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SLA Blog » March 2019RSS 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.

Learning With Libraries SLA Discussion

Learn Lib PicYou are invited to contribute to the SLA Discussion Forum to explore how libraries can be used in your lessons and wider learning, as well as how to make your school library fit for the 21st century.

UKEdChat has posted a list of questions to go with this discussion.

1. Does your school have a school library? If so, can you describe it and what features it has? Is it valued in your school?
2. How is your school library used by pupils independently outside of class?
3. Give details about how your library is administered. By pupils or a member of staff? Is there a digital book loan system?
4. Which types of school library books do you use in your classroom, and how are they used?
5. Are libraries still relevant in the digital age?
6. How do you use your school library with your class? What are your favourite activities?
7. What features would you like to see in your school library in the future?
8. How can school use public libraries to improve learning?

Join the SLA discussion at https://www.sla.org.uk/dfm_view-thread.php?t=870

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Withdrawn book needs removing from primary libraries

Nosy Crow have withdrawn a book in which humour was mis-used. They accepted their mistake and have responded by withdrawing the book, and are republishing after it has been edited in the text and illustrations. If your primary school library has copies of The Doughnut of Doom by Elys Dolan, please withdraw it. Nosy Crow are republishing the title in August.

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North East Teenage Book Award birthday

One of the most successful book awards for young people has just celebrated its 20th birthday.

The North East Teenage Book Award was launched by inspirational librarian Eileen Armstrong with the aim of promoting good contemporary literature for teens, and has always been judged by young people, rather than adults. Almost 4,000 young people have helped to judge the Award, and it has proved so successful that a sister award for younger readers was launched 14 years ago.

The Teenage Award was won this year by Paula Rawsthorne for her novel Shell, and Eileen Armstrong was also presented with a “Thank You” for the huge amount of work she has put into directing both awards over the last 20 years. (Eileen pictured with Storyteller/Trainer Alec Williams getting in on the action)


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Carnegie and Greenaway Awards 2019 book resources

Thanks to CLPE (Centre for Literacy in Primary Education) teachers and EMC (English and Media Centre) there are some fantastic resources on the CKG site to use with your reading groups shadowing either award during the next few months.

Just be warned – you’ll want to read all books immediately!

CKG Awards Banners 2019 Both Plain

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PLAA Winners 2019

Huge congratulations to all the winners of the 2019 #LibPupilAward. School libraries can't do without you.

Massive congrats to Rhiannon Salvin from @FirthParkAcad in Sheffield as overall winner.

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Pupil Library Assistant of the Year Award winners 2019

Huge congratulations to all the winners of the 2019 #LibPupilAward. School libraries can't do without you.

Massive congrats to Rhiannon Salvin from [at]FirthParkAcad in Sheffield as overall winner.

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Waterstones Children's Book Prize winners 2019

Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2019 has been announced with the overall winner scooping a second prize within weeks.

Onjali Q. Raúf’s The Boy at the Back of the Class is the winner of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2019. The category awards were won by The Girls by Lauren Ace and Jenny Løvlie and Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone

Congratulations to all.

Waterstones Winner

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BMG Research survey on resource provision deadline

The Brexit deadline may have moved, but the deadline for completing the survey about school library resource provision has not.

A survey was sent out on 25th Feb, to be returned by 29th March – one week today.

Please help us to better understand the level of provision of both learning resources and staff responsible for them. If all schools could complete a short questionnaire – whether or not you have a school library/librarian, it will present a clearer picture of provision. Please ask neighbouring schools if they too have done so.

Your responses will be treated in the strictest confidence and BMG Research, who are conducting the survey on our behalf, abides by the Market Research Society Code of Conduct at all times.

If you want to make sure this survey has been completed on behalf of your school please do get in touch with Jamie Lawson, Research Executive at BMG Research. Alternatively, you can contact him via phone at 0121 333 6006.

