Taylor High School Library was featured on the National Libraries Day website about our work with the Art and Design Department. Can’t believe we missed it, check it out!
Author Archives: Anna Leslie
Last week there was a letter in my tray from one of our DHT’s from Education Scotland about their initiative called ‘National Digital Learning Week 2015′. This particular event celebrated the use of technology in schools. What better way than promoting the work librarians make to their school community than a Wiki on Glow? As librarians, we use technology every day, so I thought, why not promote this very fact?
Have a look.
Check out an article on the Scottish Book Trust website about a recent project at Taylor High School for World Book Day. Librarian, Anna Leslie, organised a series of Reading Confessions, with pupils interrogating teachers about their preferences.
The article was also featured on the ‘Save Scottish School Libraries’ Facebook page.
Pupils and staff at Taylor High School, New Stevenston have been busy getting ready for National Libraries Day 2015 over the last couple of weeks. Our fabulous Art department and some of our S1/S2 pupils were asked to create and design murals for the library.
The idea originally came from one of the Scottish Book Trust’s projects for ‘Book Week Scotland 2014’. I then began thinking about how my school could incorporate this for National Libraries Day.
Firstly, I had a brief discussion with my colleagues in Art and gave each one a copy of the National Libraries Day logo for inspiration. I followed this up with an e-mail suggesting possible ideas. However, it was really my colleagues who had the most challenging task.
Mrs Devlin’s S2 class became involved and she stated;
“Like previous library activities my classes have taken part in, I was keen and so were my S2 class to illustrate all the fantastic and wonderful things that happen in our school library.”
I gave each teacher and their classes the freedom to choose how to create their mural but asked them to follow three simple rules. These included;
(1)It must promote the work of the library.
(2) The mural can be completed as a class assignment or during lunchtimes.
(3) It should be either A3 or A4 in size.
S1 and S2 classes took part in this activity during their Art periods and the final results were nothing short of amazing. Each mural’s interpretation of life at Taylor High School library differed.
One of our S2 pupils commented;
“The activity was fun and different, a twist on what we normally do in Art. I am proud that our class’s mural is on the wall outside the library.”
Each mural depicted different aspects of life in the library. One was a collage and the other was inspired by the comic book format and both offered a valuable insight into life in the school library and the role it plays in our school community.
Mrs Ferguson’s S1 Art class also took part. She commented;
“My class were really enthusiastic about this project and came up with some amazing ideas. Once the class began to discuss possible ideas for the mural, there was no stopping them. As a class, they decided to design a mural like a comic book but using fictional characters from Beatrix Potter stories and Roald Dahl books to tell our community about life at Taylor High school library. ”
These artistic creations would not have been a success without the support and enthusiasm of my colleagues. It was a huge compliment to the library, as the murals proved our pupils hold our school library in high regard.
Thanks to all the staff and pupils who took part in this wonderful project.
Taylor High School’s library commemorations of World War One have been in full swing. There have been a variety of projects since the autumn, including our fabulous display and the S1/S2 Book Club project.
I began by undertaking some research into the War in Lanarkshire, a theme that was being commemorated by our neighbours in the public libraries, incorporating this into our display. North Lanarkshire’s very own Heritage Centre in Motherwell was able to confirm where our local men fought, where they died and where our local War memorials were.
Our S1/S2 Book Club were also involved. Our pupils read an extract from Michael Morpurgo’s ‘War Horse’. This provided them with an invaluable opportunity to explore the backdrop to this world famous novel.
My colleague, who kindly helps with the Book Club had recently visited the poppy display at the Tower of London on her travels. It was worthwhile having a colleague share her experience with pupils and also gave the activity a much welcome twist.
Mrs Findlay stated,
“I really enjoyed getting to discuss my trip to London, particularly my visit to the poppy display at the Tower of London. I explained how emotional I felt when I walked round this historic building with its vast collection of poppies. Our pupils were all keen to listen and eager to ask questions.”
We continued with the theme of WW1 in our Book Club during the month of November for our whole school ‘Non-Fiction Poster Competition’. This gave pupils an opportunity to celebrate some of our fabulous non-fiction WW1 books and explore this genre further.
Posters were displayed around the library, even the doors and these promoted a particular non-fiction book series, noted the author and some key facts held within the book (a good lesson in summarising, not copying the book word for word).
Their efforts were all very artistic with pupils exploring different aspects of the war, from poppies, tanks to trench warfare. It was a great way to finish our months of WW1 activities here in the library. These projects have hopefully inspired some members of the group and others to read and borrow some more historical fiction and non-fiction books.
I suppose it seems like an odd choice for a librarian to be involved in a project about food. You might ask yourself, where is the connection between libraries and a department that specialises in everything textile, food and balanced diet related? Well, the common denominators are literacy, personal writing and the media. I have always been keen to establish a project with the Home Economics department but was at a bit of loss on how to achieve this. However, not being afraid of a challenge, I began to think of possible ways to run such a project.
The idea for this activity came due to a discussion I had with the Principle Teacher of Home Economics, Scott Russell, and reading various cooking magazines. I then began to think of possible questions to ask our pupils and finally came up with a personal writing project that would get everyone talking about and celebrating food.
‘Running a literacy project is a vital part of the S1 Home Economics course. I believe it is important to highlight the importance of going to the library for research, so what better way than trialling a project like this.’
As a result, the writing activity called ‘S1 Love food’ was created. Great! A writing activity that would promote the library, the librarian and the work we do within our community!
Pupils were asked to design a newspaper/magazine article using a template already made for them using ‘ComicLife’. (It is hoped to give pupils the opportunity to use this package in future.)
The main purpose of this project however, was to provide pupils with the opportunity to learn about the layout of a newspaper article, celebrate food and highlighting the importance of their school library in their learning.
