Books

Titanic Project

This is OLHS’ successful submission for North Lanarkshire’s Excellence and Equity Awards 2017: Productive Partnerships – Purposeful Learning.

As a result of changes to SQA exams, staff at Our Lady’s High School, Motherwell, spotted an opportunity to provide an exciting programme of interdisciplinary experiences for some of our National 4 students. Our aim was to help pupils gain additional qualifications while expanding their life experiences and raising awareness of the options available to them on leaving school, all through focusing on the Titanic disaster.

We are now approaching the third year of this vibrant project which runs over three weeks of the SQA diet. The programme coordinators are PT Pupil Support, Lyn Zambonini, and Library Resource Centre Manager, Jennifer Macfadyen, but the project involves staff from across Our Lady’s High School, local businesses, voluntary groups and national organisations.

Following an initial introduction, the programme is split into four broad areas: ship building and design; life aboard the Titanic; the disaster itself; and the rediscovery of the wreck.

We were stunned to discover that the steel plates that built Titanic had actually come from the Colville Steelworks in Motherwell, making a wonderful connection with our local heritage. Pupils were lucky to experience Tata, now Liberty Steel, in the process of rolling the steel plates with a guided tour by staff at the plant, who also provided pupils with many stories of life at the steelworks and a thorough grounding in Health and Safety routines.

Although the Titanic was built in Belfast, we were able to take advantage of the Clyde’s vast experience in ship-building, visiting the Titan Crane at Clydebank, and the Denny Tank Museum at Dumbarton. Titan staff explained how riveting gangs worked, how the shipyards were a part of the community and how dangerous life was while the Denny Flotation Tank demonstrated the engineering expertise involved in designing and testing ships’ hulls. The group also discovered that Denny’s was even involved in testing some of Titanic’s lifeboats. This information became invaluable when learning about buoyancy with Science teachers back at OLHS, and designing their own hulls.

Pupils also learned more about some of the passengers and crew aboard and the different lives they led on a luxury liner depending on their class. English showed the films, A Night to Remember and Titanic, and compared the special effects and factual reliability of each. Our group were able to put their new-found knowledge into practice by working with Lifestyle Development staff to create a shipboard lunch for staff – although staff did not know until the last minute whether they would receive the 1st, 2nd or 3rd class treatment and dining experience.

To bring everything up to date we contacted Greenock Ocean Terminal who kindly arranged for us to have a tour of the Caribbean Princess. We used this experience as a focus on careers, bringing along our Careers Advisor, Miss Ruth Robertson from SDS to provide detailed advice. Seeing aboard a real cruise ship gave pupils a whole new way of looking at the world, and the numerous careers open to them. They were also keen to compare the Caribbean Princess to what they had already learned about ship design. They were definitely impressed by the safety regulations and the numbers of lifeboats.

Turning our attention to the disaster itself, Mr Walter Lee from the RNLI kindly came along to demonstrate what happened with the iceberg and graphically explain what would have happened to the Titanic’s passengers in the water, including the effects of hypothermia – he even brought along his own mini iceberg!

Other activities have included creating a map of the world demonstrating the Titanic’s route (Social Subjects); printing and poster making (Art and Design); trying out Morse code (Science); an afternoon swimming courtesy of NL Leisure (Lifestyle Development); building their own model Titanic (Social Subjects / Art); discussion of moral issues relating to women and children first and the treatment of 3rd class passengers (RE); further moral issues relating to the wreck arose following a screening of Ghosts of the Abyss: should the Titanic be raised? Should material be removed? Should the ship be left to rust to nothing? (English); and multi-lingual newspaper front pages (Modern Languages).

With so many stories being generated from the project, we wanted pupils to be able to record the aspects that were most important to them, from the ‘women and children first’ policy, to the lifeboats, to the role of the wireless operator, so we introduced the group to storyteller, Allison Galbraith, thanks to part-funding from the Scottish Book Trust. Allison demonstrated the art of storytelling, and guided the group through creating and recording their own stories, helping them to record their own voices for posterity. Allison started by introducing herself and just talking with the group, building pupils’ confidence in speaking before a stranger. As a result, although pupils were nervous about recording, they were keen to participate. Allison also demonstrated breathing exercises and vocal warm-ups before recording began, with further advice on presentation as we worked through the stories. Despite occasionally breaking into the giggles, every pupil managed to record their own work beautifully.

Discussion with pupils led to an additional trip which saw us taking the ferry to Rothesay and the stunning Mount Stuart House. This mansion was completed in 1912, the same year as the Titanic disaster and thus pupils were not only able to experience actually travelling across water – a new experience for all of them – but to see luxurious interiors similar to those of the ship they’d been learning all about.