If you are interested in finding out more information about the Great School Libraries Campaign, please contact Alison Tarrant on behalf of SLA/SLG/Cilip

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Mental Health for primary schools

As the Department for Education has announced that primary school children are to be taught how to look after their mental wellbeing and how to recognise when classmates may be struggling, if you need help, look to books and reading as a sure fire way into this. Stock your school library with appropriate resources, participate in Empathy Day on 11th June and register for one of our Mental Health and Wellbeing in a school library setting courses, or our weekend course Building identity, Building Readers

Day courses:

26th April, London

30th April, Rutland

11th June, Wirral

Weekend Course:

21st – 23rd June, Birmingham 


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Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Awards news

Not only have the shortlists been announced, (so get reading), but there is also an opportunity to become the Chair of the Working Party that organises the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards and shadowing scheme. 

This is a volunteer position that will start in July 2019 and last for three years. You do not have to be a member of CILIP or the Youth Libraries Group to apply, but you would be expected you to join if you are successful. 

Applications close Wednesday 10 April at 5.00pm. 




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CILIP ILG Website Editorial Team vacancies

The CILIP Information Literacy Group is currently recruiting for a number of vacancies on its Website Editorial Team. They are looking for three dynamic and committed individuals to join the team and help make further exciting developments to the Information Literacy website.

 Your application should include the following: 

·         Curriculum vitae

·         Personal statement detailing your experience and how you meet our requirements (750 words max.)

·         A letter/statement of support from your line manager (where applicable)

Please consult the web editor role description and terms of reference for more details on what is involved. 

Please email your application to Dan Pullinger, Website Manager, at: ilwebeditors@gmail.com

The closing date for applications is Friday, April 5th, 2019. Successful applicants will be notified by April 17th and will be invited to our next editorial team meeting, which is due to take place in London on Friday, May 17th. 

If you have queries about the role, please do not hesitate to contact us at ilwebeditors@gmail.com.

Find out more about the work of the CILIP Information Literacy Group, including how to become a member


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Information Literacy Award 2019

The LILAC awards team is delighted to announce the shortlisted candidates for the 2019 Information Literacy Award
Congratulations to all shortlisted nominees from schools and colleges as well as universities.The winner will be announced at an award ceremony at LILAC in Nottingham on Thursday April 25th. 

Newlogo 2018

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Trinity Schools Book Award 2019

The Trinity Schools Book Award (TSBA) was this year awarded jointly to two authors. At a ceremony at Caterham School in Surrey on Friday 15 March, attended by students from 15 of the 22 schools that took part in TSBA this year, the Award was presented to Alice Broadway for her debut novel Ink (Scholastic)and to Paul Dowswell for Ausländer (Bloomsbury). 

For further information visit the TSBA website and see the press release 

TSBA Press Release 2019

PDF file, 355 kB (Requires Adobe Reader)

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Development and Discussion 2019 5: Child Poverty in Schools

This month's Discussion and Development Blog is written by Sophie Howes from Child Poverty Action Group and it looks at the struggles that children in poverty face, and how we can help. 


Tackling Child Poverty in Schools: a role for school librarians?

Sophie Howes, Child Poverty Action Group


Child poverty in the UK

Child poverty in the UK is rising. The Institute for Fiscal Studies projects that child poverty will rise from the current level of 4.1 million to 5.2 million by 2020/21.[1] This is largely due to cuts in the social security system that many children and families rely on. At the same time, other public services have seen significant cutbacks, which can leave families struggling on low incomes with little support.

Increasing child poverty is worrying for schools, because poverty at home is the strongest statistical predictor of how well a child will achieve at school.[2] On average poorer children have worse cognitive, socio-behavioural, physical, and mental health than their better-off peers.[3] They are less likely to do well at school; in 2015 only 33% of students eligible for free school meals got five ‘good’ passes at GCSE (A*-C) compared with 61% of those not eligible.[4] Poorer children are more likely to be persistently absent and four times more likely to be permanently excluded from school, with obvious impacts for their education.[5] Evidence suggests that these impacts are both a result of direct deprivation (e.g. inadequate housing leading to poor sleep or lack of space to do homework, difficulties providing healthy food, less ability to afford computers and extracurricular activities) and the impact of coping with poverty on parents’ mental health.

Whilst this paints a depressing picture, schools don’t have to wait for direction from central government to take action on child poverty. On a local level, there is much that can be done by schools and other key public services to tackle child poverty. Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) has been involved in a number of research and practice projects that focus on working with schools to prevent and mitigate the impact of child poverty on children’s education.


