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SLA Blog » May 2015RSS 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.

FREE posters and postcards for Off the Page

Hodder and Stoughton have posters and postcards available for Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer's new young adult novel, OFF THE PAGE. the new young adult novel by Jodi Picoult and her daughter  Samantha van Lee. The book is a fairy tale with a twist, in which a prince comes literally off the pages of his story and into the life of 16 year-old Delilah. It’s a love story like no other, perfect for anyone who loves a fairy tale ending! Sign up below to receive materials for your school library:

Sign-up here: https://hodder.wufoo.com/forms/m1ueuhci14pztib/



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Job Vacancies: Libraries and Literacy Teacher Training Volunteer - Link Ethiopia

Link Ethiopia is a charity dedicated to changing lives in Ethiopia through education. We achieve this through projects tailored to the needs of schools and by building partnerships between UK and Ethiopian schools, which encourage young people to learn about each other and work together.

We are looking for volunteer teacher trainers and/or librarians to join our passionate team in Ethiopia. The placement is for 8 months from October 2015 to May 2016 with the possibility of a mid-year break. We will meet the cost of your return flight and accommodation while on placement.

This position would suit both newly-qualified and experienced teachers or librarians who are fluent in English.

You would be working under the guidance of our Project Manager as part of a small, friendly team. You will be responsible for training and mentoring in-service early grade English teachers and school librarians as part of our Libraries and Literacy project. As a teacher trainer, you will have the opportunity to improve the literacy and lives of thousands of children in this fast-developing country. You will see the impact of your work through regular monitoring and support visits to schools and improved literacy levels among young children.

To apply, please email your CV and a covering letter explaining why you are ideal for this role by noon on Tuesday 9th June 2015 by the link provided or to rory[at]linkethiopia[dot]org.

More Details...

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Empower the Gambia projects in rural Gambia

Empower the Gambia projects in rural Gambia have two libraries set up in Daru and Sara Kunda with a third at Kerawan being fitted out ready to open in July 2015. They rely on donations of books, shelving and library resources to send out to the libraries and 8 schools they support - so any school or public libraries that have unwanted but still usable books, shelving or just general library resources who are interested in linking with them within a 30 mile radius of Swindon in Wiltshire would be very much appreciated. 

Their last newsletter (prior to their most recent trip in March 2015) is downloadable from the link below and you can also see updates on www.facebook.com/EmpowertheGambia.

Newsletter 4

PDF file, 2 MB (Requires Adobe Reader)


For more information and to discuss donatons please email Jo Heaven, Empower Founder and Chair at joheavenempower[@]aol.co.uk.

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SLA Training Day in North East - Building a Reading Community in your School

What would it look like if every pupil in your school loved reading?

To create a positive reading community in and around a school needs a shared vision and everyone playing their part; in school time and beyond. It also takes time and a flexible action plan.

Sue Dixon is running a training day for the SLA in Gateshead. The training day will explore what the starting points might be, areas for development, practical ideas and the start of some tangible ideas to take forward with others in the school. There will be time to think, discuss and reflect on current practice as well as ways forward.

Most of all it will provide the challenge to build on your existing good practice and the impetus to implement some real action for change; Building a Community of Successful Readers.

For more details - including how to apply - click here

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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.

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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: www.kingslangley.herts.sch.uk or contact Jackie Turner in the school office.

Closing date:  Friday 12 June 2015






Tel: 01923 264504

Website: www.kingslangley.herts.sch.uk

Email: admin[at]kingslangley.herts.sch.uk

More Details...

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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.

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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]hodder.co.uk 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 http://www.theodoreboone.co.uk/teaching_zone.php.

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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.

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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 .......as 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

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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

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Job Vacancies: Thomas’s 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 www.thomas-s.co.uk/Working-at-Kensington or email ebeckett[at]thomas-s.co.uk.

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...

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Win an energy makeover for your school with British Gas Generation Green

Generation GreenThe Generation Green Energy Performance competition is back for 2015 and bigger than ever before! With eight prizes up for grabs worth up to £100,000, transform your school with energy-saving technology and teach your pupils all about being energy efficient.

This curriculum-linked competition is free to enter and open to all pupils aged 7-14 years in the North West, Yorkshire and The Humber, Scotland and Wales.