The Titanic Project continues to develop with partnerships emerging as various individuals and groups express an interest in participating. In 2016, our pupils were even able to join with St Brendan’s Primary as part of their anniversary visit to Belfast to see the Titanic Museum for themselves.

The Titanic Project has been a huge success over the last two years. We have seen the pupils blossom, gaining in confidence, pulling together as a team, and their ideas of what’s available to them in the future have expanded rapidly. Each year pupils have created an exhibition of their experiences which have been visited by classes from across OLHS and visitors to the school, leading to further discussions and expressions of interest. Last year all of the pupils involved achieved the SQA qualifications. “Local investigations” at SCQF level 4.

Feedback from pupils themselves has been outstanding:

”I thought it would be boring, but it was brilliant!”;

“I liked how we went on adventures and explored all the museums”;

“I seemed to get a better relationship with people that I hadn’t spoken to since primary”;

”I actually wanted to come to school!”

The Project continues to explore new ground and build new partnerships. Staff coordinators continue to collect materials, ideas and contacts and we look forward to its continuing success long into the future.

Categories: Books, Communication, Creativity, Curriculum for Excellence, Developing the Young Workforce, Expressive Arts, Health and Well-Being, Interdisciplinary Learning, Investigations, Languages, Learning and Teaching, Literacy, Maps, Mathematics, Numeracy, Outdoor education, Posters, RE / Religious and Moral Education, Resources, Sciences, Social Studies, Storytelling | Tags: | Leave a comment

Cathy Cassidy and Cathy MacPhail

Cathy Cassidy has written a piece for SLA on the importance of school libraries. You can read the whole thing here:

http://www.sla.org.uk/blg-in-support-of-school-libraries.php

Meanwhile, there’s an article from Cathy MacPhail in Books from Scotland: ‘Every child deserves to see themselves, the people they are, reflected in a story

http://booksfromscotland.com/2017/01/working-class-heroes/#sthash.mnVewZXD.dpuf

Categories: Advocacy, Books | Tags: , | Leave a comment

The 2016 Carnegie Shadowing Experience

There is never enough time to do everything you plan to do. I knew that I would struggle to persuade students to join the new Shadowing Group, everyone is so busy and pressure is on the students to finish assignments, portfolios, exams etc. I received the Carnegie publicity material, bought a set of the shortlisted books and proceeded to put up my Carnegie display in the centre of the library.

The Head of English told me that she had three girls interested in joining the Group, oh well I thought to myself we’ll just go with three, after all they say that it is the quality not the quantity that is important. As the day progressed I noticed a girl hovering around the display, I asked her if she would give some thought to joining our Group. Then at lunchtime a couple of boys came in, again drawn to the display, so I asked them and they said that they would come to the meeting to find out what it was all about. They spoke to two other friends and before I realised what had happened I had eight students in my little Group, four boys and four girls, perfect!

They worked so hard and really contributed to the meetings, the teachers supported us by allowing the students to attend the meetings. Two of the Group entered the ‘Journey’ writing competition, sadly they never won,books were read and the Shadowing Magazine was completed. I am so proud of their commitment to the Shadowing process and the Shadowing Magazinemagazine_preview 2 turned out so well!

Cathy MacIntyre

Learning Resource Centre Manager

Taylor High School

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World Book Day at St Aidan’s

Report from Marie McGough

The children’s author, Gillian Philip, visited St Aidan’s High recently as part of the school’s World Book Day celebrations. Gillian Philip’s book, Mysteries of Ravenstorm Island: The Lost Children, was one of the shortlisted titles at the recent Scottish Children’s Book Awards. An eager audience of 60 S1 pupils gathered, in the school library, to listen to Gillian talk of her enthusiasm for books, stories and writing. The main body of the presentation focused on myths, legends, and fairytales, and how we use them to tell modern stories from Dr Who to The Hunger Games. The presentation sparked a lively question and answer session much to Gillian’s delight.

Gillian Philip 022_40

A number of the author’s books were available to purchase and Gillian signed these while chatting with pupils. The S1 pupils thoroughly enjoyed Gillian Philip’s visit and a good time was had by all!

This author visit was partly funded by The Scottish Book Trust and organized by the school librarian, Miss McGough.

Categories: Author visits, Authors, Book Awards, Books, Reading | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Autumn and winter at the S1/S2 Book Club.

Autumn and winter at the S1/S2 Book Club.

