ReadingCloud: engaging children, parents and educators in reading for enjoyment

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 » Recent PostsRSS 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.

May meanderings

Secondary School 2A round-up of recent news and announcements that have landed in my inbox from partners and colleagues – I hope you find them useful and informative!

The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) runs the Children’s Poetry Award which is the only award in the UK for published children’s poetry.  Established in 2003, the annual Poetry Award encourages and celebrates outstanding poetry published for children. CLPE are delighted to announce the shortlist for the 2015 CLPE Poetry Award:

  • Mandy Coe (editor): Let in the Stars, illustrated by The Manchester School of Art, The Manchester Writing School, Manchester Metropolitan University.  An anthology in which a wide range of themes is combined with the unconventional unfolding of individual poems.  Unexpected points of view abound and contemporary language is considered in several poems.
  • Joseph Coelho: Werewolf Club Rules, illustrated by John O’Leary, Frances Lincoln.  A fresh collection of poems from a new voice which celebrates the joys of everyday life and beyond and displays a delight in language.
  • Georgie Horrell, Aisha Spencer and Morag Styles (editors): Give the Ball to the Poet.  A new anthology of Caribbean Poetry, illustrated by Jane Ray, Commonwealth Education Trust.  A celebration of Caribbean culture and environment is threaded throughout this vibrant anthology alongside the anger and sorrow begotten of the interdependent history of migration, slavery and exploitation between the Caribbean and Britain.
  • Hilda Offen: Blue Balloons and Rabbit Ears, Troika Books.  An appealing collection for young children, illustrated by the poet.  Full of fun and rhyme and rhythm and a variety of verse forms, it includes thoughtful themes about nature and history too.
  • Rachel Rooney: My Life as a Goldfish and other poems, illustrated by Ellie Jenkins, Frances Lincoln. These succinct poems, sometimes darkly humorous and incorporating delicious wordplay, are lessons in how economy of words can lead the imagination to soar.

The winner of the 2015 Award will be announced on July 16th 2015 at a ceremony in the new Dorfman Theatre at the National Theatre in London. There will be poetry performances by children and the poets and the winner of the Award will receive £1000.

For the first time CLPE is running a shadowing scheme to involve schools in the Poetry Award 2015. This is a great opportunity for primary schools to enhance their literacy curriculum in a fresh and exciting way. As part of the shadowing scheme, a competition will see children from winning schools invited to perform on stage at the Award ceremony. All schools, regardless of whether they are participating in the shadowing scheme, can take poetry into the classroom supported by high quality free resources including films of shortlisted poets performing, the poets talking about their work and accompanying teaching resources. These will be available on CLPE’s Poetryline website

Check out the Puffin Virtually Live website - a series of free interactive webcasts from Puffin's bestselling authors. On this website you can find a selection of previous webcasts which you can watch on-demand, as well as details of forthcoming webcasts.  You just need to register to take part.

The Reading Agency has worked with colleagues across the sector to develop an electronic schools pack for this year’s Summer Reading Challenge. The pack is designed to provide activity ideas around the Record Breakers theme, support librarians’ visits to schools but also support libraries where there is no longer capacity for these school visits. The pack links to relevant websites and to further downloadable schools resources on the Reading Agency website. Tips and resources for how to inspire whole-school engagement as well as family engagement with the Challenge are also included. The pack is now available online for both library staff and schools. 

National Schools Partnership is promoting Into Film’s new Guide to Creating Effective Reviews, for Primary and Secondary. Both are perfect English boosters or revision activities for the summer term and offer a great way to motivate students’ writing by encouraging expression of personal opinion and individual voice.  Teachers can download the free guide for accessible activities to use in the classroom and for film clubs.

And finally… Good news from the National Literacy Trust - Reading levels hit nine year high as record numbers of children enjoy reading every day.  There has been a dramatic increase in the number of children who read every day, according to new research by the National Literacy Trust. However, many parents appear to be unaware of how vital their support is for their children’s reading and the gender gap is growing between girls’ and boys’ reading.

  • Levels of reading enjoyment continue to improve. 54.4% of children and young people enjoy reading either very much or quite a lot. 35.5% only enjoy reading a bit and 10% do not enjoy reading at all.
  • Levels of daily reading also continue to increase – dramatically. Between 2013 and 2014 there was a 28.6% increase in the number of children and young people who read daily outside class, rising from 32.2% in 2013 to 41.1% in 2014. 

Read the full report on their website.

0 comments · Add a comment

Job Vacancies: KINGS LANGLEY SCHOOL - Learning Resource Manager

We are seeking to appoint a qualified Learning Resource Manager with substantial relevant experience with ideas and commitment, to join this popular school.

The successful candidate will lead, develop and manage the facilities in our Learning Resource Centre.  They will have excellent communication and interpersonal skills, appropriate IT skills and be able to work confidently with both students and staff.


Word document, 22 kB (Requires Microsoft Word 2007 or later)


The post is for 37 hours per week term time plus 5 days in school holidays.

Salary: H7 (£19,534 - £21,666 actual pro rata) depending on qualifications and experience

For further information and an application form please see our website: or contact Jackie Turner in the school office.

Closing date:  Friday 12 June 2015






Tel: 01923 264504


Email: admin[at]

More Details...

