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The SLA Resources Blog is designed to highlight new resources which we at the SLA think may be of interest to school librarians and to others working in related fields. The blog is available at and can also be read via an RSS feed at

Penguin Survey - prize draw

Penguin SchoolsCalling all primary school teachers and librarians!  How would you like to win a bundle of books in time for the new school year?  Answer our survey and win books for your classroom!

Penguin Schools want to make sure they're doing the best they can to enhance a love of literacy in the classroom. To allow them to shape and plan for future events and projects, they would like to hear your feedback, thoughts and suggestions. Penguin Schools greatly value and appreciate your input, which is why they have conducted a survey.

To enter, simply click the link below to complete a survey about children's books and events and you'll be entered into a prize draw to win a bundle of books to excite your young readers with next September!  CLICK HERE to complete the survey. 

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Essay PrizeFollowing the huge success of the inaugural Connell Guides Essay Competition, they are delighted to announce the second essay prize, open to all Sixth form pupils in the UK studying English Literature, will open for submissions on 15th September 2014.

With the award winning novelist Philip Pullman on the judging panel and a £500 prize for the winner, the Connell Guides Essay Prize is sure to draw the interest of all budding young writers.

Jolyon Connell, founder of Connell Guides, said “We are thrilled to have Philip Pullman as our judge this year. A former teacher himself, he will be well equipped to spot young talent, and after the incredibly high standard of writing from our first annual prize, we are expecting to attract a fantastic field this year.” Last year’s judge, William Boyd, said of the entries “the standard of the short-listened entries was uniformly high – thoughtful, intelligent, cogently argued. They should all be congratulated. Wit and intelligence were present in abundance…bravo to all.”

The Connell Guides Essay Prize aims to encourage students to think about and interpret literature in a way that takes their studies to the next level, potentially building on their UCAS form and making them a more desirable candidate for university places and future employment. But most importantly, it will also help to foster a lifelong love of reading and writing.  Details for submission are in the PDF. 

Essay Prize

PDF file, 85 kB

Requires Adobe Reader

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New Reader Recommendations

TRACAs we know motivating teenagers to read can be difficult – especially in a world of digital distractions.
TRAC (Teenage Reading Action Campaign) are conducting research amongst teenagers  into their reading habits, and pilot results show that the majority of 12-18 olds agree that it is difficult to find time to read during school term time, and just over half agree that it is difficult to find a book that really interests them. 

To help parents, teachers and librarians recommend the right books for their teenagers, TRAC has published the first of a series of ‘top recommended reads’ . The first list, which are all books with a summer theme or setting, features explicit reading age and content tags, and can be accessed as a PDF and on the website.

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Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossan Publisher Offer

Apple and Rain (published in hardback 14th August 2014, priced £10.99) is the fourth book by multiple award-winning author Sarah Crossan. It explores the bond between mothers and daughters, and the power of forgiveness.

When Apple’s mother returns after eleven years of absence, Apple feels whole again. She will have an answer to her burning question – why did you go? And she will have someone who understands what it means to be a teenager – unlike Nana. But just like the stormy Christmas Eve when she left, her mother’s homecoming is bitter sweet, and Apple wonders who is really looking after whom. It’s only when Apple meets someone more lost than she is, that she begins to see things as they really are.

Sarah’s love of poetry, and her skill in making it accessible for readers of all ages and abilities, shone in The Weight of Water. In this new book its presence is subtle, but just as poignant. A moving, perceptive and beautifully crafted story which has the power to make you laugh and cry.  Website: / Twitter: [at]SarahCrossan / Facebook: Sarah Crossan

Bloomsbury is offering SLA members the chance to win one of 20 copies of Apple and Rain. To be in with a chance of winning email emma.bradshaw[at] Please type ‘Sarah Crossan’ in the subject header and include your full postal address in the body of the email.

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Design Ideas

Demco BkletDemco Interiors has published a new online brochure specifically for anyone wanting to get started on designing and furnishing a small school library or classroom reading room space.  Read more and view the brochure on the website.

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Are you involved with IB?

Anthony Tilke is leading a running a workshop for librarians in schools teaching IB in October (10 - 12th) in Berlin.  See if your school will send you.  Full programme is on the Inthinking website, with costs and booking details.  

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Foyles Young Poets 2014

Foyles 2014The Poetry Society announces today the launch of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2014, the world's largest and most prestigious award for young poets aged 11-17 years old.

Last year's competition attracted entries from a staggering 7,478 young people from 75 countries worldwide, making it one of the largest literary competitions in the world. The 2013 winners (15 top winners and 85 commended poets) spanned the globe, from Nigeria to Malaysia and from right across the UK. Now in its 17th year, the competition once again invites young poets to enter their writing.  The Poetry Society is thrilled that The Foyle Young Poet of the Year Award 2014 will be judged by acclaimed poets Grace Nichols and Simon Barraclough.

Any young person writing in English can enter the competition, whether they have been writing for a long time or just started, and the competition is free to enter. Full details on entering the competition can be found at . The top 15 winning poets will have their poems published in an anthology in March 2015, which will be sent out to more than 22,000 people worldwide, making it one of the largest circulated poetry anthologies in the world. The current anthology Rattle the Hatches is published today, and celebrates last year’s winners and invites entries to the 2014 competition .  

The top 15 poets will attend a week-long residential creative writing course at the prestigious Hurst Arvon centre in Shropshire, where they will be tutored by this year’s judges, or receive a visit to their school from a professional poet, followed by one to one and distance mentoring (age dependent). The 85 Commended Winners will receive book prizes and a year's Youth Membership of the Poetry Society, the UK's leading poetry organisation.

All 100 winners of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award benefit from ongoing support and encouragement, via publication, performance, promotion and internship opportunities throughout the UK. In 2013, Foyle winners were showcased at the BBC Proms, Cheltenham Literature Festival, Ledbury Poetry Festival and the Southbank Centre. The prizes will be awarded at a special ceremony held at the Royal Festival Hall in London on Thursday 2nd October (National Poetry Day).

The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award also incorporates a year round programme of activity aimed at encouraging creativity and literacy in schools. Every year the scheme nurtures best practice in creative writing teaching, identifying committed ‘Teacher Trailblazers’ to act as mentors and share lesson ideas. Foyle and the Poetry Society also offer additional poet-led workshops and events to a number of ‘applauded schools’, to reward their continuing commitment to, and enthusiasm for, the Award. The newly relaunched  Poetryclass site offers a wide range of free downloadable teaching resources, including special Foyle lesson plans based on previous winning poems.

Since it began in 1998, the Award has kick-started the career of some of today’s most exciting new voices, including Poetry London editor Ahren Warner and Derbyshire Poet Laureate Helen Mort. The Award represents a career -changing achievement for many. The phrase ‘Former Foyle Young Poet’ is now commonly found in professional biographies as alumni continue to make their mark on the wider literary world, their names appearing on bookshelves and at festivals the world over. The Poetry Society’s online Alumni Library celebrates the successes of these exciting new voices.

All UK teachers can request free class set copies of Rattle the Hatches winners anthologies (5 per school), along with a class set entry form and 2 posters for your school walls (whilst stocks last). Email with your full name, teaching position and full UK school postal address.

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JCS May 2014 news

JCS MAy 14See the latest events and training courses on offer from JCS Online Resources in their latest newsletter.  In this month's guest post, Anne Buxton, Information Manager at Northampton High School, writes about the programme of information literacy and research skills training that has been introduced at her school.

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