The S1/S2 Book Club has been running for a few months now but in order to keep pupils returning you need to keep the momentum, no easy feat! I thought I would tell others about my experience so far.

Poetry, Halloween and Non-fiction books

Week 8 was all about poetry and Halloween. This year the group focused on a poem, I came across for National Poetry Day called ‘Grampa’s Soup’ by Jackie Kay.  The theme was perfect for a lunchtime group – soup!  The poem was read aloud by various members of the group and pupils had to use a computer to find out what type of soup ‘Grampa’ had made using the list of ingredients given in the poem.  The group quickly found it was about Scotch broth, giving our pupils the chance to read something modern and Scottish.  Hopefully, they learned some new Scots words and learned about the ingredients in this traditional Scottish soup.  The poem was short and gave the group time to plan their Halloween costumes using a various non-fiction books (many belonged to our local public library).

Great fun was had by all and there was a wonderful atmosphere in the library as the group busied and immersed themselves in everything Halloween.

The Scottish Book Trust Awards

The last few weeks the members of this groups have been looking at the books shortlisted for the Scottish Book Trust Awards.  During week 11 we examined the Bookstart category.  Pupils got a chance to discuss their favourite storyline, illustrations and front covers, as a group and chose their favourite books in this category and reading these aloud.

Books included;

Wanted! Ralphy Rabbit, the Book Burglar’ by Emily MacKenzie

Mouse’s First Night at Moonlight School’ by Simon Puttock

Never Tickle a Tiger’ by Pamela Butchart

The following week pupils got a chance to explore the books chosen in the 8 – 12 category. We particularly focused on ‘Ravenstorm Island’ by Gillian Philip.  This was the book that the majority of the group wanted to read and each group member read a page aloud.

Shadowing the Scottish Book Trust Awards was something I had ever tried with any of my lunchtime groups.

From this experience I find that shadowing all the books from the awards difficult with a lunchtime group, keeping their interest and ensuring that pupils return every week can be difficult with a lunchtime club. I think in future, I will still focus on the picture book category rather than the whole of the award. All that is left to do now is vote!

Plays

The last few weeks have been all about exploring a new type of genre, new to many and one I had forgotten about. We read and rehearsed the first scene from the play ‘Divided City’ by Theresa Breslin.

A wonderful colleague in the English Department kindly gave up some of her lunchtimes to help guide both myself and the group through this.

Firstly, she got the group to play ‘Murder’, as an opening game to get everyone talking and allowed our pupils to become very animated. This game involves someone being the murderer, the detective and the rest of the group being potential victims.  It all sounds very grim but the activity had quite the opposite effect.  Group members were all buzzing and enthused about this activity.

Once the group had warmed up their acting voices, we focused on recreating the opening scenes from ‘Divided City’.

The week before Christmas was all about recording! This added an extra dimension to ‘Divided City’.   Two of our S5 pupils helped record and direct this production. Great fun and hilarity was had by all, even people outside the group wanted to take part. This really gave the group the acting bug and kept everyone coming back.  What a difference having your colleague and some of our senior pupils involved.

Watch out for more information on our Book Club activities in the New Year.

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Reading Boot Camp 2015

At the beginning of the summer holidays, a group of North Lanarkshire School Librarians met for Reading Boot Camp, an opportunity to discuss pupils’ reading for enjoyment. This grew out of a discussion on our local forum about pupils selecting books that they recognised from television or film, having the stamina to read far enough into a book to care about what happened, and the assumption that all pupils knew how story works.

To get started, each person described their current work with fiction, detailing the year groups involved, how often they were involved, ideas that worked and issues that arose. Given all schools are different in pupil numbers, layout and staffing, naturally their respective Libraries will reflect those differences e.g. weekly or even fortnightly access to the Library is often impossible in larger schools.

These short introductions acted as jumping off points for wider discussions including:

