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Resources Blog » May 2012RSS Feed RSS

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

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.

400 hundred years of international history from Gale NewsVaultTM now available through JCS...

JCS MAy 12JCS is pleased to announce that an Agreement has been negotiated with Gale Cengage on behalf of UK schools for the addition Gale NewsVaultTM to the its portfolio.

Gale NewsVault™ provides an unparalleled window to the past from 1600 to 2006. Through one single simple interface schools can gain access to up to 12 collections of historic newspapers and periodicals including the 17th and 18th Century Burney Collection newspapers, the 19th Century UK Periodicals as well as Historical Archives of, for instance, The Economist, The Listener, and the Financial Times.

Schools (or central bodies eg Schools Library Services) can subscribe to any 3 the titles, any 6, or the full 12 titles. Consortia discount fees are also available for all three packages.
As for all our resources, the more schools which subscribe within a region the cheaper the subscription so please share this announcement amongst your networks.
To see the full list of the historical publications and periodicals within NewsVault visit the  catalogue page. You can also request a free 30-day trial.


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Tony Robinson Resources

The Reading Agency have a limited number of Tony Robinson's History Passports to giveaway. Each pack contains 10 passports and 3 A3 posters. Sign up by completing this short form:   by Monday 18 June for a chance to get your free packs.

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Reading Matters Relaunch

ReadingReadingmatters Org Uk 015matters has a new look website with resources for teachers and librarians - take a look

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Logo Competition

Don't forget the deadline for the Aspire Attire logo competition is June 8th.  Details of T shirt logo competition entry is available from the website.

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A Dog Called Homeless - Competition

The story is about Cally, whose mum has died, and whom no-one believes when she says that she’s seen her. It covers a range of interesting themes, including bereavement, homelessness and disability and has already had rave reviews from Cathy Cassidy - “Heartbreakingly beautiful… I loved it”. It’s aimed at the KS2-3 market, and Sarah is one of three HarperCollins authors who is taking part in the Spill the Ink schools tour later this month.

There is a story-writing competition on the website, plus downloadable teachers’ resources giving more information on the book, etc,

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Chatterbooks - reading groups for children from The Reading Agency

The Reading Agency’s Chatterbooks reading groups for children is a reading group programme for children aged 4 to 14 years. Its patron is top children’s author Dame Jacqueline Wilson. Chatterbooks groups run in libraries and schools, supporting children’s literacy development by encouraging them to have a really good time reading and talking about books.

Chatterbooks gives schools a best practice model for running reading groups, developed with expert librarians and teachers. Being part of Chatterbooks provides you with:

  • ready to use resources

  • lots of ideas for fun, creative sessions

  • promotions from leading publishers featuring the best in children’s books.

We also partner with the British Council’s Schools Online, using Chatterbooks to link UK and overseas schools. 

Why work with Chatterbooks ? The links between reading for pleasure and attainment are well documented, and recently highlighted in Ofsted’s report ‘Moving English Forward in Education’.  Chatterbooks is an ideal way to promote a love of reading - sessions are designed to give children confidence in speaking, writing and reading in a group, choosing books for themselves, and talking about what they like to read.  You can use Chatterbooks in whatever way works best for your school – for example in supporting reading recovery; engaging boys in reading; with gifted and talented children; or supporting transition.

With Chatterbooks 2012 you can:

  • Join Chatterbooks for free
  • Get free best practice support from the website and e-letter, for setting up and running a Chatterbooks group
  • Get new title information about children’s books
  • Give children a powerful year round menu of free resources from publishers

Buy special welcome packs for children (set of 10 packs £50) and starter packs for group leaders (£20 )  with 10% discount for SLA members!

What people are saying about Chatterbooks:

Mrs S Robson, Head Teacher, Bridgewater School in Newcastle: Chatterbooks is a very popular lunch time club that we value greatly. The children love going and it is an ideal opportunity for them to enjoy books. We are very fortunate to have such dedicated volunteers who run the sessions and the children have built up excellent relationships with them. The club has not only developed children's love of books but has also had an impact on their reading ability.

(NB: This is a group that's growing fast, with around 30 children in total participating, as they run groups in lunchtime slots.)

Pamela Barnes, Head Teacher, Devonshire Road Primary School in Bolton: Chatterbooks was a huge success with my Year Six group. It encouraged them to read books they would otherwise not have dreamed of trying, including some very challenging reads. It was fabulous to hear them enthusing over their reading and recommending books to other pupils; it definitely had a positive effect on other pupils’ reading as well as their own. The Chatterbooks materials helped set up the club as something special – they all loved their bag of goodies and I made good use of the ideas that Chatterbooks provides. I think the Chatterbooks branding also helped it to appeal to a diverse range of pupils; 30% of my group were boys, for example, and 50% spoke English as an additional language.’
Faith Ward, parent:Matthew (now nearly 10) has been struggling with his reading and lacked confidence in tackling books.  Since being part of Chatterbooks (at Chippenham Library) he has enjoyed reading a great deal more, sped through the school’s reading scheme and become a ‘free reader’ in October 2011.  He is currently reading a book of nearly 600 pages (slowly but surely), a feat I never thought he would want to do.’

For offers, stories, downloadable resources, and details of materials for sale, see the Chatterbooks web page at  - and get started with Chatterbooks! Win a free Chatterbooks group leader’s starter pack!



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CookieTots Cook N Book sessions are a way for children to experience fresh local produce, tasty and healthy snacks, and cooking in the classroom through linking each session to a well known book.

Interactive Gingerbread session starts with reading out the story of the Gingerbread Man using finger puppets and hand actions to illustrate “run, run as fast you can, you can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread man.” The children then get to make something delicious all linked into the story and join in with games and activities all based around a ginger theme. At the end of the session everyone sits down and reads the story again before going home.

CookieTots class leaders bring exciting, practical & interactive lessons about healthy eating through storytelling. Different recipes give the children a chance to explore their senses and express their creativity whilst reading encourages language learning and increases vocabulary skills. For more information on Gingerbread Man Cook N Book session or other storytelling classes please contact Nikki Geddes on 07976 619 648 or email

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