Clubs / Groups

Taylor High School’s Adventure into the World of Knitting

Written by Cathy MacIntyre

I am job-share librarian at Taylor High School, Motherwell, North Lanarkshire. We like to encourage our S1 and S2 students to come along to lunchtime clubs and we wanted something that could rival other clubs operating throughout the school. Various ideas were put forward, it would need to be something that would keep their attention and was fun.

One of my colleagues is a knitting expert and agreed to help me on my mission.

Before we invested in our knitting needles we had to make sure that our members were serious. At our first meeting 10 came along, 4 boys and 6 girls. Nobody knew how to knit, initially our aim was to knit small squares and to sew them into a blanket. We would raffle or auction it and donate the money to charity. Long term plan I hasten to add.

The club started in September 2015 and it caused quite a commotion once word spread throughout the school. Two more students wanted to join so more needles had to be bought. We decided to make 12 our maximum number.

Mrs Dickson (one of our classroom assistants), our knitting expert, came up with an idea to keep the group interested, before we began to make our blanket, let’s show the students how to knit covers for their mobile phones. She brought in some samples and the group thought that it was a great idea.

We started by showing the group how to cast on 30 stitches and start to knit plain garter stitch. Thursday lunchtime, 12.25-1.10pm and we had a thriving club with 12 enthusiastic members. By the time they had their lunch the actual time spent on knitting was 25 minutes.

Some of the students thought that their knitting would grow quickly but unfortunately many stitches were dropped and had to be found but then we decided just to leave the mistakes because as they improved they could look back and laugh.

We lost a few members along the way but as one left new members joined.

Our little club have now mastered the garter stitch in such a small period of time. Some of the group are now knitting at home, one of our boys was going to Paris Disneyland with his family and he was worried that his aunt would be cold so he knitted her a chunky scarf. It was incredible!

Any new members joining the club are made very welcome and are given encouragement and support by the founder members. Thus making knitting fun and enjoyable within this age-group.

It is now December and Taylor High school is busy preparing for the Christmas Show and for the Carol Service so a few of our members have got to go for rehearsals at lunchtime. Purl stitch has now been introduced and we have decided to extend the club to Friday lunchtime because the members have been so keen to master the art of knitting. Hopefully our little group will grow from strength to strength in the New Year.

 

 

 

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Categories: Arts and Crafts, Clubs / Groups, Creativity, Curriculum for Excellence, Health and Well-Being, Interdisciplinary Learning, Literacy | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Commemorating World War One

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.

Categories: Clubs / Groups, Events, Non-fiction, Posters | Leave a comment

John Muir and the S1/S2 Book Club

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.

Categories: Books, Clubs / Groups, Creativity, Health and Well-Being, Literacy, Reading | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Roald Dahl Activities and Competitions

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!

Categories: Clubs / Groups, Competitions, Daily life, Reading | Leave a comment

Christmas Crafts at Cardinal Newman

The Craft Club at Cardinal Newman is always extra busy leading up to the Christmas Fayre, as our wee decorations is a highlight of the event.

Included in the images above are our Rockin’ Robin plates, felt gingerbread man and robin from the Busy Bees Sewing Club, glittery Christmas trees, and wreaths made from paper plates, tissue paper leaves, gems and bows. The sun catchers were purchased blank from a hobby shop, then decorated and sold on for school funds.

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Pumpkin heads and sparkly ghosts

The Craft Club at Cardinal Newman meets Friday lunchtimes in the Library.

We try to match the activities with the time of year, such as these pumpkin heads made from paper plates, and sparkly ghosts: made the Library look funky a well as brightening a scary books display.

The Craft Club is open to all year groups, and provides a relaxing peaceful time for pupils from across the school to get to know easch other.

We also encourage the pupils to suggest their own activities – the next event will no doubt be Christmassy.

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