Library News - December 2022
We have had a very busy term here in the Library – I am delighted to say that it has become a thriving place to be. As the weeks have gone by, more and more students have enjoyed using the Library, and book loans have steadily increased. Due to the Book Amnesty, we had a drive on students returning books with no questions asked and that has supported this rise in borrowing. We do not fine but we do encourage students to return books and work with the system so more books are available for all. If you happen to find an overdue book tucked under the bed or at the top of a cupboard over the holidays, do bring it back in the new year as no one will wag any fingers at you!
Year 7 have enjoyed regular lessons in the Library, firstly coming in during English lessons, and now spending time here during both Science and Maths lessons as part of our cross-curricular focus on reading. The message this sends out is that reading is not just an English-based issue. A competence in reading is vital within all subject areas, and is such an important skill for life and learning across the board. These lessons are a way to encourage students to enjoy the Library’s resources and participate in a range of reading-based activities. Please support the students by asking them about their reading – the Book Bingo card and Reading Logs are all part of our encouragement to read widely.
Readathon has been part of our big focus with Year 7 on reading for pleasure. Launched during a library lesson, the students were told that by ‘reading and raising’ they could do something wonderful for other children. Thank you for your support of this and our whole focus on reading with Year 7. Students took home a sponsor form and, where possible, have been encouraged to read to raise. An information sheet about this also went home to parents of Year 7, clarifying that any sponsorship is much appreciated, and explaining the purpose and focus of Readathon which is run by the charity ‘Read for Good’. The closing date for students to bring in their money and sponsor forms is the end of term – Friday 16th December. Sponsorship can easily be done online and is still much appreciated if you haven’t quite managed to do so yet. You can use this link: https://readforgood.enthuse.com/donate#!/
‘Read for Good’ encourages children to read through its unique motivational approach inspiring reluctant readers to give reading a go, and keen readers to read more widely. Students can choose whatever they want to read - from comics to classics and audio books to blogs - they are not being assessed, it’s all about reading for fun. And, they are motivated to read because the money they raise in sponsorship helps to provide a regular supply of brand-new books and a resident storyteller to every major children’s hospital in the UK. Children unable to leave their beds can choose books from specially designed mobile bookcases which are wheeled right up to their bedside. Because they are brand new, the books are safe for those at high risk of infection.
In addition to all this, the school will be supported by receiving 20% of whatever we raise back for our own library. In the last five years alone, ‘Read for Good’ has given almost £800,000 worth of book vouchers to participating schools and our Year 7 students will be a part of choosing the new books we gain as a result of all the fabulous fund raising they have been doing.
To support the encouragement of reading, the Library has offered a selection of prizes. Once all the monies are in for the end of term, students will be selected to receive recognition in January, awarding students who have joined in and raised some money, along with prizes for those who raise the most.
Additionally, to encourage and recognise all those who read, whether sponsored or not, we have a Reading Raffle for those students who have powered through lots of books! These students have collected raffle tickets from their English teacher or me, and entered their name and the book read into the Reading Raffle box. Prize winners for this are to be announced at the end of term. The message is the more books and reading, the more tickets and the higher chance of winning a prize!
We have celebrated reading through a range of displays designed to encourage students to see just what books we have that could well be the books for them. Sometimes a student will say they don’t like reading, but we say it’s just a case of not yet having found the right book! This term we have marked National Poetry Day, Black History Month, Halloween, Remembrance Day and the World Cup, with additional celebration of lots of new books! I’ve been really pleased when students have specifically requested certain books, and our Christmas Wishes tree also helps with that as students have been asked to hang their wishes for new books in the Library on to the tree. This will guide orders in the new year.
Books of the Week are now a regular feature so every week there is advice about two books that we think are worth high praise. There are two recommendations as we always feature a ‘Teen +’ book also, and these books are available at the beginning of the week – can’t promise they’ll be on display long though as they are ready for borrowing!
Next term, our Student Librarians will be joining us in the Library – the application and training has taken place, and they are ready to start supporting our students in the Library. The great thing about having students in this role is they can offer advice based on their own reading experience. They will be around during break and lunchtimes, helping keep the Library ticking over and ready to offer any reading suggestions.
Year 7 and 8 Book group has met every Wednesday after school and we have enjoyed discussing books, completing quizzes and being creative. Students have been challenged to pick a book from a selection and feedback on it, along with various quizzes with prizes. We have made poppy wreaths, pumpkins for Halloween, Book Cubes and Christmas trees from books. Next term, we’d like more students to join us and enjoy this relaxed and fun meet-up.
It has been a great first term here in the Library and I am looking forward to more reading, competitions and general celebration of books. Pop in and enjoy our CPS Library!