Get involved and follow these simple steps:

  1. Log on or register to Generation Green and download the teacher Energy Performance toolkit for your age group

  2. Deliver an energy packed lesson in class

  3. Put your pupils' energy learning into practice and have them design an eco-school packed with creative and innovative ideas to generate power and to reduce energy use in your school

  4. Submit all your eco-school designs to Generation Green before the competition closes at midday Monday 18 May 2015

The best two entries from each age group (7-11 and 11-14) in each region will be invited to compete at a regional energy performance ‘dance off’. A school from each age group will be crowned the winner and awarded with a bespoke energy makeover worth £50,000 and £100,000.  Runners-up prizes will also be awarded.Make sure you don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity for your school.

The energy makeover will include energy saving technology which will not only save money on bills, but also help the environment and get your pupils motivated to become energy efficient at school and at home. 

For more information visit generationgreen.co.uk/energyperformance

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Job Vacancy - Essex School Library Service

The role is to deliver professional advice, services and resources associated with the delivery of School Library Service (SLS) products provided by Essex Education Services (EES) to schools and governing bodies, meeting service standards, budgets and quality targets and contributing to EES income.

The Advisory Librarian delivers professional services to schools by assisting the Principal Library Adviser in managing resource provision and advisory services. This will include participating fully in resource management, purchasing new stock to a budget, compiling Topic and Fiction termly loans and working with school staff at all levels to create reading environments that support improved outcomes for children.

Fore more details please click here

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Based in the stunning setting of the Precincts of Canterbury Cathedral and St Augustine’s Abbey – a World Heritage Site – The King’s School is one of the oldest and most prestigious Schools in the country with an enviable record of academic excellence and achievement.

The King’s School Library is seeking an enthusiastic and experienced Deputy Librarian to support the Librarian to raise standards of academic literacy and to encourage the enjoyment of reading in all its forms.

The postholder will work 30 hours per week, for 38 weeks of the year 1:30pm to 7:30pm, Monday to Friday, although some flexibility is required.

Reporting directly to the Librarian, key responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Work with the Librarian to develop and deliver a programme of outreach activities
  • Work with the Librarian to manage the collection and ensure appropriate coverage of subject areas
  • To monitor and evaluate collection use
  • Work with the Librarian to develop the library pages of the internet
  • Develop and manage the library’s promotional materials, including displays, the Bibliophile newsletter and social media
  • Supervise the team of evening and weekend Library Assistants

Job Description Deputy Outreach FINAL

Word document, 19 kB (Requires Microsoft Word 2007 or later)


The successful candidate will have an ability to multi-task, adapt and innovate and will be a strong advocate for the Library and the opportunities it provides to the school community. 

Essential knowledge and experience required:

  • Experience of working in an educational institution or library
  • Knowledge and experience of cataloguing using library management software
  • Knowledge and experience of classification and academic research
  • Experience of academic research
  • Excellent understanding and working knowledge of Microsoft Office along with good general computer skills, including email

If you would like an informal discussion to learn more about the appointment please contact Philippa Rose, Librarian on 01227 595608.

Applications including a CV and covering letter must be submitted online, through the King’s School website, www.kings-school.co.uk.  If you are unable to apply this way, please contact Human Resources on 01227 595721 or 01227 595733. 

Closing date for receipt of applications: Noon, Friday 15th May 2015

The King’s School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and applicants must be willing to undergo child protection screening appropriate to the post, including checks with past employers and the Disclosure and Barring Service.

More Details...

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Teaching Skills for School Library Staff: Warwick, 20 May 2015


Our course Teaching Skills for School Library Staff, run by Chris Powis, will be held at Warwickshire SLS, Warwick on 20 May 2015. The closing date is 6 May 2015.

Run many times in the past, this course has received excellent feedback on each occasion.  Testimonials include -

'Fantastic course from an inspiring and practical trainer (librarian)' and ' The best SLA course I have attended. Excellent trainer, interesting and practical content - thank you.'

The cost of the full days training is £105 (SLA members), £135 (for delegates working in schools which are not members of the SLA but subscribe to one of the School Library Services  based in the Midlands), £165 (non-members of either group).  A colleague attending from the same school (accompanying a full paying delegate) can do so for as little as £65 (SLA members), £75 (SLS subscribers), £85 (non-members)

Key Audience:

KS2 and secondary school librarians / library staff - experienced and new to teaching and learning skills

More Details...

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