The Knights of St Columba – Public Speaking Event

Taylor High School hosted the Knights of St Columba’s Public Speaking Event in the School Learning and Resource Centre on Thursday 21 September.

Three schools took part in this highly entertaining event:

  • Taylor High School
  • St Aidan’s High School
  • Our Lady’s High School, Motherwell

The topic was: Brexit – The Pros and Cons of leaving Europe from Young People’s Perspectives. 

The students had obviously researched their subject thoroughly, the arguments were well structured and delivered. The audience and the judges had a very entertaining afternoon but unfortunately there could only be one winner and two runners-up.

St Aidan’s High School won the event and a number of the Knights came along to take part in the presentation. The winning team were presented with a lovely shield.

It was a pleasure to host this event in the Library. Next year St Aidan’s will have that privilege and we look forward to hearing the future topics selected and debated.

Cathy MacIntyre. Learning Resource Centre Manager. Taylor High School





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Competition: Young Creatives 2016


What’s your favourite place in the UK?

Inspiring children across the UK to get creative and show us their talents. Tell us what you love about the UK to be in with a chance of being crowned our Young Creative of 2016. Whether you love to write, take photos, draw or make short films, we want to see your work! Submit your entry by 3pm on Friday 15 April 2016.

Primary and secondary levels.


1st place:

  • A set of Jeremy Strong books
  • A book bundle of various titles from WHSmith
  • A £100 Photobox voucher
  • A printed canvas or framed image of your choice from Photobox
  • A £250 voucher
  • And £150 worth of best-selling Puffin Books for your school library

2nd place:

  • A set of Jeremy Strong books
  • A £50 Photobox voucher
  • A printed canvas or framed image of your choice from Photobox
  • A £200 voucher

3rd place:

  • A set of Jeremy Strong books
  • A £30 Photobox voucher
  • A printed canvas or framed image of your choice from Photobox
  • A £50 voucher
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The Best Worst Christmas Jokes Ever

2015_1221_bestworstjokesOLHS pupils were invited to enter a competition to tell their best worst Christmas jokes, the ones that make you groan when you read them out of crackers. Extra credit was given for decorating their jokes.

Having asked four pupils to help colour in the banner – the letters were lightly pencilled in already – I was gobsmacked when they created a glorious Chrismassy artwork. So good in fact, that we’ll have to do the competition again next year so it can go back on display!

Anyone walking into the Library was asked for their opinion, so eventually there had to be two winning jokes.




What is green, covered in tinsel and goes “ribbet ribbet?

A Mistle Toad? 






How does a penguin build its house?

Igloos it together!



Here are the other entries. This was an extremely popular competition with new entries arriving every day and even some classes participating!

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World Book Day Award

wobod wobodwin

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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!

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Welcoming S1 pupils to the world of the library.

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.

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World Cup fever comes to Taylor High School library

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

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The Scottish Book Trust’s ‘Home’ Project, the Library and English

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.

Categories: Communication, Competitions, Creativity, Daily life, Events, Interdisciplinary Learning, Literacy | Tags: , , | 1 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.

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Burns Competition Winners

To commemorate the birthday of Robert Burns S1 pupils took part in a competition to celebrate the Scots language and the work of Robert Burns.

As an introduction to the use of Scots in poetry the classes watched a short film of Dundonian poet, Mark Thomson, discussing his use of Scots and the Dundonian dialect in his poetry. This was followed by listening to an emotive rendition of Auld Lang Syne sung by Paolo Nutini with Phil Cunningham on mandolin.

Each S1 class was divided into groups and asked to translate Scots words into English, note down interesting and expressive Scots words and create sentences using those words. The next task was to translate an extract from, To a Mouse. To finish the competition a pupil from each group took to the floor to recite, A Man’s a Man for A’ That.


The competition winners were a group from class 1H1. This group came up with an interesting selection of Scots words and used them to create humourous sentences. As a prize they each selected a book from a selection of current fiction titles.

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Christmas at Caldervale

We have been getting into the Christmas spirit at Caldervale over the last few weeks with a decorate your door competition to raise money for the Philippines Typhoon Appeal, Christmas Concert rehearsals and parties.

The school’s S1-S4 book groups celebrated the end of another successful session by coming together for their annual Christmas party.  The table was set, the crackers and place settings laid and the programme finalised.  The guests invited, including the Head teacher and the English department. After lots of snacks and cakes, the pupils provided entertainment consisting of poetry readings,  ‘Twas the night before Christmas and The night after Christmas, a Christmas quiz and music. Even Santa paid a visit.  Everyone was treated to a book gift from Santa, another little incentive to keep them reading over the holidays!

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World Book Day Competition

From the World Book Day website

The Showcase on the World Book Day website is a place for teachers, parents and literacy professionals to share their ideas for fun ways to promote reading, in the classroom and elsewhere.

Go to to add YOUR ideas and you’ll automatically be entered into a prize draw to win an author or illustrator event for your class.