Tackling child poverty in schools

In 2018, CPAG was commissioned by the Greater London Authority to conduct a small-scale research project looking at the role of London schools in tackling child poverty. In partnership with a small number of primary schools CPAG reviewed and tested different activities in schools that were designed to support children and families from low income households.

Activities in schools were varied, for example welfare rights advice for parents in schools to help maximise family income, support for families with no recourse to public funds, and information sessions for parents about financial help with childcare. In addition, many of the schools we worked with had an established ‘extended schools’ programme, including breakfast and after school club. These can be particularly beneficial for children and families on a low income by allowing parents to work outside limited school hours and raise family incomes, boosting the attainment of disadvantaged children through activities, and providing children with healthy food.

There is some key learning for schools from this project. Some of the lessons for schools include the importance of asking children, parents and the wider school community about the support families on a low income might need rather than making assumptions, and the value of a ‘targeted universal’ approach with activities open to all children with extra steps taken to engage disadvantaged children, rather than specific programmes for children from disadvantaged backgrounds which in practice are stigmatising.

Schools were clear that this work isn’t without challenges: funding, establishing good leadership, and engaging the families who would benefit most were all identified as potential hurdles. However, for those schools who had established programmes of support for families living in poverty the benefits were obvious to all, as one teacher put it:

There is a recognition that it is very difficult to teach children in the classroom if their lives are very difficult outside of the classroom. We have a duty to support families with these issues.

Cost of the School Day

In Scotland, CPAG is supporting schools and local authorities to understand and tackle the barriers that school costs can create for children from low income households. School costs, such as uniform, equipment, and costs for school activities and trips can place barriers in the way of children’s participation and learning. They can lead to income-related exclusion and stigma amongst children and young people, place pressure on low family budgets and further reduce stretched family incomes.

The Cost of the School Day project works directly with school communities and also provides training, support and advice to practitioners and local authorities looking to mitigate the effects of child poverty in schools. CPAG has created the Cost of the School Day Toolkit, an online resource for schools to help them work with children and young people, families and staff to consider the costs of the school day. There are a number of actions schools can take to reduce costs and level the playing field for children and young people from low-income households, many of which directly engage the work of school librarians.

A role for school librarians?

Children and young people involved in our Cost of the School Day project in Scotland identified a number of ways that school libraries can provide support to children and families on low incomes:


  • ICT was identified as a particular issue that can cause barriers for children who may not have access to internet at home to help with home learning. Being able to access ICT facilities over lunchtime and after school in libraries was seen as a way to help with this.

  • Longer library opening hours in secondary schools was suggested as another way libraries can support students to complete homework and other academic tasks.

  • Providing homework clubs, supported study and drop in sessions can help students who might need some additional help with study tasks.

  • Lending resources and equipment and doing this in a way that is stigma-free (open access and there for everyone rather than being visibly given to certain students) can help ensure students are able to participate in extra-curricular activities like sports and games clubs.

These are small steps, but our Cost of the School Day Project, and our research with London schools has shown that collectively they can make a huge difference to a child’s experience of education. For more information about these projects and to access the Cost of the School Day toolkit go to www.cpag.org.uk


[1] Hood A, and Waters, T. Living Standards, Poverty, and Inequality in the UK 2017-18 to 2021-22, Institute for Fiscal Studies, November 2017

[2] Exley, S. Inside and Outside the School Gates: impacts of poverty on children’s education, in Improving Children’s Life Chances, Child Poverty Action Group, 2016

[3] Cooper, K. and Stewart, K. Does money affect children’s outcomes? An update, July 2017

[4] Cooper, K. and Stewart, K. Does money affect children’s outcomes? An update, July 2017

[5] Cooper, K. and Stewart, K. Does money affect children’s outcomes? An update, July 2017

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The Alligator's Mouth Award for illustrated early fiction

Ten books have been longlisted for the first year of The Alligator’s Mouth Award, a new children’s book prize intended to celebrate the best books for 6-8-year-olds. Axel Scheffler and Joseph Coelho joined the judging panel of children’s book experts who selected the longlisted titles. The award champions both authors and illustrators of highly illustrated children’s fiction. 

