ReadingCloud: engaging children, parents and educators in reading for enjoyment
Pickabook - One Stop Shop for Schools - Every book for Education

We have updated our cookie policy to reflect recent changes in the UK/EU law concerning the use of cookies and tracking technologies. We use cookies on this website (including the page you are currently viewing) to ensure that the site functions smoothly and to help us understand how we can improve it. If you continue without changing your settings, you are agreeing to receive all cookies from the SLA website.

or view our cookie policy to find out more

Show Menu | Show Sidebar (Login/Search)

Resources Blog » Recent PostsRSS Feed RSS

The SLA Resources Blog is designed to highlight new resources which we at the SLA think may be of interest to school librarians and to others working in related fields. The blog is available at http://www.sla.org.uk/resources-blog.php and can also be read via an RSS feed at http://www.sla.org.uk/sla-resources-rss.php.

Older blog posts are still available, though archived, on the website, but please check the date at the top of the post to make sure the offer or information is likely to be valid.

Engaging Girls in STEM

Inspired by Space Engaging Girls In STEM Statistics CHK 2017 3Curved House Kids launch a free guide to engaging girls in STEM to mark the 26th anniversary of British astronaut Helen Sharman’s historic space mission

Twenty-six years ago, astronaut Helen Sharman became the first Brit in space, and the first woman to visit the Mir space station. Dr Sharman beat 13,000 hopefuls to the post after responding to a radio advertisement requesting “Astronaut Applications. No experience necessary”. Sharman’s mission was, and still is, a remarkable moment for both British history and for women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). It is also a timely reminder of the urgent need to promote and encourage girls into STEM careers. Two and a half decades on and achievements like Dr Sharman’s are still all too rare.

In the UK, women make up just 21% of the entire STEM workforce (WISE Campaign, 2016, www.wisecampaign.org.uk). Meanwhile, there is a serious skills crisis across every part of the STEM sector with an estimated shortfall of 69,000 recruits every year. This is costing billions and putting the UK at a significant disadvantage, especially post-Brexit. However, we have a solution right in front of us: the tens of thousands of female students each year who are choosing not to pursue STEM careers. These girls are more than capable of contributing to the STEM sector – and the UK economy – but they are not choosing STEM careers. An education pipeline published by the WISE Campaign last year highlights the diminishing rates: 50% of girls do GCSE science, 34% continue into A-Level and just 7% go into higher education. That is in stark contrast to the 24% of boys at the same education level.

Inspired by Space: Engaging Girls in STEM, published today by Curved House Kids, is a guide for teachers and educators that aims to not only engage primary-aged girls but also to embed a genuine and lasting interest in science. It provides easy-to-implement ideas for both the classroom and home learning. Written and compiled by primary educator and science specialist Claire Loizos with Curved House Kids publisher Kristen Harrison, it details five strategies to help girls succeed in STEM learning, including harnessing skills like communication, collaboration and creativity. Each strategy is accompanied by a number of adaptable activities for teachers to use in the classroom and beyond.

The guide draws heavily on the learning and feedback from the Principia Space Diary, a primary science programme that now has over 90,000 British students registered to complete their own diary as they follow ESA astronaut Tim Peake’s Principia mission. Developed by Curved House Kids with author and science communicator Lucy Hawking, the Space Diary highlights the roles of many influential women in the space and science sectors. These include Dr Helen Sharman, astronomer Sheila Kanani and Tim Peake’s Mission Director Berti Meisinger, who are featured in the guide.  

The goal is to help primary-aged girls to see themselves in STEM careers – whether it’s as astronauts, scientists, mathematicians, coders or any other role. They also aim to ensure girls in STEM are visible and celebrated by peers, family and the wider community. Publisher Kristen Harrison stresses that this guide is not just for girls and promotes the use of these ideas with all students. ‘True equality is not just about giving girls opportunities,’ Harrison says. ‘It's about developing empathy in all students to ensure we are all open to female voices and appreciate the benefits of diversity.’

The hope is this guide will help teachers to implement new ideas without adding hours of workloads. Teacher Claire Loizos says: ‘I have found that open tasks that require children to “learn on their feet” and choose their own methods of application have worked wonders at encouraging girls to take ownership of their own learning, with huge increases in enjoyment and progress. The ideas and activities in this guide bear this in mind, providing minimal teacher input and maximum pupil effort, encouraging independence whilst allowing girls to be creative.’

Inspired by Space: Engaging Girls in STEM is available from the Principia Space Diary website and is free to download.
 

0 comments · Add a comment

CLPE Children’s Poetry Award (CLiPPA) 2017

CLiPPA Shortlist Credit Michael Thorn
CLiPPA Shortlist Credit Michael Thorn

The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) is delighted to announce the 2017 shortlist for the Centre for Literacy in Primary Poetry Award (CLiPPA). Established in 2003, CLiPPA encourages and celebrates outstandeing poetry published for children. 2017 is the 15th anniversary of the award, which remains the only annual award in the UK for published poetry for children.

