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End of term round-up

SummerSome members I know are already on summer breaks, others looking forward to one very shortly – often time to catch up on all the things there’s no time to do during a busy term, or time to take a complete break and catch up on all the ‘to be read’ piles I imagine you all have.  Here are a few things you might find interesting…

Autism Friendly Libraries film for library staff across England. Following research showing that more than 9 in 10 people with autism would use their library more if some autism friendly adjustments were made, the Association of Senior Children’s and Education Librarians (ASCEL) is to offer training and support to all 3000 of the nation’s public libraries.  The research, conducted by social care organisation Dimensions, showed that whilst people with autism are already more likely than other people to use a library, a few changes could lead to 92% increasing their use of their local library.  Check out the film and training materials on the ASCEL website – these are available for anyone to use and may be very useful in schools.

Author S F Said – the opening speaker at this year’s Weekend Course – has won the Haringey Children’s Book Award – have a look at this blog post.  If you are nowhere near Haringey and their annual award do check out your local area, many SLS or local groups run their own awards and getting involved can make a big impact on reading in your school.

CLPE has launched the new Power of Pictures website - the outcome of an Arts Council funded project where ten talented picture book creators worked with primary school teachers to develop their understanding of the craft of picture book creation as a way of raising children’s achievement in literacy.  The impact of the Power of Pictures project on teachers' approach to picture books, as well as their pupils' attitudes and writing, is clear.  Have a look at the website for details of the research and lots of ideas to support using picture books more widely.

The unique UKLA Book Awards are the only awards to be judged entirely by teachers. Their choice of winning books which, according to the criteria, can “enhance all aspects of literacy learning” clearly demonstrates the fresh perspective that class teachers bring to the judging of book awards.   They are able to share the books with their classes and discover what genuinely works with young readers in each of the three age categories.  As well as endorsing the brilliance of Frances Hardinge’s overall Costa Winner, The Lie Tree for 12-16’s, their 7-11 winner reflects once again the importance of illustration to this age group. The Imaginary by A.F Harrold was double Greenaway medal winner Emily Gravett’s first foray into illustrating a full length novel. The 12 judges who made up the final panel showed the strength and depth of the three shortlists by also Highly Commending books in both the 7-11 and 3-6 categories with Alex. T Smith’s vividly illustrated and wittily diverse twist on a familiar nursery tale, Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion, winning the 3-6 category.

Finally, tying in with the Summer Reading Challenge and all things Dahl this summer – check out the Trail of Dreams Jars in London during July to the end of August the Visit London website has maps!

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