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)

SLA Blog » December 2006RSS Feed RSS

The SLA blog contains news about the SLA and topical information of general interest to our members. The blog has been running since 2004. An RSS 2.0 feed and information about how to subscribe to the blog are available.

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.

Philippa Pearce 1920 - 2006

picture of Philippa PearceWe are sad to announce that Philippa Pearce, much loved author of many children's classics including Tom's Midnight Garden and Minnow on the Say, died last night after falling ill a few weeks ago.  Delegates to the IBBY UK annual conference in November had been delighted to see her there at a reception honouring her work and life.

Philippa was the child of a country flour-miller in Cambridgeshire. The family lived in the mill-house on the banks of the River Cam just outside Cambridge with a big, mostly Victorian, garden. The mill-stream flowed beside the garden, and this landscape has appeared in much of her fiction. Philippa Pearce had an idyllic childhood. The youngest of four children, she and her brothers and sister canoed, swam and fished in the river and, in really cold winters, skated on it.

Philippa was ill for several years of her childhood and so didn't start school until she was eight or nine. Once she did, she worked hard at the things she was interested in, particularly English.  Philippa was educated at the Perse School in Cambridge and then at Girton College, Cambridge.

During the Second World War she worked as a Civil Servant in London. Thereafter she became a radio scriptwriter and producer in the BBC's School Broadcasting Department for over ten years. Towards the end, she was writing her own fiction: her first book was Minnow on the Say (1954). By the time of Tom's Midnight Garden (1958) she had left radio for editorial work in children's publishing. Finally she became a full-time freelance writer.  Later stories, such as the Battle of Bubble and Squeak, were written for her daughter Sally who was a passionate animal-lover. Her last publication was The Little Gentleman in 2004.

Philippa Pearce lived in the Cambridgeshire village where she was born.

0 comments · Add a comment

Winter School Librarian published

School Librarian cover Winter 06The Winter issue of the SLA's journal, The School Librarian, will by now have been delivered to members and subscribers, together with the latest edition of info[at]SLA, the members newsletter, and a new publications list.

The School Librarian has some fascinating articles including one on the QCA Personal, Learning and Thinking Skills Framework, another by Anne-Marie Tarter, our School Librarian of the Year 2006, recommending advisory resources that she has found useful, and an interview with our former President, Aidan Chambers, whose term of office ended in June.

Along with a great selection of reviews of books and websites there are also articles on using poetry with children and creating a portfolio of evidence to promote your library, the latter written by Executive Committee Member Wendy Worley.

The Spring issue will be mailed in March.

0 comments · Add a comment

Sign the Petition for statutory school libraries

A Petition to the Prime Minister to support statutory school libraries is now on the official petitions website.

The Petitioner, Elizabeth Bentley, who also set up the popular school librarians network listerve (sln) worded her petition as follows:

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to make the provision of professionally staffed libraries within all schools, both secondary and primary, statutory.

Any UK citizen, resident or expatriate may sign the petition and can do so online.  The SLA spends much time advocating for statutory status, and encourages anyone who is eligible and in agreement with the petition to sign here.

0 comments · Add a comment

Aylesbury High School win UK final of KLQ

The UK Kids Lit Quiz final was held on 4th December at Seven Stories in Newcastle  - a wonderful venue for this exciting pub quiz style event and with a great crowd having turned out to cheer on the teams.

The final was really exciting as Wellington kept the lead for much of the time with lots of pressure on them from Aylesbury and St Alban's.  It is the first time Northern Ireland have ever run a heat let alone got a team through to the final so it was great event for them.  Hexham didn't score a point in the first 3 rounds then raced ahead to claim fourth place. 

The final winners were:

1 - Aylesbury High School - winning by 3 points
2 - Wellington College, Belfast
3 - Oxford Girls' High School
4 - Hexham Middle School, Northumberland

It was fantastic to have participation from authors Beth Webb and Mark Robson; Beth emphasising the importance of stories - of filling your head with them then giving them away as a gift to others, Mark talking about the importance of setting targets and achieving your dreams.  Both very generously gave away copies of their books as extra prizes and rapidly acquired huge fan clubs!

The organisers were very grateful for support from Macmillan who provided Philip Pullman books for every team as well as offered Beth Webb to present prizes and to Philip Pullman without whose support the final would not have taken place in such a great venue.  They would also like to thank staff at Seven Stories who quietly made sure everything ran like clockwork - nothing was too much trouble for them.

 Stop Press!!  Today we are able to reveal that in 2007 for the first time the World final will not be held in New Zealand.  To reflect the truly international nature of this event it is intended to hold the final in a different country every year, and in 2007 it will be held in Oxford, as part of the celebrations for the city's 1,000th anniversary.

0 comments · Add a comment

New SLA publication

cover View of the WorldThe latest title in our Riveting Reads series has been compiled by members of our Oxfordshire Branch and offers the opportunity to build a collection which will enable students to understand those in other countries and cultures, to appreciate and celebrate difference, and create an awareness of the situations in far-off places.

View of the World has annotations on books and, for the first time in this series, films, which speak with the authentic voices of the peoples of different cultures through novels, poetry and biographies. The list is as current as possible and is suitable for the secondary age range.

ISBN 1903446341 · November 2006

£9.00 (SLA Members £7.50) · Buy now

0 comments · Add a comment

School librarian receives civic award

lyn hopson being presented with awardLyn Hopson is School Librarian at Don Valley School and Performing Arts College in Doncaster.  She was largely responsible for the setting up and organisation of the Doncaster Children's Book Award and acted as Chair for the first two years. The project aims to raise the profile of literacy and reading, promote social interaction between children of different ages from all over Doncaster and create a positive image of our young people. Lynn has helped many children to understand the joy or reading.

Many of Doncaster's schools are now involved in the scheme and well-known children's authors have come to Doncaster to meet with young people and engage in a lively debate about their books.

In recognition of this work, Lyn has been awarded the Children and Young People's Champion award in the Doncaster Discover the Spirit Awards.

When presenting the awards, Doncaster Mayor Martin Winter said. ‘The Doncaster Discover the Spirit Awards are important because they recognise our unsung heroes who make such a positive difference to all of us. All the winners and finalists have contributed to Doncaster and they are people to be proud of.  I give my thanks to each and every one of them. They continue to make Doncaster an enjoyable place to live and work, benefiting us all.'

0 comments · Add a comment