Pupils were asked to complete a brainstorming activity for homework with the final article being recreated in either class or the library. The following questions were asked;
1 What is your favourite thing to cook? (It could be something you have made this year in Home Economics.)
2 What are the main ingredients?
3 Where is your favourite place to eat?
4 Who do you go with?
5 What is your ultimate meal and why?
By working collaboratively, both departments really enhanced this project, I had not previously included the brainstorming step in my original plans. However, this gave pupils the chance to note down key ideas before writing their article. The response from pupils was encouraging. Many pupils stated they enjoyed creating a name for their newspaper/magazine.
Well done to all the S1 pupils who took part and contributed to this project. I would also like to thank Scott Russell, Principle teacher of Home Economics and Louise Hamilton, Home Economics teacher for being involved with this fantastic activity. I hope that this is an event that can be developed further in the coming years.
Once we have completed the Library Induction Fact Finding Mission we turn our attention to the Fabulous Fiction Workbook. This exercise allows the students to closely examine a wide range of genre which are placed on their table.
Initially the students were asked to choose 3-5 books and write the following:
Title, author, blurb, how the book is illustrated, who are the main characters and what genre would the book come under.
Once they had completed examining and writing about their books the final part of the workbook asked them to write about the type of books that they would read and finally the type of books that they wouldn’t read. In both cases they also had explain why they would/wouldn’t read these books.
As I was adopting the existing project that Anna had produced I followed it to the letter.
I noticed that some students were struggling when they were asked to write about more than three books. I decided to limit the number to three and encouraged them to go back into the online Library Catalogue in order to compare the Genre that they had written with the Genre in the catalogue. I felt that this exercise allowed the students to reinforce accessing the Catalogue and it also gave them a better understanding of the Catalogue Entries. The students seemed to enjoy this additional part of the exercise and I suggested to Anna that we could incorporate it into the workbook.
Over the last few weeks the S1/S2 Book Club have been reading all about John Muir. Pupils have been discovering all about the life and times of this environmentalist and creating a wonderful display for the library.
The Book Club have been using the book ‘John Muir: Earth – Planet Universe’ by Julie Bertagna and in particular the teaching resources created for this book. As a group, we examined John Muir’s timeline and his legacy. This raised many questions such as, defining who he was, discovering all about all the places he visited and finding all about the areas of land his trust now own.
The following week, the group took the ‘John Muir Quiz’ to find out if we were like the man himself. Good fun was had by all.
During the final two lunchtimes, one very artistic S2 pupil designed a tree trunk, while other members of the group were on the computers researching. The information they discovered was then placed on the template of a leaf and placed on the tree trunk design.
Thanks to the S1/S2Book Club for making this such a fun and successful activity.
We, at Taylor High school library, decided to hold a Roald Dahl Week of activities instead of trying to cram too much into one day. Originally this was to run from Monday 8 to Friday 12 September, the demand for the competitions was so fierce that we had to extend the closing date for another week.
• Competitions galore!! Colourful drawings of cup-cakes on display alongside the ‘dapper’ Willie Wonka figures and our ever popular Roald Dahl Word Search!
• Anna worked tirelessly with a number of staff to create a hilarious power-point presentation listing our ‘revolting recipes’.
• The Book Club and the Around the World were both very well attended and by the end of the week we had produced a very colourful back drop in the library.
• The obligatory prizes were given out and the recipients all went away feeling very pleased with themselves.
Hopefully we can continue to flame the enthusiasm of our library members!
Every year when the new term begins the school is full of chatter from our S1s. Cathy (the other half of my role) and I try to design and organise as many fun but educational activities as possible.
This year we intend to celebrate as many national events as possible. These include celebrating Roald Dahl Day from the 8th September to the 12th September (a day was not enough for our plans), Halloween (my favourite), Scottish Book Week, Christmas, the Chinese New Year, National Libraries Day, World Book Day and anything else we can come up with.
Some of the events we organise are for the library only, while others get various departments across the school involved. Even our craft competitions get the staff involved. Recently, we ran our first craft competition. Pupils were asked to design and decorate their very own craft t-shirt to celebrate the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Many of our pupils were able to share stories about their experience of the games, be that from watching the television, going to the various sporting events, visiting Glasgow Green and even going to the dress rehearsal for the opening ceremony. It was wonderful to get to know some of our new S1 pupils and there were also a number of familiar faces to welcome back.
Our winners of the craft competition came from both S1 and S2. A member of our PE department chose the most creative.
Well done to all involved. We are really looking forward to meeting some new faces.
I arrived at Taylor High School at an awkward time, the exams were in full swing, the library was being used for the exams and the weather was beautiful so the students, understandably, wanted to be outside rather than visit the library.
Who was this new person working Thursday and Friday instead of Mrs Leslie.
So I thought to myself how can I make an impact before the Summer Holidays?
Once every four years the whole nation becomes involved in the excitement and anticipation of the World Cup. It doesn’t matter whether Scotland is involved as most of us enjoy the opportunity to see the best teams in the world play teams from lesser known countries. Waiting in anticipation to see who will win the coveted cup.
This also gives the library the opportunity to show the staff and pupils of the school that we are followers of ‘the beautiful game’ too!
The FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014 Fixture Poster was the focal point of our World Cup display in the library supported by football books and general books about Brazil. A big thanks to those of you who entered into the spirit and filled in the daily scores on our behalf. Well done!
In order to add a little of our own competitiveness we decided to hold a few World Cup related competitions.
Football colouring-in-sheets, World Cup 2014 Qualifiers word search and World Cup Trivia Challenge.
Well done to everyone for supporting our World Cup extravaganza! I was very pleased with the success of our project and hope to have many more throughout the new academic year!
by C. McIntyre
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.
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 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.