Details here

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2019 Egmont Reading for Pleasure Teacher Award Winners Announced

Egmont Publishing in partnership with The Open University and UK Literacy Association, aim to recognise teachers and schools whose practices make a real difference to children’s RfP.

The three award categories: Early Career Teacher, Experienced Teacher, and a Whole School Award receive Egmont books to the value of £250 for their school and copies of Help Your Child Love Reading by Alison David.  

The winners for 2019 have been announced.

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Copyright in schools and teacher awareness

Elizabeth Hutchinson has pointed out some important issues to consider when copying (or recording) books in school. We teach older pupils that plagiarism is wrong, but we also need to consider copyright issues in primary schools and for teachers. Read more on Elizabeth’s blog.

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Scottish Book Trust Awards

A school librarian has won a national prize for promoting reading for pleasure. Scottish Book Trust’s Learning Professional Award recognises a teacher or librarian who works tirelessly to inspire children to read and write. This has been awarded to Deena Wren, who works at Beeslack Community High in Midlothian, has over 10 years’ experience as a librarian and runs a Manga club using graphic novels to support students with dyslexia.

Also honoured at the ceremony was the children’s author Theresa Breslin, who has more than 50 titles to her name and who has been “a passionate advocate” for school libraries. Theresa received the Outstanding Achievement Award - given to an individual with an impressive backlist and a record of meaningful engagement with the writing community.



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Cheltenham Festival Primary Teacher Reading Groups

Cheltenham Festival is expanding its network of primary teacher reading groups with the aim of participating teachers spreading a love of reading to their pupils. Watch for more details in July.

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Picture Books in the Pub-YLG

Manchester SLA Branch and the YLG local group have joined forces for a regular Greenaway shadowing event, which will run for the next few months. YLG Manchester are meeting monthly on alternate Tuesdays at the pub underneath the Portico Library to discuss the Greenaway titles. The initial meeting is Tuesday 19th March. Everyone welcome.

More details on the Manchester SLA Branch page

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Position: Permanent and full time (term time plus one week)

Start date: Ideally, to start summer term 2019

Pay: Grade D FTE salary £20,830 - £23,411 / Actual salary £18,274 - £20,539

Closing date: Monday 1st April (midday)

We are seeking to appoint an ambitious, highly effective and experienced librarian to help support and enrich teaching and learning across the school by enabling students to access a broad range of learning resources, develop learning and information handling skills, and by promoting literacy, reading for pleasure and independent learning.

This is an exciting opportunity where you will be responsible for the smooth and efficient running of the library within our successful, over-subscribed secondary Academy school. You’ll be working alongside a highly motivated, supportive and well qualified team of teachers and support staff in a brand new and well resourced learning environment

The role will involve liaison with department heads to optimise students' use of resources, the organisation and supervision of the school library and ensuring the library operates effectively as an integral part of the school curriculum, supporting whole school literacy.

The successful candidate will be:

  • An excellent practitioner who can enthuse and inspire;
  • Passionate about raising aspirations and improving educational life
  • chances;
  • A role model and champion of learning;
  • Clear-thinking and outward-looking;
  • Dynamic, innovative and hardworking;
  • Able to demonstrate excellent interpersonal skills; and above all,
  • Dedicated to giving all of our students an outstanding education.

We would welcome applications from candidates with different areas of expertise, such as, a background in education.

In return, we can offer:

  • A skilled, hardworking and supportive team.
  • Great students who are proud to be part of the school.
  • The opportunity to shape the future of the school library.
  • A brand new, well-resourced, specialist learning environment.
  • A wide range of opportunities for personal and professional development.

We have high expectations for the achievement of all of our students and the continual professional development of all our staff is a priority.

Robert May’s School, which dates from 1694, is a high attaining 11-16 Academy school with a distinctive ethos based on the charitable principles of our founder. We are situated in a semi-rural setting in Hampshire, with good rail and road access.

We would welcome the opportunity for an informal chat or visit. Please contact Lisa Shackleton, HR Officer on 01256 702700 or email lisa.shackleton[at]rmays.com for further information or to arrange a visit.