This year’s shortlist truly celebrates the breadth and depth of poetry for children being published in the UK. From the early years appeal of Zim Zam Zoom! by James Carter to the verse novel for older readers, Booked by Kwame Alexander; from Kate Wakeling’s debut collection for children Moon Juice, to Jelly Boots, Smelly Boots by long-time favourite and previous CLiPPA winner Michael Rosen; and from single poet collections to the celebratory anthology Wonderland, Alice in Poetry edited by Michaela Morgan..  

The full shortlist is:

  • Kwame Alexander: Booked, Andersen Press - A free verse novel, written in the voice of 12 year old soccer-loving boy.
  • James Carter: Zim Zam Zoom!, illustrated by Nicola Colton, Otter-Barry Books - Perfectly pitched for the young listener or early reader with plenty of opportunities for joining in.
  • Michaela Morgan (editor): Wonderland; Alice in Poetry, Macmillan - Anthology celebrating the spirit of Wonderland with each poet bringing their own refreshing spin.
  • Michael Rosen: Jelly Boots, Smelly Boots, illustrated by David Tazzyman, Bloomsbury - Quirky, clever poems from those that involve humorous misunderstandings to thoughtful and more intimate musings.
  • Kate Wakeling: Moon Juice, illustrated by Elīna Brasliņa, The Emma Press - A debut collection of poetry that presents magical, strange and unlikely events in a confident and persuasive way.

Rachel Rooney, Poet and Chair of the CLiPPA 2017 Judges commented: “Judging was made a challenge by the spread of books that were submitted as the CLiPPA is open to published poetry books for a diverse and changing readership, from the pre-schooler to the early teen. Writing poetry for children can appear easy but writing powerful poetry that is accessible and appealing to children is considerably more difficult to achieve. In their own particular way, all the shortlisted books did this.” Watch Rachel announcing the shortlist https://vimeo.com/217660795

Louise Johns-Shepherd, Chief Executive, CLPE said: “This year we celebrate 15 years of the Poetry Award with the largest number of submissions for many years and an award show where we will have more than 1000 children in the audience. We are delighted that the power of the poetic form is being recognised so widely by schools and by publishers and that thousands of children will discover the wonderful books on this shortlist through our Poetryline resources and our shadowing scheme.”

The judging panel is chaired by the poet and CLiPPA 2012 winner, Rachel Rooney along with Sarah Crossan, poet and CLiPPA 2016 joint winner for One, Caleb Femi, poet and the Young People's Laureate for London, Charlotte Hacking, CLPE Learning Programme Leader and Imogen Russell Williams, children’s book critic and editorial consultant. Children's Laureate, Chris Riddell, will live draw the Award Ceremony.

The winner of the 2017 Award will be announced on July 14th 2017 at a special ceremony celebrating 15 years of the CLiPPA Poetry Award in the 1000+-seater Olivier Theatre at the National Theatre in London.  The audience will enjoy poetry performances from children participating in the Shadowing Scheme, the shortlisted poets and special poet appearances. The winner of the Award will receive £1000 and a specially bound edition of their book created by the bookbinder Mark Cockram.

The free Shadowing Scheme to involve schools in the Poetry Award 2017 is now open. In 2016 over 3900 children participated in the Shadowing Scheme and this year it is set to be even more successful with a record number of pre-registrations. The Shadowing Scheme gives children an opportunity to enjoy literacy with tremendous vigour and high expectations. Exploring and performing poetry demonstrates how children can work to high standards and still enjoy a thrilling experience that will remain with them for a long time. Watch Young Person’s Laureate for London, Caleb Femi open the Shadowing Scheme https://vimeo.com/217660608

As part of the Shadowing Scheme, a competition will see children from winning schools invited to perform on stage at the Award Ceremony. Schools are also invited to apply for tickets to attend the Award Ceremony which will encompass a Poetry Show with all the shortlisted poets.  All schools, regardless of whether they are participating in the Shadowing Scheme, can take poetry into the classroom supported by free high quality resources including films of shortlisted poets performing and accompanying teaching resources; available on CLPE’s Poetryline website www.clpe.org.uk/poetryline

For further information about the award, the shadowing scheme or the shortlisted books please visit https://www.clpe.org.uk/poetry.

0 comments · Add a comment

True or False posters

Are your students able to tell the difference between true and fake news? Millions of people can’t.  Help your students to distinguish between fact and misinformation.  This informative set of 4 print-your-own pdf posters provides essential guidance for young people in these confusing times when fake news or alternative facts get so much attention.  From Carel press.

0 comments · Add a comment

Facet Publisher Offer

Facet's latest catalogue featuring new, forthcoming and key backlist titles for librarians has just published. SLA members are offered a special 30% discount if you quote FACETFEB30 and SLA in your order.

The catalogue is available for download here and orders can be emailed to info[at]facetpublishing.co.uk.

0 comments · Add a comment

Bears in Books Exhibition

Paddington Bear ArtistNever before displayed Paddington Bear images will be on display in the forthcoming ‘Bears in Books’ exhibition at the Illustration Cupboard, London. Opening on the 8th February and running until the 11th March, ‘Bears in Books’ will bring together some of the most famous bears from children’s literature. With illustrations by Anthony Browne, Jill Murphy and for thefirst time a collection of original illustrations of Michael Bond’s Paddington Bear by Deryck Henley which have never been exhibited or made available for sale before. The exhibition will also be celebrating 30 Years of Old Bear by Jane Hissey.

