When Parents Evenings comes around we are always asked for booklists by the English Department so that they can give parents recommended titles to encourage wider reading. Having revised our usual bookmark format for Y9 we have changed it for Y7 and may roll this out to all years in the future. (Mrs Gibson gets a lot of fresh ideas from her contacts on Twitter and the layout for this came from @PrimaryMrAndrew!) We hope to be able to add student reviews to recommendations from staff. Watch this space!
Both documents are available in pdf format for you to save or download in the Reading List Tab.
Our Scholastic Book Fair was a great success, despite only running for just over 3 days because of the snow! Most Y7-9 classes were able to visit during an English lesson and we were busy during our lunchtime every day. We would like to thank our supportive English Teachers for accompanying their classes and parents who provided the funds to purchase items. Also to our lovely band of student cashiers who ran the shop at lunchtimes.
Using our commission, we bought a lot of new titles for the school library and the English Department have chosen a new set Wonder for class reading.
World Book Day vouchers
Students who didn’t spend their £1 voucher at the Book Fair still have time to use them at participating bookshops, newsagents or supermarkets before the end of the month. They can be used against the price of a regular book, to obtain a £1 WBD book for younger readers, or towards the 5 teenage full titles which are retailing at £2.50.
More details can be found on the World Book Day website.
We are busy preparing for World Book Day (1st March) and as usual the Scholastic Book Fair will be in the library for the whole week. Y7-9 students will all visit during an English Lesson and will receive their WBD £1 voucher which can be spent at the Fair or taken away to use in a participating book shop.
We have been running competitions with all classes during Library Lessons – Y8s are putting screen characters with their book titles and Y9s are deciphering Book Tweets.
Keeping with our recent Harry Potter theme (it was Bloomsbury’s Harry Potter Night on February 1st) Y7 have been given a flyer asking them to compose an acrostic poem using a character or spell from the books/films. We hope this makes a nice half term activity. Details are below and poems need to be with us by 25th February.
Following on from the runaway success of last year’s quiz to celebrate Bloomsbury’s Harry Potter Night, we ran another this year for Y8 and Y9 teams (and one from the English Department!) Thirteen teams in all battled it out with a newly designed quiz including a Whose wand? Round and NEWTS Round with the returning 2017 winners hopeful of reclaiming their crown. As ever the Library Ladies produced some magical nibbles and butter beer (from their own secret recipe!) and two lovely students produced HP cakes. 6th form students helped run events and managed the scores. We were thrilled to see some students really swept away by turning up in robes, scarves and with important Hogwarts equipment!
Unfortunately for the returning winners (and the English Department) competition was fierce, especially from Y8 teams. The winners were:
1 S.P.E.W (33/44 points)
2 Four Champions (32/44)
3 Honeydukes / The Niffler Puffs (30/44)
Many thanks to everyone for helping joining in with such gusto – and here’s to next year – Cheers!
What an interesting morning we had with author Christopher Edge, a writer who incorporates scientific theories into his story lines. He was not daunted by the prospect of talking to all 270 Y7 students in our theatre, and didn’t wrong-foot on the Chicago set (ready for our school production)! He was here to promote his recent novels, The many worlds of Albie Bright and The Jamie Drake equation.
Christopher spent an hour checking what scientific knowledge we had before offering his own versions of the workings of parallel universes and thoughts on alien life communities. Students were engaged and keen to contribute throughout the presentation. As groups returned to their classes around 80 students stayed to purchase a book of their choice and speak to Christopher while he signed it for them.
After a quick break we had him up and running again but this time in the smaller setting of our Reading Room, where he ran a workshop for 30 students who had asked to come to find out the best way to begin a story. If you look at our photos you may recognise some of the opening lines that Christopher used to illustrate the best way to tackle this; from authors like Patrick Ness, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Christopher gave everyone the opportunity to choose their favourite and then encouraged them to begin writing a story of their own to follow it. There was just time to read out his favourites.
We would like to say a BIG THANK YOU to Christopher for coming to visit and share his work with us. The students for participating in both events and their teachers for giving up their lessons for Periods 1 and 2.
We haven’t had time to post this year, but couldn’t leave for the Christmas holidays without sharing delicious photos of our annual Battle of the Bookatrons. Year 7 have settled nicely into Library Land and are borrowing well. They, as always, jumped at the chance to pit their literary wits against one another and formed 10 teams for a lunchtime quiz on old favourites , including Tom Gates, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games and a pesky little General Round to sift out the really keen readers!
Winning team: The Bookworms
40 excited Quizzers
Who has a Golden Ticket under their chair?!
The English Drama Queens 🙂
The Library ladiez (and their lovely volunteer Mrs Ivens) provided Poly-juice potion, prawn cocktail crisps, caramel wavers and Bertie Bogtrotter Brownies. The English Teachers turned out in force to add some drama to the David Walliams round and Headmaster, Mr Nunes, announced the winners:
Booby prize for this team name!!!
If you remember, after Easter we set our Y7 students a couple of Reading Challenges to encourage them to read a little more and to get to the end of their books. In class we wrote detailed reading reviews and for homework each student completed one of the challenges on our list:
The best were rewarded with a valuable scratch n sniff bookmark of their choice and many have been used for our display to inspire our incoming group in September and to show off our work during Open Evening.
Overall, the challenge did increase reading, and certainly encouraged many students to plough through to the end; something many find difficult. It also demanded a response to what they had read, again difficult for some who are actually just going through the motions and not really absorbing what they are reading.
We are now looking to incorporate challenge from the very beginning of Y7 Reading Lessons so we can emphasise that reading is a continual part of homework and to encourage a response to what has been read. Reading Passports are becoming Reading Journals with space to record thoughts throughout the year.
Watch this space: