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SLA Blog » April 2018RSS 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.

World Cup 2018 literacy resources from Tom Palmer

World Cup PosterIn June and July 2018 Tom Palmer will be writing a live thriller adventure set at the men’s football World Cup finals in Russia. It will be:

  • published each weekday morning
  • a new ten-minute read chapter will be available for free for schools and families to read
  • aimed at Y4 to Y8
  • featuring dramatic cliffhangers
  • influenced by the events of the tournament on and off the field
  • chances to vote and change the storyline

Tom will be writing the chapters each evening (from roughly 14th June -16th July) before publication the next morning, to make them as up to date and relevant as possible.

More details including a free downloadable poster are available here .

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Congratulations to Lorna Barr!

Congratulations are in order for Lorna Barr who has just passed her Learning about Libraries Module 2. Lorna works at St George's School for Girls in Edinburgh.

For details about our online courses please click here

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A great resource for all primary schools!

Have you come across the updated and revised version of "Building an outstanding reading school" by Oxford Owl?

This report is about the relationship between a school’s reading culture and children’s attainment. It considers how reading for pleasure can be organised to support all children to become confident, keen and capable readers. It is about becoming an outstanding reading school.

The report explores six strategies that help to develop a reading school. These strategies will support leadership teams in reflecting on existing provision within their schools and how to build effective systems to embed a culture of reading. Recent research and case studies from successful schools illustrate good practice. The report includes practical ideas to inspire staff, inform classroom practice and help a reading culture to flourish.

For each strategy, action points are suggested to prompt discussion and support schools to reflect on their provision and its impact. At the end of the report there is an audit form to help schools plan for development.

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A Monster Calls live on stage

 ‘Stories are wild creatures, the monster said. When you let them loose, who knows what havoc they might wreak?’

Patrick Ness’s wonderful, multi- award winning, 

Monster Calls

piercing novel, A Monster Calls, after a stunning adaptation for film is now brought to The Old Vic and Bristol Old Vic stage in a powerful new adaptation by visionary director Sally Cookson.

Suitable for everyone aged 10+, Year 6 upwards.

Bristol Old Vic

31 May–16 Jun

Tickets from £7.50  

School groups of 10+ are eligible to £12.50 tickets in the Upper Circle and £7.50 tickets in the Gallery on Mon–Thu performances. One teacher ticket is free in every 20 booked.

For information on A Monster Calls at Bristol Old Vic, click here https://bristololdvic.org.uk/whats-on/a-monster-calls#month=06&year=2018

The Old Vic

7 Jul–25 Aug

Tickets from £12

Schools rate: £12.50 tickets for Mon–Wed evenings and Wed matinees.

For information on A Monster Calls at The Old Vic, London, click herehttps://www.oldvictheatre.com/whats-on/2018/a-monster-calls

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Teaching Skills for School Library Staff: Warwick, 6 June 2018

Our course Teaching Skills for School Library Staff, run by Chris Powis, will be held at Warwickshire Schools Library Service, Unit 11a/b Montague Road, Warwick CV34 5LT on 6 June 2018.

Delegates on this one-day participative course will build on current experiences of teaching information skills in libraries and learning centres.  Divided into five sessions, they will look firstly at the nature of teaching and learning before considering each step of the process – planning, delivering, assessing and receiving feedback.  Delegates will be involved with stimulating discussions and there will be the opportunity to share experiences so if you are working with young people, students, small groups of library users or staff this course will help you develop your skills as a teacher and trainer.

The closing date is 21 May 2018. Bookings received by 9 May 2018 are eligible for a £15 discount.

Key Audience: KS2 and secondary school librarians / library staff - experienced and new to teaching and learning skills.

More Details...

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Job Vacancies: Roundwood Park, Hertfordshire - School Librarian

37 hours per week; term-time plus two weeks; negotiable
NJC Pay Scale H8 (Points 29-32)
Salary: Actual salary based on quoted working times £23,783 - £26,108, based upon
a full-time salary of £26,470 - £29,005 plus Fringe Allowance £597
Start date: Immediate

Roundwood Park is a high achieving 11-18 school in Harpenden, Hertfordshire. The school carries an Outstanding rating from Ofsted and enjoys an excellent reputation, both locally and nationally. We have a large and expanding Sixth Form. Our Library is a beautiful, well-equipped and popular space. We are seeking to appoint an enthusiastic and dynamic Librarian to lead the further development of the Library as a vibrant resource from which to support literacy, reading and research right across the school.
Visits are very much encouraged before you apply. If you would like to visit, please contact Ian Stowe, HR Manager, on 01582 714031 or i.stowe[at]roundwoodpark.co.uk.

Please take particular note of the following instructions in respect of the application process:

  • Your application should comprise a completed Application Form, as attached to this advert, together with a letter addressed to Alan Henshall, Headteacher, of no more than two sides of A4, explaining how you meet the Person Specification for this role
  • Your application should be submitted electronically, in the first instance, to Ian Stowe, HR Manager, at i.stowe[at]roundwoodpark.co.uk
  • A signed, hard copy of your application should also be submitted by post, in order to meet our safeguarding rules

You will find the full application pack on the Teach in Herts website

We are committed to the safeguarding and promotion of children’s welfare and an equal opportunities employer. We will need to obtain references in advance of interview for any candidate short-listed, and all job offers are subject to satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service clearance.
Closing date for applications is 9am on Wednesday 9th May 2018.
Interviews will be held on Tuesday 15th May 2018.

More Details...

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New resources on offer from BookTrust

Many SLA members will already be aware that BookTrust offer a range of reading programmes, resources, activities and reusable content to help librarians get children reading, but there have been some changes and BookTrust wanted to share their latest news designed to help you bring reading to life.


Beyond Booked Up

Firstly we wanted to let those of you who may have taken part in BookTrust’s Beyond Booked Up programme know that we’re now in the final term of the project, but participating schools can access the classroom materials until the end of August through the password protected website.


Although Beyond Booked Up is closing, there are other exciting reading programmes and resources that are available to you:


Bookbuzz - Get your Year 7 and 8s excited about reading

Bookbuzz is a programme for ages 11-13 that helps you support reading for pleasure in your school. Registration is now open until 20 July – find out more here.


We’ll soon be announcing this year’s selection of books. With two copies of each of the 17 books, this year’s launch packs are bigger than ever, to make students’ choice even easier. Plus, make sure to sign up by 25 May to get extra free books for your school!


School Library and Special Schools Library Packs

School Library Pack and Special School Library Pack are free reading for pleasure programmes, funded by Arts Council England and open to any school in England with a Year 7 (or equivalent) intake. Registration for next year’s pack opens in Autumn 2018.


If you’re looking for ways to excite the children participating, read this fun blog from Lucas Maxwell that highlights five ways to engage students with the School Library Pack


BookTrust is the UK’s largest children’s reading charity dedicated to getting children reading. Find out more at booktrust.org.uk

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Early Bird Booking deadline extended

GCH   Stairs


The deadline to receive discount for the early bird booking for the Weekend Course has been extended to Friday 4th May. You don't need to pay when you book, and flexibile payment options are available. 


This incredible chandelier that runs down the middle of the staircase at the Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow gives an indication of the venue it's being held in! 

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Beyond Behaviour Management. An Introduction to Effective Engagement for Learning in the Secondary School Library: Oakham, Rutland, 17 May 2018


Our course Beyond Behaviour Management. An Introduction to Effective Engagement for Learning in the Secondary School Library, run by Jerry Hurst, will be held at Oakham School, Ashwell Road, Oakham, Rutland LE15 6QG on 17 May 2018.

The purpose of this training is to enable staff to develop or increase awareness, confidence, knowledge and skills, in order to engage positively or more positively with students in a Secondary School Library.


The closing date is 2 May 2018. Bookings received by 23 April 2018 are eligible for a £15 discount making the cost of the full days training just £90 (SLA members), £150 (non-members) and a second person attending from the same school (accompanying a full-paying delegate) can do so for as little as £55 (SLA members), £75 (non-members). Payment is not required by the discount deadline as long as an official order has been received. 

Key Audience: secondary school library staff

More Details...

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Barnes Children's Literature Festival

Barnes Children’s Literature Festival

London's largest dedicated children's literature festival returns to Barnes on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th May 2018, attracting some of the UK's best authors and illustrators to the capital.

Following the success of 2017, which sold more than 7,000 tickets and £16,000 worth of books over the weekend, the Barnes Children's Literature Festival is returning for its fourth year with more than 80 fun events for young book fans and their families. As well as programming some of the best known names in children’s books, Barnes is committed to nurturing new talent, offering exceptional events that audiences are unlikely to see at any other UK festival.

The Festival opens on Thursday 10th and Friday 11th May 2018 with its new, free, expanded Education and Community Outreach Programme. The festival provides this to all primary school children, teachers and librarians in London, enabling 3,000 children to engage with some of their favourite authors and illustrators. Thursday's KS1 programme features the award-winning author-illustrator team behind The Dragonsitter who will explore imaginative writing and drawing skills with kids; Chennai-born Chitra Soundar will talk about the Indian myths and legends she grew up on, encouraging her young audience to view the wider world with empathy; and multi-award winning Czech illustrator Petr Horacek will bring some of his best-loved characters to life with a live drawing session, showing kids how illustrations are created and how to develop new ideas for storytelling. 

Friday's KS2 programme kicks off with best-selling author and former primary school teacher Caroline Lawrence who will be bringing to life her famous Roman Mysteries series; poet, performer and educator Joshua Siegal, author of I Don't Like Poetry, will offer a brilliant introduction to poetry, inspiring kids to create rhymes of their own, the more ridiculous the better; multi-award-winning author SF Said wraps up the school programme with an event that encourages imaginative thinking and creative writing. 

Firsts for Barnes this year include the London premiere of the stage adaptation of Lauren Child’s highly acclaimed Ruby Redfort detective series and the introduction of special programming for children who, for whatever reason, may require some extra care to enjoy their festival visit, including a session with sign language support for Ross Montgomery’s latest book Max and the Millions, which stars a young deaf boy.  Nick Cope will also be bringing his brilliant Family Song Book to London for the first time.

Centred around the much-loved green, which lends the festival its ‘village fete’ feel, Barnes boasts ten venues including the popular interactive stage, which will host various workshops.  Aardman Animations will return with its popular, hands-on model-making workshop open to all ages.  And the Royal Academy of Dance will hold its first event at the festival with its all-singing, all-dancing Matilda Musical Theatre workshop. Unlike other top tier festivals, Barnes is proud to be a community event, entirely organised and produced by over 100 volunteers, including founder and director Amanda Brettargh. The surplus from ticket sales, along with a percentage of book sales, will be donated to local primary school libraries. 

In recognition of its community spirit, local MP Zac Goldsmith will be the spokesperson for this year’s festival.  Commenting on his new involvement, Goldsmith says: “The Barnes Children's Literature Festival brings the whole community together for one weekend to promote the power of reading, writing and ideas to more and more children every year from all over London and the UK. The Festival has transformed Barnes into London's capital of children's literature and it is a source of huge pride that The Tiger Who Came to Tea was born here as well as so many of our favourite stories.”

The festival is presented in partnership with the Barnes Community Association (BCA), the University of Roehampton and Barnes Bookshop. Tickets are due to go on sale the week of Monday 12th March 2018. The full programme and more information can also be found at http://www.barneskidslitfest.org/.


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Congratulations are in order for YeEun Lee, Library Assistant at Dulwich College, Seoul, who has just passed her Learning about Libraries Module 5. YeEun Lee has already passed Modules 1,2,3 and 4 and has just Module 6 to undertake before receiving her SLA Certificate of Advanced Practice.

For details about our online courses please click here

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Blogs/News: Win a visit from Katie Thistleton

Hachette are celebrating the release of Dear Katie, a new book from CBBC and Radio 1 presenter Katie Thistleton that’s packed full of practical advice for real problems. Katie is a Mind ambassador and is passionate about raising awareness of mental health issues with young people.

The book launched during Children’s Mental Health Week and to link into their 2018 campaign to encourage children and young people to celebrate their uniqueness, they’ve got a great competition for your school. Follow this link to find out more: all you have to do is tell us what makes you unique!

More Details...

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