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Resources Blog » November 2017RSS 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.

Read Write Inc Open Days

On 19 March a selection of 'Model Schools' in the UK are inviting headteachers and literacy leads to attend an open day to see the Read Write Inc. education programme in practice. Attendees can find out how the programme, published by Oxford University Press, can improve literacy and help to decrease the 'word gap' between children from disadvantaged backgrounds and their more affluent peers.  
The open day will take place on Monday 19 March in Caerphilly, Cornwall, Derby, Norfolk, Romford, Wokingham, Birmingham and East Sussex at 'Model Schools' for Read Write Inc., and will be open to all headteachers and literacy leads in the local area. At the open day visitors can expect to find out how the Read Write Inc. programme is implemented in their schools and see the benefits of the programme and it is improving literacy. During the day, visitors will be able to observe lessons, meet other schools in the area, get advice on how to implement the programme and see the positive impact on behaviour across the school. 
One of the highlight factors of Read Write Inc. schools is that they are talk-a-lot schools where speaking and listening skills are developed through partner work. By developing children’s vocabulary, Read Write Inchelps to address problems associated with the ‘word gap’, recently highlighted by the government’s Department for Education single departmental plan. 
The ‘word gap’ has been identified in children from disadvantaged backgrounds, who by the age of 3 are on average almost a full year and a half behind their more affluent peers in language development. In the report the DoE make recommendations on how to eliminate the 'word gap' through education in order to improve social mobility and equality of opportunity, the Read Write Inc. programme is in line with this.
 “Our Model Schools demonstrate an inspirational passion and excitement for teaching. Their attention to detail and focus on continuous professional development
marks them out and is the key to their success in getting every child to read by 6. No child should get left behind and with the right teaching and assessments we can ensure

every child is understood and the gaps in their knowledge identified and addressed.”

Ruth Miskin, Creator of Read Write Inc.
For more information on which schools are taking part and to book a place at one of the schools teachers can visit this webpage:
Or for booking enquiries please email oxfordprimaryevents[at]  
For more information, images or to speak to one of the experts at OUP Education please contact publicist: Laura Smythe m: 07881555530 or email: laurasmythecontact[at]
Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP t: 01865 354579 Twitter: [at]OUPPrimary Facebook: [at]oxfordeducationuk

Expenses only author visit offer - Joffre White

Author Joffre White gives his opinion on the importance of libraries and librarians:

'I can rant on and on about the importance of libraries, particularly of school libraries.I can shout about how it is a disgrace that it is not a legal requirement for EVERY school to have an up to date library, well stocked and managed by a  librarian whose role is to motivate, inspire and guide our young people into finding and reading books, comics and magazines that give them pleasure, and knowledge, and fills their lives with wonder and possibilities.

 I can continue to sign petitions and voice my disapproval at the inept politicians and county councils, and the blinkered governors and short-sighted principals and leadership teams in some of our schools who decide that a properly run school library is not worth adequate funding. 

 I can do this and more, adding my voice to the other authors, illustrators, poets, librarians, parents and young people who show their concern and dismay at the erosion of what should be the beating heart of every school. A well run and well used library should be an essential requirement - NOT AN OPTION!

But, I’ve found that the thing that gives me the most hope is when I visit a school and meet a librarian who hasn’t had the enthusiasm and creativity knocked out of them, when I walk into a school library and the displays, the inventiveness, and the buzz of the pupils says to me – ‘This is OUR library and it’s here to stay!’ 

When I can hear and see the power of that librarian reflected in the pupils and students, that’s when I know that there’s hope. That’s why I love visiting schools and having the opportunity to promote the importance of school libraries, of reading for pleasure and for knowledge. To get young people excited about finding their book, maybe the first book that they’ve ever picked up, a book that could change their lives. 

I am privileged to be an Author and a Patron of Reading – I think that all schools should have a partnership with an author, an illustrator, a poet, a story teller, together we can fight the system from within and inspire and excite more and more young people to become passionate about reading and to appreciate the value of their library and their librarian. Then, whenever this resource is threatened, there will be more and more voices to oppose any ridiculous notion that libraries and librarians are an ill afforded luxury.

