Sunday, 21 October 2012

AR Latest

AR training on Friday went well.  Lots to take in and remember.  Chis, our 2nd in English, and I sat a Star Reading literacy test - we both scored at the top end but I was slightly ahead  -  result!  A massive amount of data to get our heads around and to get the English dept up to speed with.  Yes, I know that's rotten English, but have just spent a night in a local church hall with approx 30 girl guides and some guide unit leaders, following a guides night hike in Epping Forest.  Great fun but am now utterly cream crackered!  All part of life's rich pageant.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Sorry, I've been conspicuous by my absence

Several people in the know told me that the Accelerated Reader programme presents a massive amount of work, and they weren't wrong, but we're getting there.  The Library now has a designated Accelerated Reader section containing the labelled and colour coded books we shall be using for the programme.  Today, the last of 10 yr 7 English classes came up to the Library to sit the online Star Reading test which will inform the pupils' book levels for when we get up and running properly after half-term.  AR trainer coming in on Friday to give training on accessing and interpreting all the data that the AR programme produces.  I just wish there was time to get my head round other areas of Library development other than AR.  Still, discussions regarding the Library's full upgrade next summer are progressing well so there are exciting times ahead. 

Monday, 3 September 2012

Back at the coal-face .....

First day back after the summer break  -  no pupils until tomorrow.  Shan't have the usual pleasure of welcoming pupils back in the library tomorrow as I've still got books everywhere requiring AR labelling.  Still, I've been promised some help tomorrow to set the ball rolling with that, so fingers crossed.  Just want to get back to normal and the library open again a.s.a.p.  Here's wishing any fellow School Librarians a successful year.  J 

Monday, 13 August 2012

It was all going so well ....

There I was, blog up and running, all set to carry on with the 23 Things CPD, when it all came to a grinding halt.  Unfortunately, I was stopped in my tracks when I was informed that my school had purchased Accelerated Reader, a literacy package which has a big impact on workload for library staff.  As a library staff of 1, I therefore had to drop everything and start to prepare our library's book stock for the Accelerated Reader programme.  These preparations are still ongoing, midway through the summer break, with me going in to school now and again to continue pulling all the AR books from the shelves ready for labelling.  This means that the Library won't be ready to open when the new academic year starts in September.  I'm not at all happy about this as I feel it's really important to get the new Year 7s in early and make them feel 'at home' in the Library from the word go.  However, it can't be helped so we'll just have to get all the stock labelled and back on the shelves as quickly as possible.

On a positive note, the Head has committed to a Library upgrade taking place next summer which will hopefully transform the space into a fully functioning Library Resource Centre.  There may even be another member of staff in the mix  -  I'm keeping everything crossed.  In the meantime, if anyone has any experience of AR that they can share with me, please get in touch.  Thanks.

Sunday, 17 June 2012


  Enjoying The London Eye Mystery by
                      Siobhan Dowd                     
                                          Enjoying The Three Musketeers by
                                          Alexandre Dumas at his memorial
                                                             statue in Paris
                             Enjoying Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
                          by J K Rowling at Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland

Here are a few more examples of what I get up to on my travels.  Who knows where I'll end up next!




Sunday, 10 June 2012

Here goes ...

Thank you for visiting me at my Library Ledge.  I run the school library at a local authority comprehensive school for 11 - 16s, with 1200 pupils.  I've never blogged before and am hoping this new venture will open up opportunities to share ideas and best practice with other School Librarians and those working with children and young people in this age group.  For me, it's all about trying to encourage the children to know their way round the ledge because, once they know the ledge, guess what, they're on their way to knowledge.  And that's what will help them out there in the big wide world.

So, to start with, how to entice those nervous new little Year 7s to set foot 'on the Ledge' when they join us in September?  I certainly don't want them to view my Ledge as a 'Road Closed', so I create a 'Diversion'.  As they come in, they're greeted by several rather silly photos of me 'enjoying' books in 'appropriate' locations.  It can be anything from a photo of me with a copy of a Harry Potter book in front of Banburgh Castle (standing in for Hogwarts) in Northumberland to a photo of me with Siobhan Dowd's The London Eye Mystery in front of said London Eye.  They're quite fun to do on my travels but having a husband who's a keen and accomplished amateur photographer certainly helps!  Having them displayed along the wall creates an ideal conversation opener with nervous newcomers to the Ledge as we can discuss where the photos were taken, why they're appropriate backdrops to the books I'm 'enjoying', which then leads subtly on to talking about the books themselves and books in general (sneaky, huh?).  Examples to follow!

Well, that's all for now.  I'm starting to get the hang of this so more from me and my Ledge soon.