Should you wish to apply for this post, please see the school website www.rmays.org for an application form and submit your application to recruitment[at]rmays.com

Deadline for applications: Monday 1st April 2019 (midday).

Interviews will take place as soon as possible afterwards.

More Details...

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Tommy Donbavand Auction

Three years ago, children’s author, Tommy Donbavand, was diagnosed with inoperable throat cancer. Since then, he has undergone appalling side-effects of numerous treatments and the associated medical conditions they brought with them. Now Tommy has been told his cancer is back and there is nothing more that can be done. He has “weeks or months” to live.

For years Tommy has worked to promote literacy in schools and libraries. Like most children’s authors, this provided the majority of his income, and being unable to run these events has drastically slashed his income.

This auction site was set up by a group of Tommy’s friends to help raise funds for him and his family. The love and respect for Tommy throughout the publishing industry is such that there are many unique experiences and items – mainly literary based, with every penny raised through the auction going to Tommy and his family.

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Lancashire Branch AGM and Training

SLA Lancashire, are holding their AGM and training day on Wednesday 20th March.

For more details, please see their branch page



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Reading Promotion CPD

Reading promotion with Accelerated Reader

Looking for a way to get your reluctant readers avidly devouring books? Bev Humphrey - Literacy and Technology Consultant can help.

26 March 2019, 09:30-15:00

Heath Educational Books, Willow House, Willow Walk, Off Whittaker Road, Sutton, Surrey SM3 9QQ 
Discount Deadline and Closing Date: 18 March 2019

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Herts Branch CPD

Promoting reading for pleasure is at the heart of school libraries. However, studies continue to show that the number of young people reading for pleasure continues to fall.  Our next CPD training morning on Thursday 21st March 2019 will focus on best practice for promoting great reading in our own libraries, with an opportunity for networking and sharing ideas.


9.00-9.30     Arrival and tea/coffee

9.30-10.30    Denise Lawrence - Herts Children's Book Group

10.30-11.00    Tea/coffee and networking

11.00-11.30     Carnegie Discussion - Favourites and likely winners

11.30-12.00    AOB


Cost - FREE for SLA members, £5 donation please for non-members.  All welcome.



The Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School

Butterfly Lane, Elstree, Hertfordshire, WD6 3AF


RSVP Julie Vance, St. Albans School, 01727 515283, jvance@st-albans.herts.sch.uk

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Forthcoming SLA Branch events

Central & East Berkshire Branch Unconference 
Saturday 23rd March       St George's School, Ascot. SL5 7DZ

9.30am - 3pm: breakout sessions, author, speakers. 
Free - all welcome. Refreshments provided but please bring lunch



Kent Branch  AGM & Author Talk

Wednesday, 20th March, 4:30 - 6:30 at Thamesview School, Gravesend, DA12 4LF.

Our visiting author will be award-winning author and school librarian Sue Wallman.

Your Turn To Die has been shortlisted for this year's Maidstone Area Book Awards.

Sue is currently working on her fourth book which is due to be published this year.

Entry is free, but if you plan to attend please email the Branch Secretary, Ros Waltho  (rw[at]queenelizabeths.kent.sch.uk ) as light refreshments will be provided.

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Shakespeare Week 2019

Next week is Shakespeare Week – 18 – 24 March. This is a national annual celebration giving primary school aged children opportunities for enriching and enjoyable early encounters with Shakespeare.

Schools, families, home educators and cultural organisations can register to access free resources and events listings. With this year’s theme of Language and Literacy, we’re sure you will find this useful in your schools next week.



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Green books and teaching resources

To introduce the issues surrounding ocean plastic to all primary school age children Wild Tribe Heroes publishing have books following diffferent animals and the effects ocean plastic has on their lives. Also available are free teaching resources linking to the National Curriculum which support and develop children's understanding of the problems and how they can help in their families and schools. Inspire your children to do litter picks, beach cleans, set up recycling stations or write to local businesses and take action in their communities.


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Critical literacy programme

The Times and The Sunday Times Media Literacy Programme is a new programme, for 14 to 16-year-olds, which offers six free lessons that help students think critically and confidently about the news.

