Back in March, I e-mailed our newest English teacher to see if they would be interested in taking part in a library writing activity. They were extremely positive and suggested their S2 class take part in such a project. Great! An opportunity to work with our S2s.
Pupils were asked to write a letter discussing the places, people, pets, buildings, community or fun activities important to them, reminding them of ‘Home’. The class were also asked to write approximately 500 words. One pupil stated he wanted to keep writing, while others saw this as a challenge. However, our pupils have never been afraid of expressing themselves. Pupils choose to share various memories from their Gran’s house, to their own home or their favourite summer holiday. The class were also given the chance to elect a member of staff to write to.
Miss Murphy stated,
‘I was really pleased by the response of my S2 class, as they were all genuinely pleased to be selected for this trial project with the library. It was wonderful to see all the personalities in class come forward.
My class all worked well together, were very hard working and showed a united front when completing this activity. This project gave my pupils the confidence to discuss and write about a subject that is important to them.’
Orginally, I thought about putting the class pieces on the library wall. However, this idea was not as popular as I would have liked because of the subject matter. At first I was really disappointed but not accepting defeat, I began thinking about possible ways to promote the work this class had undertaken without embarrassing them. It would be a waste not to display at least some of our pupils’ fabulous achievements!
For help with this, I spoke to their teacher. She kindly asked the class who would be willing for their work to be displayed in the library and how they felt about being entered into the Scottish Book Trust’s national literacy competition for the rest of Scotland and the world to see.
The response was encouraging with four pupils coming forward to have their letters displayed in the library. I was really pleased that this would not be a wasted opportunity and would give our pupils the recognition for their work they deserved. Like previous personal writing activities I have co-ordinated, it was really lovely to read about what a special community we have here at Taylor.
One of our pupils stated,
‘I thoroughly enjoyed this project as it gave me a chance to share my memories with different people. I also enjoyed the fact that I had to write five hundred words. I believe that this project was a great success and I would love to do it again.”
Many thanks to Miss Murphy who took part in this project and to the S2 pupils who kindly permitted their work to be displayed and submitted to the SBT’s ‘Home project.
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:
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.
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.
Many thanks to everyone involved.
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.
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.
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.
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.