  • the Librarian’s role in supporting the mechanics of learning to read;
  • Paired Reading: run by different groups in different schools (or not at all) including Support for Learning, Partnership Officers and Buddying schemes, with or without Librarian input;
  • splitting Library time between Information Literacy and Reading for Pleasure?
  • how to make reading ‘normal’ for more pupils?
  • supporting the number of readers that don’t tend to use the Library but buy their own books;
  • supporting the number of pupils who don’t know how to choose a book;
  • identifying the basics of stories – fairy tales, nursery rhymes, picture books etc;
  • helping pupils become more familiar with a wider range of writers, characters and stories – so many pupils only know stories made into films;
  • the role of audio books, and their respective issues with format, copyright etc;
  • trying something new vs re-reading old favourites;
  • making reading visible:  talking to pupils about own reading, encouraging staff to read along with class, Drop Everything and Read sessions (D.E.A.R.);
  • the value of reading aloud – could all lessons be introduced with a relevant reading?
  • the value of oral stortelling;
  • the value of ‘reading periods’;
  • dealing with the eternal shelf wanderers who will not settle with any book;
  • silence or quiet discussion with friends?
  • pupil concentration levels: books versus games;
  • encouraging pupils to think of themselves as readers;
  • whether books fit in a culture of instant gratification;
  • value of colour coding, genre layout, changes in stock layout?
  • the implicit criticism in what pupils ‘should be reading’ and what they’re comfortable with/capable of;
  • ‘laziness’ of capable readers;
  • value of competitive edge?
  • ideas from recent training days and articles.

It was clear that there are plenty of great initiatives taking place already, all deserving of a wider audience (and hopefully some will appear here soon!)

The first Reading Boot Camp sparked lots of ideas, provided a great deal to consider, and left all of the participants enthused and looking forward to the next meeting.

Categories: Books, Curriculum for Excellence, Literacy, Reading, Resources | Tags: | Leave a comment

Yay YA+

Yay! YA+ Book Festival

On Friday 24th April nearly 200 pupils from local secondary school were all waiting with anticipation for the start of the first Yay! YA+ book festival – celebrating all that is brilliant about Teen Fiction in Scotland. Chryston High were lucky enough to take 10 pupils on the day and they were all looking forward to a great day meeting and listening to authors, buying books and enjoying exploring Cumbernauld Theatre.

So first off was an introduction from Kirkland Ciccone, he welcomed all the pupils then let them know what was in store for them throughout the day.

Kirkland Ciccone

Chryston High pupils were in the first group to go around Cumbernauld Theatre and meet a whole host of Scottish authors, getting to spend 10 minutes with each author listening to them talk about their books and their love for teen fiction then having the opportunity to ask questions.

First we met Linda Strachan and heard about her new book ‘Don’t Judge Me’ and her previous books, including Catalyst award winning book ‘Spider’. My usually shy pupils were brilliant at asking her lots of questions, so much so that we actually went over our time a little bit as they were so engaged.Linda Strachan

Next up for us was Alex Nye who spoke about her books ‘Chill’ and ‘Shiver’ The pupils loved her talk and have been borrowing her books since we got back to school that day.

We then met Matt Carney who really impressed the pupils with his tales of adventure, so much so that they are all trying to decide what adventures they want to go on when they leave school.

Matt Carney

Lari Don talking about her new book Mind Blind was a big hit with all the pupils, they all really enjoyed her talk and thought she was so enthusiastic about teen fiction that they couldn’t help but be too.

Lari don

Victoria Campbell kept the pupils entertained by taking about Viking fighting, which features in her book ‘Viking Gold’, and showing replicas of some of the weapons they used.

VC 20150424_111954

Last up on our tour was Roy Gill, talking about his books ‘Daemon Parallel’ and ‘Werewolf Parrallel’. The pupils loved listening to Roy talk about his inspiration for his books and had some really interesting questions to ask.

Roy Gill

After meeting all the authors the pupils had a chance to buy some books from Scotia and find a wee nook to eat some lunch before the second part of the day began.

In the auditorium, the pupils were treated to talks from Cathy MacPhail, Theresa Breslin and Barry Hutchinson. It was then time for some quick questions from the panel of authors before the bus was there to pick us up.

Cathy MacPhail 20150424_131731 20150424_140515

All the pupils had a great day and are already asking when the next one is, making the first Yay! YA+ festival a huge success.

 

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World Book Day Award

wobod wobodwin

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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.

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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

Librarians’ industrial injuries

Paper cuts: small but mighty!

http://britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk/collectioncare/2014/10/paper-cuts-small-but-mighty.html

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Mac Barnett: Why a good book is a secret door (TED Talk)

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A day at the Festival

Only the second day of term, but OLHS staff and pupils are already out and about in search of literature at the Edinburgh International Book Festival – and we saw other NLC schools too (take a bow, Kilsyth Academy). Fifty 3rd years and five staff headed east, arriving only just in the nick of time, thanks to some lousy traffic.

On the plus side, it meant we didn’t wait about for our first talk with Lari Don, discussing her latest book, Mind Blind, and encouraging the audience to discuss the positives and negatives of having superpowers. This went down well with some of the OLHS crowd who appreciated the interaction, especially when one of our own was invited to share their thoughts, while others wanted to hear more about the book itself.