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National Literacy Trust engaging parents downloads

The National Literacy Trust have some freely available downloads of top tips and creative ideas to engage parents through books. The resource is designed for parents of primary school-aged children but many of the ideas can be adapted for secondary.

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Dyslexia-friendly editions of Harry Potter

New dyslexia/VIP-friendly editions of J.K.Rowling’s titles. All the books use large font, clear captions and have detailed descriptions to accompany clear pictures. RNIB approved.

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Awesome Book Awards 2019

The Awesome Book Awards is an annual award which honours the best new fiction to inspire children aged 7-10 years. The award offers pupils the opportunity to vote for their favourite books from five shortlisted authors in order to select the winner.

All registered schools will be able to bring pupils to the ceremony or you can encourage your pupils to read the books and vote on their favourite.

Voting is open from 11th March until Friday 26th April 2019.


ABA 2019 Blog Widget


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Online book club for CPD

@Elizabethutch is an active SLS manager running a regular online book club for CPD. The next book to be discussed – Hacking School Libraries by Kristina A Holzweiss and Stoney Evans will have questions posted on 2nd April. Sign up here and follow for thoughtful reflections on our lives as school librarians.

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Jacqueline Wilson Creative Writing Prize 2019

The Jacqueline Wilson Creative Writing Prize is now open.

One lucky winner will have their story published in a Jacqueline Wilson book.

They will also receive a First News subscription, vouchers, a book bundle for their school library AND a school visit from Jacqueline herself.

For children between seven and twelve years old - send in a story you have written. Your story should be between 750 and 1000 words and meet the T & C.

JW Comp

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Study Skills TeachMeet

 Library & Academic Study Skills TeachMeet

Sheffield Hallam University Tuesday 7th May 2019. 
Free event to share ideas, experience and innovative practice. This TeachMeet is aimed at higher education library staff and academic study skills practitioners working in this area.
Theme this year will be:

"Reading for pleasure and reading for academic study"

  • Reading for pleasure - how we encourage the reading of non-academic texts to promote confidence, improve wellbeing, and develop empathy and inclusivity, as well as increasing academic attainment.  

  • Academic reading - how we develop the reading of academic texts, looking at the strategies, tools and techniques that we can use to facilitate academic success

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Blue Peter Book Awards 2019

If you’ve not yet caught up with the winner announcements for the Blue Peter Book awards you need to now.

Blue Peter Book Awards 2019 Logo 16x9

The judges had very difficult decsions to make, so just buy them all for your school library.

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International Women's Day 2019 Posters

It’s not too late to download and display these posters for #IWD2019 or use those on the IWD site 

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World Book Day 2019

Happy World Book Day to all. Whether you are dressed up or simply enjoying other book related activities, we hope all events go well and you end the day feeling calm and satisfied, knowing more children have experienced the joy of books and reading. Good luck

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National Literacy Trust silent auction

National Literacy Trust silent auction to change the life stories of disadvantaged children across the UK.

Many book related items to bid for, but also theatre tickets, dinners at amazing restaurants, signed sports memorabilia, clothes and accessories and loads more.

The auction closes at 8pm on Tuesday 12 March

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Bookbuzz 2019

Bookbuzz is a reading programme from BookTrust that aims to help schools inspire a love of reading in 11 to 13-year-olds.

17 exciting titles to choose from and two copies of each book to keep, to help you boost your school library or classroom.

Sign up by 24 May 2019 to get extra free books. To receive your extra free books, your payment must be made by 28 June.


Bookbuzz Logo

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Cressida Cowell WBD broadcast

Cressida Cowell, the author & illustrator of the How to Train Your Dragon series is presenting a behind the scenes broadcast to learn how stories come alive in this free 30-minute classroom broadcast.

Cressida will inspire students to tap into their boundless imagination and will show how using character development and details in stories make them more believable and fun. 

The broadcast will air twice on Wednesday March 6th at 9:00 Eastern Time/ 14:00 GMT and 13:00 Eastern Time/18:00 GMT followed by live Q&A chat with Cressida each time.


