Author Archives: Anna Leslie

Scottish Book Trust’s new writing campaign

Scottish Book Trust have just launched a new public writing campaign.

The theme is ‘home’.  Pupils are being asked to submit a piece of personal writing, such as a story, rap, song or poem based on their experiences, which shows what home means to them.

For more information follow the links below:

http://www.scottishbooktrust.com/reading/stories-of-home

http://www.scottishbooktrust.com/learning/teachers-librarians/stories-of-home

Categories: Health and Well-Being, Literacy | Tags: | Leave a comment

Eggcellent Easter fun in the library

Taylor High S1 pupils have been involved in a great Easter craft activity at lunchtime this week. Pupils were asked to design and decorate their very own Easter egg.  Not surprisingly, eggs had to have an Easter theme.  Designs were great with one pupil writing a poem and another creating a more religious theme.  Clearly, our pupils had not forgotten the importance of the season!  Fun was had by all creating these wonderful eggs, even the Librarian created one.  Eight pupils took part in this great event.  The most creative and colourful was pick by a teacher and prizes were of a chocolate variety.  This was a wonderful way to get pupils to be creative, promote friendship and develop literacy skills.  Our pupils never fail in creating a wonderfully welcoming environment.  The library is now full of Easter cheer

Well done to all the pupils for taking the time to be involved.

Categories: Arts and Crafts | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Taylor High and Scottish Book Trust

An article to celebrate the work at Taylor High School during World Book Day 2014 has been published on Scottish Book Trust’s website. For more information click on the link below.

http://www.scottishbooktrust.com/blog/teachers-librarians/2014/03/designing-book-covers-at-taylor-high

Many thanks to everyone involved.

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S3 Mind Mapping Skills

This year at Taylor High School, as Librarian I have been keen to embark on an Information Literacy course with our middle school. Many of my current projects are with the lower school and I really wanted the library to be involved in more activities and projects with other departments and year groups.

Orginally, I had planned to work with our fourth years but since this activity was going to be taking place before their exam period, I thought against it. I then began to think of our third year pupils and how this tool could help them with their future exams. Pupils were given two mind map activities to complete during a 40 minute period. One mind map focused on themselves, while the other focused on a subject they were studying. The subject chosen to mind map was ultimately picked by pupils. Mind maps included Biology, Art, P.E, Maths and English.

In order to complete these exercises, PSHE classes were split into two groups of fifteen to accommodate everyone in the library, with half the class coming one period and the other half during the next.

It was interesting to see what our S3 pupils knew about mind mapping and also gave me some great ideas for future projects. Feedback has been encouraging with a number of useful suggestions being made. Some pupils said they enjoyed having a choice for the last activity, while others suggested working as a group to create a mind map.

I’m really looking forward to developing this course further next session and believe that this tool can help our exams candidates plan.

Many thanks to our S3 PSHE pupils and staff and the head of S3 for being involved.

Categories: Creativity, Information Literacy, Literacy | Tags: , | Leave a comment

World Book Day 2014 at Taylor High School

One school community’s take on World Book Day 2014

Taylor High School staff and pupils have been very busy designing book covers for our World Book Day 2014 competition.  Various departments, individual teachers and lunchtime clubs were involved in this wonderfully fun and artistic event.  Pupils from across S1-S3 helped to brighten our already colourful corridors with their designs.

Designs for book covers either had to relate to their teacher’s subject, school or something they were studying.  It was a great way to get the whole school community involved in celebrating literature and promoting literacy.

It was clear from the outset that running this type of activity would take some thought and planning.  In order to get staff as passionate about this idea as myself, it was going to take more than an email.  By simply visiting various departments and speaking to staff, the activity began to take shape.  However, I did send one final email at the beginning of World Book Day week to finalise everything.

Some teachers undertook this activity as a group project, while others got pupils to individually create a poster to become one design.  The response from both staff and pupils was great, as various departments got involved in this event.

The Art Department involved three of their S1 classes.  Their commitment to this project was amazing and this really made both teacher and librarian proud.  The focus of their design was ‘Alice in Wonderland’.  Each class had a different interpretation of this classic book.

The Maths Department took a different approach when creating a book cover for the Murderous Maths series.  One S3 class created a display by putting posters around their class door, while another class covered their door in their own personalised paper books to celebrate this book series.

A number of our lunchtime clubs were also involved, including the S1 Around the World Club, my own S1 Book Club and the S1 Euro Club.  Books included ‘The Demon Dentist’ by David Walliams and ‘Toro, Toro’ by Michael Morpurgo.

Similarly, the English Department also created some amazing book covers with their S2 classes to celebrate ‘The Book Thief’ by Markus Zusak , ‘Catching Fire’ by Suzanne Collins, ‘Tales of the Unexpected’ by Roald Dahl, the Harry Potter series and Tam O’Shanter by Robert Burns.

