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SLA Blog » October 2008RSS 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.

Teachers as Readers

I was delighted to be invited to the Teachers as Readers: Building Communities of Readers project dissemination event this week.  The purpose of this event was to share some key findings from the research and development project and to reflect on the implications of the work.

The project was funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA) and involved 5 local authorities in England.  The project focussed on promoting children's independent reading for pleasure in the primary school by developing teachers'

  • Knowledge of children's literature
  • Confidence and skilful use of children's literature in the classroom
  • Relationships with parents, carers, librarians and families
  • Practice as Reading teachers i.e. teachers who read and readers who teach.

The event was also used to launch the new publication Building Communities of Readers (Cremin, Mottram, Collins and Powell, Primary National Strategy/UKLA 2008.  ISBN 978 1897638 46 0).  This outlines the structure and principles of the project, giving guidance about how school literacy consultants and Local Authority consultants can carry out similar projects.  It includes surveys, questionnaires and detailed advice for running sessions with teachers and for developing classroom practice. 

There were lots of very positive messages about the value of reading for pleasure and the results on attainment for the children.  This sort of research can only strengthen our case in advocating the provision of good school libraries and resources, for reading for purpose and pleasure.  The full report upon which this is based will be available from the UKLA website - http://www.ukla.org/ - in December. 

The event was held at the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) which is an educational centre for schools and teachers, parents, teaching assistants and other educators. CLPE has a national and international reputation for its work in the fields of language, literacy and assessment.   It was founded in 1972 as The Centre for Language in Primary Education and became an independent charitable trust in 2002, changing its name to The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education. CLPE is dedicated to the provision of high quality services and training courses and consultancy for schools and teachers, parents, teaching assistants and other educators. CLPE is celebrated for its innovative classroom-based research and development, and for its publications, do explore their website - www.clpe.co.uk/index.html  

Tricia Adams 

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Taking up my new post as Director at SLA

Tricia AdamsI am just settling into my first week as the SLA's new Director and looking forward to meeting members as time goes on.  I would like to draw a couple of items to your attention:

Alan Gibbons' Campaign for the Book is gaining media attention in many different locations, including the broadsheets and the professional press.  Alan is gathering support for his campaign, which protests the closure of libraries, the lack of a wider reading for pleasure culture, and the lack of school libraries and librarians in some schools. Do have a look if you are not aware of it - Campaign for the Book - or contact Alan on aagibbons[[at]]blueyonder.co.uk

Scotland has had How Good is Our School? - a self evaluation framework for school inspection - since 2002.  Earlier this year How Good is Our School 3 was produced and can be found at http://www.hmie.gov.uk/Generic/HGIOS.  This is a set of revised quality indicators which continue to provide the core tool for self-evaluation for all schools, but they are now complemented by the very useful materials in other parts of The Journey to Excellence series.  The indicators within How Good is our School? reflect the developing context within which schools in Scotland now operate. They focus specifically on the impact of schools in improving the educational experience and lives of Scottish pupils through learning and their successes and achievements, particularly the broad outcomes for learners within A Curriculum for Excellence and the vision statement for Scotland's children.  HM Inspectorate of Education's Journey to Excellence website provides many examples of excellent and inspirational practice, and a wide range of related background and reflective material.  Visit http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/journeytoexcellence.

Tricia Adams

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T S Eliot Prize Shadowing Scheme

Now in its third year, the T S Eliot Prize Shadowing Scheme invites secondary school students to shadow the judging panel, this year chaired by Poet Laureate Andrew Motion with Lavinia Greenlaw and Tobias Hill. 

The Poetry Book Society's Shadowing Scheme, run in partnership with the English and Media Centre, through its quarterly magazine for A Level students, emagazine, encourages teachers and students to read poetry outside the set-text lists.  On 4th November, soon after the T S Eliot Prize shortlist is announced, three poems from each of the 10 shortlisted collections will be available to download from http://www.poetrybookshoponline.com/.  A teachers' guide will be provided at http://www.emagazine.org.uk/ from mid October, and students can take part in an online poll for their choice of winner.

As part of the Shadowing Scheme, the PBS and the English & Media Centre will also be running an:

A-Level students are invited to enter our competition to write a 500-word rationale justifying their choice of winning poetry collection for the 2008 T S Eliot Prize.  The winning student will receive:

  • tickets to the T S Eliot Prize Readings and the award ceremony in January, and accommodation if needed
  • signed copies of the winning book and the student's choice of winning book
  • the opportunity to meet the T S Eliot prize-winner
  • a year's subscription to emagazine
  • a year's PBS membership.
  • The winning rationale will be published both in the February issue of emagazine and on Guardian Online.

    3 poems from each of the shortlisted collections will be available from http://www.poetrybookshoponline.com/ on 4th November.  Copies of all the shortlisted titles can also be ordered through the website.  The deadline for submitting competition entries and voting on the online poll is 8th December.  The winner of the A-Level student competition  will be announced at the award ceremony in London on 12th January 2009.

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National Year of Reading Competition

The National Year of Reading, working with London 2012, is launching a nationwide photography project for schools and young people.. 
Celebrating the power of the written word in our everyday lives, The National Year of Reading is looking for classes and individuals (ages 13-19) to send pictures of the words and signs that they best feel represent their local area and what it means to be British. The best images will feature on Get Set, the London 2012 education website, which will act as a huge ‘welcome sign' to visitors ahead of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The top prize will be a school visit from an Olympic athlete. The closing date is 20.12.08.
This is a campaign to involve and engage young people  right across the country with the Olympics and their values - please ensure that you underline that this is not just a London-centric event!
 For more information visit www.yearofreading.org.uk/wordsofwelcome


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Pupil Librarian Toolkit

Pupil Librarian Toolkit As part of its contribution to  International School Library Day this year, the SLA launched its new Pupil Librarian Toolkit. Available exclusively to members, it is packed full of ideas to help you to recruit, train, manage and reward pupil librarians in your school library.

It includes a wide range of sample documents such as posters, letters, checksheets and certificates that you can use and adapt as you implement a pupil librarian programme in your school.

Please visit the webpage to get your Pupil Librarian Toolkit and supporting documents which can be downloaded in PDF format ready to use.

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