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Raintree Match Funding scheme

The Raintree Match Funding scheme is a national initiative, so that schools can continue to help support children to develop a real love of reading. Recipients will receive a pound-for-pound match on their order, so that they can purchase additional Raintree books. Applications need to be submitted by 26th of April 2019. All UK nurseries, primary and secondary schools are eligible to apply at www.raintree.co.uk/Match-Funding

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Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2019

This year's Foyle Young Poets competition is being launched on World Book Day this coming Thursday 7th March. It is launching at Harborne Academy in Birmingham with the school librarian, English teacher and students taking part in a special workshop with one of this year's judges Raymond Antrobus and another poet, Richard O'Brien.

GRAPHIC White BG Rgb 800x800

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Barnes Children's Literature Festival 2019

The Barnes Children's Literature Festival link is now live for teachers to book their class places.  It is completely free and the names are extraordinary!


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Help, I'm in Charge of the Secondary School Library!: London, 27 March 2019

Our course Help, I'm in Charge of the Secondary School Library!, will be held at NCVO Conference Suite, Society Buildings, 8 All Saints Street, London N1 9RL on 27 March 2019.

Delegates on this course will gain an overview about all aspects of managing the school library and consider the role of the library in their schools.  Areas covered will include creating the library environment, library organisation and maintenance, Library Management Systems, library resources, the library budget and writing a library policy/development plan.

The closing date is 12 March 2019.

Key Audience: A course for secondary school library staff

More Details...

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What’s your Summer Reading Challenge story?

The Reading Agency are looking for success stories from people who took part in the Challenge in one of the years since it started 20 years ago.

They'd ideally like stories that showcase:

  • Someone who faced a particular difficulty prior to starting the Challenge (e.g.: they were an unconfident or reluctant reader, experienced dyslexia).

  • The Challenge helped them in some way.

  • The Challenge had a lasting positive impact.

They'd also love to hear from Summer Reading Challenge volunteers past or present.

These stories may be used on The Reading Agency website and social media channels. They could also be used at a later stage for case studies and media outreach (with permission, and we will provide details). 

You can email any stories to Sadaf.rasheed[at]readingagency.org.uk


along with the person's name, age and location.Please be sure to seek the person’s permission before doing this.

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500 Words Needs Your help

Are you a teacher or a librarian? We are looking for help to judge some of the amazing stories in the 500 Words Competition.  Last year just over 134,000 stories were submitted so help is needed to mark the first round of stories:


•             We're looking for volunteer teachers and librarians (retired and in training too!) to help us judge this year's amazing stories.

•             Can you “assess the written work of children aged 13 and under?" - If this applies then please head to www.bbc.co.uk/500words  for more info and to register

•             On registering for an account you will also be asked to select which age group you wish to mark: 5-9 or 10-13.

•             Approved judges will receive a batch of randomly allocated stories (around 20) once the competition has closed, with just over 3 weeks to mark.

•             We make sure that our judges don’t receive any stories from writers in their own region, so there’s no chance of you accidentally being asked to mark a story from your own class or child.

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Job Vacancies, Kingston: Librarian, Holy Cross Preparatory School

Librarian, Holy Cross Preparatory School

Holy Cross Preparatory School in Kingston require a Librarian to join their team.

The school, located in a beautiful eight-acre site, is an independent Catholic school for girls aged 4 to 11. Our fascinating heritage and dedicated staff help foster a friendly, caring and vibrant community that pursues excellence on every level. Our girls not only achieve academic excellence; but excel in sport, music and art while growing as happy, well-rounded, confident young people.

We are looking for an enthusiastic and experienced librarian who will be passionate about supporting our motivated, happy and high achieving girls, who take a great pleasure in learning.

We offer a competitive salary with a minimum actual salary of £9,386 (£28,000 FTE) inclusive of payment for pro rata holiday (30 days FTE plus 8 bank holidays). Salary negotiable dependent upon qualifications and experience.

The post is permanent and part-time (proposed as 16.5 hours per week – 3 days a week – flexibility available) and term-time plus INSET days only (additional hours in school holidays subject to mutual agreement).  Ideally, we are looking for a March/April 2019 starting date.

For full details please download the Librarian Information Pack, together with the Application Form and the Privacy Notice from the school website's vacancy page.