Closing date: Friday 23rd May 2013

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World Book Day

Caldervale High School celebrated World Book Day, on Thursday 7th March, with its annual team quiz to find the pupils with the best knowledge of books.  Fifteen pupils and 11 members of staff took part in the lunchtime quiz in the Library Resource Centre.

Pupils were teamed up with members of staff from the English Department to answer two rounds of book-related questions.  The winning team, after a tie break to guess the number of pages in a copy of Tolstoy’s War and Peace, were “The Epic Musical Cookie Munchers”, made up of two first year pupils, a fourth year pupil, and an English teacher,  scoring an “epic” 19.5 out of 22 points.  Note to self – must make the questions harder!!!!

The winning pupils each received a £5 book token and all the participants were rewarded with a World Book Day Token.  The prize for the most original team name went to the runners up “District 12 All Stars”.  I’m never sure if the Easter Eggs are the more popular prize or not?  This year’s staff team, from the Social Subjects Department, handed in the best performance yet,  in the 7 year history of the quiz, with 15 out of 22.  All the pupils and staff involved claimed they enjoyed the event – though that may have been due to the bowls of sweets on every team table!!!

 World Book Day Winning TeamWBD Best Team Name


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Kids Lit Quiz 2012

The West of Scotland heat of the Kids Lit Quiz 2012 was held at Kilsyth Academy today, with teams from North Lanarkshire, Glasgow, Perth and Kinross and Argyll and Bute. With 38 teams taking part, along with their reserves and accompanying staff, the hall was buzzing with excitement. Incredibly this is the 10th year of the Kids Lit Quiz in the UK, so everyone sang Happy Birthday and enjoyed some rather nice cake.

Happy 10th birthday, Kids Lit Quiz UK!

In previous years, I’ve simply asked for volunteers to compete for a team place, but this year I decided to give everyone a shot, chose twenty of the Kids Lit Quiz practice questions and had every 1st year class work in teams to answer as many of them as they could (challenging their teachers along the way).

This showed up a surprising lack of knowledge about fairy tales – does nobody watch cartoons any more? – and also the fact that 1st years have absolutely no idea how loud their voices are 😀

The wee taster worked well and encouraged a wider range of pupils to compete for the teams. I wrote a series of questions on a powerpoint set to repeat, so that pupils could still take part no matter when they arrived. By the end, we discovered a wonderful array of reading knowledge talent for our two teams and two reserves.

The ten strong team came into the LRC to train at intervals and lunchtimes, ask each other questions and reinforce their weak points (especially those fairy tales!) Of course, no-one knows what the questions will be at the Kids Lit Quiz so they had a lot of ground to cover. Acres of ground.

Back at Kilsyth Academy, the event ran without a hitch, with pupils revealing astonishing expertise in unexpected fields (Shakespeare!?), and even winning some spot prizes. More importantly, they worked brilliantly as teams, providing congratulations and commiseration equally and as necessary.

The beauty of the Kids Lit Quiz is the way that it promotes reading: every child taking part from Our Lady’s returned with books and were able to get them signed by the authors who had come along to support the event (V Campbell, Keith Charters, Keith Gray, and Linda Strachan). Even when we returned to school, they came into the LRC hunting for other titles that had been mentioned during the day.

Massive thanks to Martin Boyle, LRC Manager at Kilsyth Academy, for producing yet another fantastic event, and of course to the Kids Lit Quiz maestro, Wayne Mills, for coming all the way from New Zealand with questions in hand, and enthusiasm in heart.

(Oh yes, and the Librarians team – myself, Catriona Wright, Lesley-Ann MacDonald and Lindesay Burton – got the highest score. Just saying  😀 although to be fair it was only by one point!)

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Adventures in reading wallchart

From the Scottish Book Trust website

We would like to encourage schools to create a reading culture throughout their school community. To help with this we’ve created an Adventures in Reading poster. It details the many Scottish Book Trust projects schools can get involved with, as well as suggesting activities to try in school throughout the year. We have also highlighted some projects from other organisations which we think schools could benefit from taking part in.

You can download an A4 PDF of the poster.

If you’d like an A2 sized copy of the poster to put in your staffroom please email your name and address to Heather Collins @ Scottish Book Trust

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CHERUB competition

From Hodder Children’s Books

You could win a year’s supply of books for your school library, including a full set of all of Robert Muchamore’s titles, and one of your pupils could win an i-pod touch plus exclusive CHERUB goodies (pens, stickers, badges, posters, a beanie hat, AND a USB wristband!)

All you have to do is display a poster in your school, hand it round, email it, whatever you like, encouraging your pupils to enter the competition online. If one of your pupils wins, your school library automatically wins a year’s supply of books!

All they have to do is write the first sentence of an imaginary CHERUB book.

Your pupils have until September 30th 2012 to enter!

You can download the poster pdf by clicking here.

Or you can emailcherubschoolcomp @ to request A3 sized printed copies.

Good luck!

Your pupils will need to enter the competition on this website page (the url is also on the poster).

Full terms and conditions for this competition are also listed on the competition page.

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