Carnegie preparations in hand

This term is busy here in Library-Land as revision for GCSE and A Levels get serious. In fact we have many students getting their heads down to work from 8am – 4.30pm every day. We almost feel bad for turning them out at 4.30!

Anyway, our workload has calmed down and so while we watch over and support Y11 & Y13s we busy ourselves with preparations for Carnegie Celebrations yet to come. Our Shadowing Group are meeting weekly and reading constantly –  some have already read 6 books – and we are having trouble keeping up with them! Our day of celebration with Churchill Academy students will be early this year to make way for Enrichment Week and French exchanges, on 5th of June. We have already booked local author, Mimi Thebo (who was nominated with Coyote Summer) to speak about her writing and what she thinks of book awards. We have placed the buffet lunch order. So now we must plan our activities: icebreakers, quizzes and competitions to warm everyone up before the big debate in the afternoon.

Trinkets and prizes are always treasured, and this year we have gone all-out to give them a Carnegie flavour (quite literally). We hold our hands up to admit they are not original ideas, having found them on Twitter (God bless Twitter!) The biggest thanks go to @playbythebook, @librarymice and a certain German supermarket for the idea, template and chox for the minibook shortlisted titles. The empty key-rings were found online (probably from China, so allow plenty of postage time!) Also thanks to our 6th form assistants for showing the Library Ladiez who to resize photos and a lot of cutting and sticking!

Happy to share – find the pdfs to print below:

Book Covers for Carnegie Key-Rings

Shortlist chox 2018



New fiction suggestions for Y7 & Y9

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!

Mar 1Mar 2

Both documents are available in pdf format for you to save or download in the Reading List Tab.

Three day Book Bonanza

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.

YA books

More details can be found on the World Book Day website.



Competitions for the Book Fair (coming soon!)

Book Fair banner

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.

2018 flyer home


Potter Mania

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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!



Fact and Fiction for Y7 with Christopher Edge

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.

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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.

Y7 Battle of the Bookatrons

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!

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:

winning team name plates

Winning teams

Made to reados

Booby prize for this team name!!!