Please complete and return an application form to the deputy bursar, Sophie Castle (Sophie.castle[at]holycrossprep.com) along with a detailed covering letter.

The closing date for the application is midnight on Wednesday 13th March 2019. Interviews will be held in the week commencing 18th March 2019.

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Oxford Literary Festival 2019

Oxford Literary Festival (30th March – 6th April) has a range of events for children and adults alike. If you are nearby, take a look at the programme for some great author talks.

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Job Vacancies, Prep School Librarian: Bishop's Stortford College, Prep School Librarian

Bishop's Stortford College
Appointment of a Prep School Librarian: from September 2019

Are you looking for a part-time position as Prep School Librarian in a friendly and vibrant Independent School?

Bishop's Stortford College is a place of learning that provides an outstanding range of opportunities for developing well-rounded, skilful and happy young people.  We pride ourselves on doing this in a beautiful environment with the best facilities. 

At the College, we are aware that it is the people who make this possible. It is their energy, imagination and enthusiasm that creates the opportunities, experiences and very special atmosphere for both pupils and staff to enjoy. 

The Prep School

The Bishop's Stortford College Prep School is an independent, co-educational day and boarding school for pupils aged 4 – 13 (580 on roll). It is the preparatory school for Bishop's Stortford College to which most of the Prep School pupils transfer at the end of Year 8.

The Prep School is a wonderful place to teach and to learn. The pupils are super and the staff hard-working, committed and purposeful, but with a sense of humour which makes teaching here such fun. There is a buzz to the Prep School and visitors often comment on the positive, happy atmosphere they experience when they arrive.  Relationships between pupils and staff are key to generating and sustaining this and I hope you will want to become part of the team responsible for creating this environment.

Please visit the College website (www.bishopsstortfordcollege.org) to view our last ISI Inspection Report and to get a flavour of all that goes on here.

The Post

Encouraging children's passion for literature is at the heart of the role in the Prep School Library. The successful candidate will have previous experience managing a library, ideally within an educational setting.

The post requires the Librarian to promote, manage and develop the Prep School Library. It is an essential learning environment for all students. The Librarian plays a key role in providing individualised service, encouraging reading for pleasure.

The position becomes available from September 2019.

Application Process
The closing date for applications is Friday 15th March 2019 at 9am.

The offer of appointment will be subject to an enhanced DBS check.

The College is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. A copy of the College's Child Protection Policy is available on the website.

Application form can be downloaded at https://www.bishopsstortfordcollege.org/172/employment-opportunities/careers/1166/prep-school-librarian-qualified

A completed application form, letter of application and curriculum vitae should be sent by 15th March 2019 at 9am to:
Mr W Toleman, Head of the Prep School, C/O HR Office, Bishop's Stortford College, 10 Maze Green Road, Bishop’s Stortford, Herts CM23 2PJ.

We also reward all our employees with a fantastic range of benefits, which include access to the Teachers' Pension scheme, use of our state-of-the-art College Gym and Swimming Pool, parking onsite and a free lunch during term time! Who said there’s no such thing as a free lunch?

Here's what some of our employees have said about the College…

'You have the space and ability to draw on your own character and strength within the College'

'Staff are supportive and helpful and there is good communication.  We are a close-knit team who help one other'

Bishop's Stortford College is an equal opportunities employer and is committed to Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children; references will be taken prior to interview and an enhanced DBS check is required. To this end, robust Safeguarding processes and procedures are in place to support families, pupils, staff and volunteers. In compliance with the sharing of information guidance/best practice, any concerns are passed to designated teachers, trained in Safeguarding.

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SLA Manchester branch AGM

Reminder about SLA Manchester branch AGM and talk by fabulous prize-winning author Alex Wheatle

Room 404B: MMU Business School

All Saints Campus, Manchester M15 6BH

Mon 11 March, 4.00pm - 6.15pm

Then a chance to socialise over a meal and/or drinks from 6.45pm at Zouk5, The Quadrangle, Chester Street, Manchester M1 5QS 

Attending the AGM and talk is open to everyone and is free of charge, but please let us know if you are planning to attend either for catering numbers to Judith Sprawling


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