Staff and pupils wandered off to explore the festival site, check out the fabulous bookshops – enter with your credit card at your own risk – partake of light refreshments, and just enjoy the sunshine. There isn’t a decent bookshop in Motherwell, and a lot of pupils were seen wandering about inside just soaking up everything on offer, and some took advantage of the Festival’s £2 tokens to purchase a wee present for themselves.

Our second talk featured contributors to a new World War I anthology, Tony Bradman, Linda Newbery and Paul Dowswell. Many pupils commented on how much they learned about the war from the discussion between the three authors, while others felt World War I was being talked about too much.

Pupils’ comments afterwards revealed an even split between those who had enjoyed Lari Don, and those who preferred the World War I talk. For some this was a fiction/non-fiction issue, some were more concerned about the presentation, and others the ideas that had been discussed. Meanwhile, the loveliest 3rd years enjoyed both, with many appreciating the differences in the speakers’ styles.

And perhaps best of all, there was a huge amount of interest in who else was speaking and when they could return, which makes all of the work worthwhile 🙂

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New Harry Potter

New Harry Potter covers are due for release from Bloomsbury, and can be seen here. Any thoughts?

Still looking ahead to the Jim Kay illustrated editions due in 2015.

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John Muir – the graphic novel

On Friday, I was given twenty copies of John Muir, Earth – Planet, Universe via a friendly PT.

According to the John Muir Trust, every secondary school in Scotland should receive the books, but it can also be downloaded as a PDF from the Scottish Booktrust, where there’s also a quiz, teaching notes and information about author, Julie Bertagna, and illustrator, William Goldsmith. There’s even a survey to complete online to discover how alike your class is to John Muir.

Categories: Books, Creativity, Graphic novels, Reading | 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

Caldervale’s New Year

It’s been a busy few months in Caldervale High School’s Library Resource Centre.  It all began with the BOOKies’ Burns Supper way back in January.  The school’s two book groups joined forces to present an informal, traditional Burns Supper.  It was so informal in fact that we had cardboard cutout bagpipes escort in the haggis!!  Our school piper was unavailable, as was our usual stand-in fiddler.  The pupils were wonderful, leading the proceedings, addressing the haggis, toasting the lassies and laddies and providing poetic entertainment.  Everyone had a great time.

Our second event was much more sombre – our Holocaust Memorial Day Commemoration.  Staff from the Social Subjects and RME Departments spoke to the book groups about the background to the Holocaust and the impact of more recent atrocities.  One of the second year BOOKies lit a candle in remembrance and a moments silence was observed.  The pupils were then able to peruse a selection of holocaust themed fiction.

Then this week we managed a trip out to the Mitchell Library in Glasgow to attend the Scottish Children’s Book Awards.  Every year the Scottish Booktrust does a fantastic job of organising the awards.  This year each age category had its own venue within the Mitchell Library.  Our group enjoyed the 4 part quiz, round 1 was guess the book from the movie still, round 2 was book cryptographs, round 3 was based on the shortlisted books and finally, a general book knowledge round.  Great fun, interspersed with author talks from the shortlisted novellists; Diana Hendry for The Seeing, Barry Hutcheson for Book of Doom and Claire McFall for The Ferryman.  Everyone was pleased to see Claire McFall take the award, although secretly our group had been rooting for Barry Hutchison.

To bring us bang up to date, we held our annual World Book Day Quiz.  Teams of pupils and staff combined forces to do battle to be the team with the best book knowledge.  Two rounds of questions and lots of sweets later, the winning team emerged as “Radioactive Tuna Pasta” with 18.5 points out of a possible 22.  The team with the most original name was judged to be “We will do anything for Sweets” and they were rewarded with chocolate Easter Eggs – quite appropriate I thought!

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Information Book Awards

The School Library Association Information Book Awards nominees have been announced.

The 12 – 16 category includes:

  • Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust by Doreen Rappaport.
  • How to Draw Like a Fashion Designer by Celia Joicey and Dennis Nothdruft.
  • Starving the Anxiety Gremlin by Kate Collins-Donnelly, illustrated by Rosy Salaman.
  • Who’s Who of World War I by Clive Gifford.
  • Weird Sea Creatures by Erich Hoyt.
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Neil Gaiman – The Graveyard Book – The graphic novel

The Graveyard Book is being published as a graphic novel in two parts.

Part 1 will appear July 29th, and part 2 at the end of September.

Preview available here.

Categories: Books, Graphic novels | Tags: | 1 Comment

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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