There were three winning categories all picked by our lovely office staff.  These included, the most creative, colourful and eco-friendly.  However, as the designs were extremely good, I decided to choose another winner but asked our headteacher to choose.  I was really glad that the final decision was not left up to myself.

An S3 Maths class won the most creative, an S1 Art class won the most colourful and an S1 Social Subjects class won the most eco-friendly and an S2 English class won the headteacher’s choice.

Well done and thanks to all staff and pupils who took part in this event.  It was really wonderful to see how enthusiastic and industrious everyone was.

Look at the Scottish Book Trust Website to read a fuller account of our World Book Day event.

Categories: Authors, Books, Competitions, Curriculum for Excellence, Illustrators, Literacy, Stuff and things | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Treasures @ Taylor

Recently at Taylor High School, New Stevenston, myself, the Social Subjects Department and S1 pupils were involved in a creative writing workshop that focused the theme of ‘Treasure’.  This was part of the Library’s programme of activities to celebrate Scottish Book Week 2013.

S1 pupils were asked to write and design a postcard from their ‘Most treasured place in Scotland.’   This was inspired by the Scottish Book Trust’s free book called ‘Treasure’.  A similar event was run by both departments last year.  However, this year there was a new twist to the workshop with pupils choosing a member of staff to write their postcard to.

This event was extremely successful with many pupils taking their postcards home to complete. Pupils’ feedback has been very encouraging.  It was also very inspiring to see pupils’ positive view of the world around them.

As a result, I wrote an article to promote the work of staff and pupils, which was posted on the Scottish Book Trust website.

It was also posted on a blog called ‘Storify’.

Well done to all the pupils and staff involved.

Categories: Learning and Teaching, Librarians, Literacy, Social Studies | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

My favourite place

For Book Week Scotland, we ran a collection of activities based around ‘My favourite place’. These have now been added to the Scottish Book Trust website.

Chris Leslie at The Scottish Book Trust said he would be interested in other articles and information about the things we do.

Categories: Creativity, Events | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

SCILT

The following article was sent to SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages, who published it in their Summer 2012 Newsletter.

The Modern Languages Department and the Librarian at Taylor High, New Stevenston, have been celebrating languages, particularly Spanish, in a number of ways over the last year.

Both departments have created a Spanish Dictionary Mission for all S1s. Pupils learn how to use a bilingual dictionary, learn new words in Spanish as well as using words they have been learning in class, and learn how to create a Mind-Map. A variety of different questions are asked in both Spanish and English to enable pupils to use both sections of the dictionary. Once pupils have completed this activity they get an opportunity to decorate their Mind-Map and the most creative are then displayed in the Modern Languages corridor.

Together with the class teacher, the Librarian helps pupils use a Spanish Dictionary. This gives S1s one of their first opportunities to use a Spanish Dictionary. This exercise increases pupils’ confidence when using a bilingual dictionary and in the Spanish language.

The S1 Euro Club also runs every Thursday at lunchtime from 1pm – 1:45pm and we explore a variety of topics such as European foods and leisure activities. Exploring various leisure activities has been an enjoyable experience for pupils as they have learned how to play boules, table football and games on the Wii, particularly a Maracas game. Pupils have to keep time with the music by pretending to play these musical instruments. By researching different leisure activities pupils have learned to build resilience and confidence by participating in a wide range of activities that promote a healthy lifestyle and contribute to the wider community.

Categories: Curriculum for Excellence, Expressive Arts, Languages | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Cathy MacPhail visit to Taylor High School Library

Some S2 pupils had the pleasure of hearing Cathy Macphail discuss her work on Tuesday.  Pupils really enjoyed hearing what Cathy had to say about her books and life as a writer.  It was a really enjoyable experience for both pupils and staff.

Pupils also got an opportunity to buy some of her work and get their books signed.  We hope to have Cathy back again soon.

Categories: Author visits | Tags: , | 3 Comments

Hispanic Week in the Library

Last week the pupils at Taylor High School celebrated the Spanish Language with Hispanic week.  There was a variety of exciting events running in conjunction with the library.  These included, Tapas tasting, celebrating Spanish golfers with the Euro Club and a craft activity to decorate and design a sombrero.

I was invited along to S1 Home Economics classes for some Tapas tasting fun.  There were various types of tapas dishes to try and lots of recipe books to explore.  This helped pupils to explore and enjoy the Mediterranean diet.

The S1 Euro Club celebrated Hispanic week by researching famous Spanish golfers and playing golf on the Wii.  Fun was had by all.

 There was also a craft activity in the library during Wednesday lunchtime.   Pupils were asked to design and decorate their own sombrero.  Sombrero’s had to have a Spanish theme.  Every one who took part won a small prize and the most creative was chosen by a member of the Modern Languages Department.  Sombrero’s are now being displayed in the library.

Categories: Creativity, Curriculum for Excellence, Events, Literacy | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment
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