0 comments · Add a comment

School Librarian wins UKeiG Early Career Award

School Librarian Amy Icke has won the UKeiG 2015 Early Career Award, which celebrates extra-ordinary and inspirational enterprise in early-career professionals who are members of CILIP. It comes as no surprise that the prize in this first year of the Award goes to a school librarian. The nomination for Amy Icke commends her work at both St Paul’s Girls’ School and, more recently, Wimbledon High School, noting her as a most outstanding colleague ... and a pleasure to work with. Her particular talent for encouraging others extends to both students and staff, offering a breadth of vision which encompasses the needs of others while freely sharing her own ideas.

Amy was always actively involved with all aspects school life, for example by supporting pupils on the environment committee. One of her first library initiatives to raise awareness of resources amongst the staff at St Paul’s was a library blog. Soon after joining St Paul’s, Amy took on the role of Gap Year co-ordinator; as well as e-learning co-ordinator, working closely with the IT department. She also worked closely with the School Historian, helping to build up a catalogue of resources: just one example of such work can be seen on the webpage she created for the School’s 110th birthday  celebrations. Her enthusiasm for developing her skill set can be seen in her activities to organise and catalogue the personal library of Michael Rosen, former children's laureate.

Since moving to Wimbledon High School, Amy continues to demonstrate that she is always willing to go the extra mile, and has significantly enhanced library provision. She has brought her own clear, focussed vision to the library but is also guided by the views of others, working closely with Heads of Department, School Council and Sixth Form Committee to ensure her plans fully-reflect their needs. She has ensured the library extends far beyond the physical space by playing an active role in the Communications Strategy of the school. Working with the local community, Amy is collaborating with Fiona Ravzi, Director of Wimbledon Bookfest, on organising the first Young Adult strand of Bookfest 2015 involving students from five schools across Merton.

As an active member of the various school librarian groups, Amy delivered a talk on the interim findings of her MA research to the London branch of the School Library Association and since September 2011 has served on the CILIP London Member Network Committee.

Read more at the UKeiG Early Career Award page.

1 comment · Show comment · Add a comment

FREE Theodore Boone posters for school libraries

Theodore Boone3Hodder and Stoughton are re-launching John Grisham’s Theodore Boone books with completely new covers, along with a brand new series website. There are posters and bookmarks available free for librarians and teachers. You can just email naomi.berwin[at] letting her know how many you’d like. Obviously it’ll be ‘while stocks last’ but they’re not too limited on numbers.

Resource packs with discussion questions, activities etc, for teachers are available to download

0 comments · Add a comment

Reading for Pleasure - SLA regional training course

Reading for Pleasure can play a key role in raising attainment and successfully supporting a wide range of pupils' academic, personal, social and emotional learning outcomes. In particular, it can become the key driver in supporting the literacy agenda.

This very practical session led by trainer, Jerry Hurst, focusses on tried-and-tested fun reading activities and approaches and how to create a whole-school reading culture based upon reading for pleasure. It tales place in Brecon Library in Powys on 9th June. For more details and to apply please click here.

0 comments · Add a comment

Online Librarian Course in Newtown, Powys

Technology is moving at an almost frightening pace and our students are much more up to date with it than we are in some cases. Using online media to enthuse them about reading and writing for pleasure is therefore very powerful and can be done easily and cheaply long as you have a 'road map' of sites to use! This course will act as an online sat nav, guiding you to resources and sites that you can use in your library. You will learn about using exciting video media to use in encouraging young people to read for pleasure, discover uses for Pinterest in education and be given ideas for low cost projects to help you develop a whole school reading culture.

To find out more details and to register for the course click here

0 comments · Add a comment

new TeenTech award to recognise excellence in research and information literacy

The CILIP Information Literacy Group are supporting a new TeenTech award to recognise excellence in research and information literacy. This award highlights the importance of students having highly developed research skills and the ability to critically and ethically use information to underpin their projects.

This new award will be judged across all categories in the competition. CILIP join Airbus, Atkins, Google, Cranfield University, EDF, JVC, Maplin, National Grid, OCR and Symantec, as sponsors of the industry focussed year round Award programme.

For more details click here

0 comments · Add a comment

Job Vacancies: Thomasís Kensington - SCHOOL LIBRARIAN (Maternity Cover)

September 2015
Thomas’s Kensington seek to employ an (ideally) experienced Librarian to take on the running of the school’s two Libraries, as well as teaching and inspiring children throughout the school in the delights of books and reading. The post would suit an enthusiastic teacher, willing to turn their hand to many activities including book clubs, creative events for World Book Day and book sharing mornings, as well as teaching Library lessons to children from Reception to Year 6.

Job Description

PDF file, 35 kB (Requires Adobe Reader)


Person Specification

PDF file, 38 kB (Requires Adobe Reader)

Competitive salary and conditions are offered.
Closing date: Friday 29th May 2015
Interviews to be held: w/c 1st June 2015
For further details go to the Thomas’s London Day Schools
website or email ebeckett[at]

We are committed to safeguarding the welfare of children and young people and expect all staff to share this commitment and work in accordance with our child protection policies and procedures. All posts are subject to an enhanced DBS check.

More Details...

0 comments · Add a comment