At the Illustration Cupboard Gallery, 8 February - 11 March 2017. Check their website for details - www.illustrationcupboard.com

0 comments · Add a comment

European Languages Bookshop

ESBLOGOstrapEuropean Schoolbooks Ltd is the UK’s leading supplier of European books and resources for schools.  In London it runs The European Bookshop at 123 Gloucester Road, South Kensington SW7 4TE.  Schools everywhere can browse and order online at www.europeanbookshop.com and www.eurobooks.co.uk

Among the items available are:

  • European translations of children’s books such as Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings, as well as titles by bestselling authors such as Roald Dahl, Patrick Ness and David Walliams.
  • European Fiction for all ages including picture books, easy readers, parallel texts, abridged and unabridged classics, and popular contemporary fiction.
  • Photocopiable materials and games.
  • ELI magazines at different levels in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Latin and English, as well as periodicals such as Le Monde, Der Spiegel and El Pais.
  • European non-fiction such as songbooks, course books, grammars, dictionaries, biography and history.
  • Catherine Cheater Schemes of Work for non-specialist teachers of French, Spanish and Italian, compete with lesson plans, supporting books and audio materials.

European Schoolbooks’ staff includes both language graduates and native speakers of French, German, Spanish, Italian and Russian who are available to advise you on the most suitable materials for your school and library.  Check out the website for all the services they provide!

0 comments · Add a comment

MURDER BY THE BOOK!

MurderSecondary school librarians and English departments across the United Kingdom have been providing a new library-based challenge for their students this year: solving a murder!

Using the materials provided in Box Clever Education’s recently released murder mystery kit ‘Murder by the Book’, sections of school libraries have been turned into crime scenes. The kit provides everything that is required, from the clues and scenario, to support materials such as crime scene tape, promotional posters and student support documents, allowing schools to quickly set up their crime scene with minimal preparation.

The activity is delivered in three main stages. After completing the warm-up ‘Detective Exam’, student teams visit the crime scene and investigate the 44 different clues within a set time limit, working together to uncover the truth about how a librarian’s assistant met with a suspicious end. With three plausible suspects in the frame (including the librarian) and a number of red herrings to lead teams astray, the activity challenges students to ensure that all clues are carefully examined, recorded and cross-referenced. After visiting the crime scene, teams are encouraged to pool their ideas and formulate theories as to who did it, why, how and also how the remaining two suspects could be proven innocent. The final stage of the activity requires student teams to provide a detailed solution, either in written form or as a verbal presentation. Once all solutions have been submitted and the best overall response has been chosen, a PowerPoint-based solution is provided to fully explain how the crime was committed.

For more information about ‘Murder by the Book', including delivery guidance, product contents, skills maps, demonstration photos and testimonials, please visit Box Clever Education’s website: http://www.boxclevereducation.com. A 10% discount offer is currently in place for all SLA members (coupon code: SHERLOCK10).

0 comments · Add a comment

Book reviews from children and parents

ToppstaToppsta is a relatively new website but already has more than 7,000 reviews written by children and parents. Focusing on children’s books for ages up to 12, it’s an amazing resource for keeping up to date with which books children are really enjoying reading. All the reviews are organised by the age of the child https://toppsta.com/books/by-age making it easy to see what children of all ages are reading at home. And every review includes information on whether the child read it themselves, or had the book read to them by someone else.  The site covers a broad range of titles from board books to classic fiction, debut authors to bestselling titles, fiction, reference and non-fiction

Easy centralised resource for libraries, schools and book clubs to write reviews -

  • It’s a great website for children who use your library to upload their own reviews
  • Children can build their own reading timeline and discover books recommended by other readers
  • You can also sign up to a receive a weekly newsletter with recommendations based on the age of the children in your profile

Safe environment

  • Adults are required to register first before setting up a child’s account 
  • There are no photos allowed and no forum for users to talk directly to each other, making it a safe environment for children to voice their opinions

For your library website

  • If you have a “Resources” or "Links” page on your library or school website, this would be a useful resource for children, parents, teachers and anyone interested in children’s books.

Free books

  • The site runs regular book giveaways where readers can enter to win and review books, though adults need to enter on behalf of children. 
  • Librarians are warmly invited to enter the giveaways to win books for their libraries as long as reviews are submitted after receiving the book

If you have any queries, suggestions or comments you can email georgina[at]toppsta.com

0 comments · Add a comment

 

Search

Log In

Help
Help

If you tick this box, you will not need to log in again on this computer. For full details please click the Help link above.

Resources Blog Archives

SLA ONLINE

@uksla on Instagram

We are very proud to announce that @chris_riddell is to be our new president from June #illustrator #childrensbooks #childrensauthor #schoollibrarian #schoollibrary #librariansofinstagram #goodnews See More...

@uksla on Twitter