As a professional author, I have visited hundreds of schools and colleges across the UK, and what angers me the most is the disparity, the lack of consistency and quality given to the value of a school library – every parent, every carer should expect the same high standard of library resource WHEREVER they place their child or children in a school.

‘But what about funding?’ I hear some people say. I appreciate that school budgets are squeezed along with many other institutions, but in this instance, it comes down to imbalanced, personal priorities. Why is it that I can visit a school with a valued, vibrant, well used and well stocked library with a dedicated librarian at the helm, and ten miles away, visit a similar school that has no librarian, and an unloved room filled with outdated and neglected book stock? 

If Head Teachers, Principals, Leadership teams, those that manage the purse strings, do not show that a library and all that it can contain and stand for is of no importance, what message does that send out to the pupils, the students, the next generation? Time after time, research in numerous countries world-wide continues to show that the educational, economic, aspirational, health and wellbeing benefits are improved in young people who are encouraged and supported through their school libraries to read regularly for pleasure or for knowledge.

Literacy is the cornerstone to education, to all subjects, and all subjects align to the school library – the heart of the school, and every school should have one. A proper one. With a trained librarian – no excuses!'

 Joffre is offering a limited number of expenses only author visits to schools between January - April 2018 (excluding World Book Day week). His sessions are designed to inspire and excite young people in the power of words and how reading a book can change their lives and empower them to chase their dreams. If you are interested in taking Joffre up on his kind offer please email him












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Ebookdabra - reading app giveaway for members

The team at Ebookadabra undertook research earlier this year that showed that astaggering one in 20   British children aged between three and seven have never read a picture book. As a result Ebookadabra has launched a ‘Netflix of children’s picture books’ that will help kids discover a magical world of reading. For a limited time only, Ebookadabra is offering SLA members an exclusive 4 months free subscription to the app. The subscription service is available through both the AppStore and Google Play and normally costs £2.99 a month, after a 14 day free trial. Ebookadabra allows a family to create up to four children’s profiles plus a parent access. It features over a thousand picture books, from leading publishers such as Disney, Harper Collins and Parragon – that’s just 10p a day for an ocean of reading in your pocket.

Grown-ups can record an audio version of any book in the Ebookadabra library for their child to listen to at any time. There are hundreds of pre-recorded audio books too with ‘read-along’ feature that highlights words as they are read. Ebookadabra works off-line allowing up to 15 books to be downloaded to read on the move. With personalised avatars and themes, virtual rewards and a system of educational games that unlock when a story is read, Ebookadabra is safe and fun reading world for young kids.

Ebookadabra is also developing a version for primary schools which will be available in the New Year. Ebookadabra for School will provide a library of books and a system of rewards for use in class so that kids can learn and have fun whilst teachers/librarians can monitor their progress on a ‘teacher dashboard’ and can use the app to choose books of different levels and interests tailored to kids’ needs. Children will be able to continue their reading at home on their own device or by following an audio book read by their teacher or librarian. 

Offer ends on Monday 1 st  January 2018. To claim your 4 months free – please email Tom Grayson at tom.grayson[at] with ‘SLA 4 MONTHS FREE’ in the subject.

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Catalyst magazine

STEM Learning RGB Low ResAimed at students aged 14-19, Catalyst is packed with interesting articles on cutting edge science, interviews and new research written by leading academics. It also includes a booklet of teacher's notes, full of ideas and lesson plans to bring the articles to life in the classroom.

Published for over 20 years, STEM Learning are proud to announce that we will be taking over the production and distribution of Catalyst magazine. Catalyst also has a brand new look and feel. We're also created a set of teacher's notes, designed to bring the ideas explored in Catalyst to life. Written by teachers, for teachers, this new feature will be included as an insert with future editions of Catalyst.

We’ve created a new homepage for Catalyst, showcasing our latest edition, as well as the back catalogue of previous editions, and information on how you can sign up to hear about future editions.

This academic year, you can sign up for a single subscription for free. Edition 30 will be landing in schools in January, with articles on manta rays, dark matter and terra-forming.

Find out more:

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