Winners

Wednesday 3 March – Book Swap

We tried something different on the Wednesday. After discussions with students to see if they were interested, a Book Swap was planned. Students were encouraged to bring in unwanted books and swap them with their friends – a quick and easy way of finding something new to read. Huge thanks to the staff who helped with this event.

Thursday 4 March – World Book Day with Dave Cryer

Lesson time: Year 7 met with Dave Cryer during the morning and Year 6 worked with him in the afternoon. Students really enjoyed developing characters and writing their own stories.

Year 6 with Dave Cryer

Year 6 with Dave Cryer

One student said, “I’ve just written more than I have ever done before!”

Mrs Robinson also wrote her own story! Some students are writing more chapters of their stories at home too.

The Reading Group met with Dave Cryer over lunchtime and had great fun in acting out scenes from Darren Shan’s books!

Reading Group with Dave Cryer

Reading Group with Dave Cryer

Caught Reading Competition

Caught Reading

Caught Reading

All week we ran a fun competition – members of staff had been “caught reading” – students had to work out from the photographs who each person was.

The competition answers were:

Photo No. Staff Name Photo No. Staff Name
1 Mrs Coussens 15 Mrs Hannighan
2 Mrs Burke 16 Mr Kirkwood
3 Mrs Lambourne 17 Mr Burns
4 Mrs Harland 18 Mr Macmillan
5 Mr Stone 19 Mrs Scott
6 Mrs Knight 20 Mrs Plumpton
7 Mrs Prasher-Malde 21 Mrs Maddison
8 Mrs Perkins 22 Mr Roe
9 Mr Hollingdale 23 Mrs Robinson
10 Mrs Wardle 24 Blank
11 Mr Thirlwell 25 Mrs Colby
12 Miss Daumeyer 26 Mr Dalton
13 Mr Ketchion 27 Mr Wood
14 Mr Madigan 28 Mrs Mallard

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Mar 06

It is Science Week from the 6th to the 15th March.

Science Week

Science Week

The Librarian will add more information here during the week.

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