Love your Library


Have started to prepare the library for Love your Library fortnight.

The tree has knitted hearts hanging from it which are embellished with phrases; ‘love books’ ‘love your library’ ‘love reading’.  These hearts along with some heart shaped lights make a striking display in amongst the book shelves.  Many of the books I have chosen to put on display are about books or libraries.

During the fortnight there are lots of activities and competitions for the children to be involved in; with lots of book prizes to be won! Great way to keep the library and books at the forefront of school life.

Introducing Sci-fi


UFO Lands in the playground!

This incident provided the ‘hook’ into our writing for the next few weeks. The children were amazed to find an unidentified flying object in the playground when they arrived at school.

The object was a piece of volcanic rock surrounded by BBQ coals mixed with green jelly slush.  There was a buzz around the school for the whole day!  Children didn’t know quite whether to believe it or not.  So pleased with the enthusiasm from the year 6 children and the writing they produced when they completed a police incident report was fantastic.

We will now be introducing various science fiction text over the next few weeks; hopefully they’ll forgive me for the staged UFO landing!

Reading for Pleasure

New research carried out for The Reading Agency has found the benefits reading for pleasure has on the person and on society as a whole.  Everyone is aware of the role reading for pleasure plays in educational outcomes but the findings of this research indicate the benefits on a person’s well being.

So by encouraging children who use our libraries to read for pleasure we are contributing to them being happy and healthy, not just now but in the future.

Read the research findings here;

Reading Promotion


These badges which promote reading were available to collect in my childhood.  I still had a few in my collection but topped them up with extras bought from ebay.  The children love looking at them and choosing which ones they like the best.  I have also begun rewarding readers with badges but couldn’t find a huge variety.  The bronze, silver and gold bookworm badge pins are extremely popular with many children aspiring to own one of these.  Luckily for the new academic year I have sourced some new button badges similar to my originals so the children will have something new to strive for.

Picture books are for everyone!!

Shirley Hughes has picked up a life time achievement award from the Book Trust.  She has written over 200 books all of which are illustrated with beautifully, richly detailed scenes and characters.  It is these illustrations which play such an important role in picture books especially for children as ‘they can follow a story visually long before they can read.’

I have purchased some new picture books for our library, all are beautifully illustrated and appealing because of the rhythm and rhyme throughout the stories. All are perfect to be read aloud again and again.

As well as the illustrations the rhythm and rhyme or repeated phrases help children to join in with the story before being able to read the words.  All of which help children to see themselves as a reader.


New picture books for the library.

It is self evident in our library how relevant pictures are to stories with the popularity of The Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Tom Gates series of books being ever popular with the junior children.  Every new publication of these books is eagerly awaited and they frequently take up more than one place in the top ten books read.

In my opinion any books which attract children and make them not only WANT to read but return to read are worth their weight in gold, as they are helping to develop a life long love of reading!

Ahoy, me hearties!


More library fun!   Talk Like a Pirate Day.

I have started planning activities for our school library for the next academic year and decided on an addition for September.  We always celebrate Roald Dahl day by having a week or fortnight of activity lunches based in the library, this will be the case again this year.  Perfect opportunity to celebrate one of our most famous authors.  This year I thought I’d add a fun day to September.

19th September is International Talk Like a Pirate Day, which falls on a Saturday, so we’ll celebrate on 18th.  The picture above shows some of the items I’ve been collecting to decorate the library with.  As the year 1 and 2 infant children will also being following Pirates as their theme for the first half term it all ties in nicely.

Super picture books to choose from;

Pirates Love Underpants – Clare Freedman and Ben Cort

The Night Pirates – Peter Harris

The Pirates Next Door – Johnny Duddle

The Pirate School series by Jeremy Strong and fantastic read aloud books for children as well as being super books for those beginning to gain confidence with their reading.

For the older readers, perfect opportunity to show case;

Treasure Island – R L Stevenson

Peter Pan – J M Barrie

How to be a Pirate – Cressida Cowell

Pirate Girl – Cornelia Funke

Hook’s Daughter – Heidi Schulz

Have to hold a treasure hunt in the library on the day of course; what better way to show reading as a treasure!! (Can’t wait)

List debate!!

Quite a debate blew up on Twitter yesterday around the release of the Times Educational Supplement’s List, compiled by teachers; 100 fiction books all children should read before leaving primary school.

The list doesn’t appear to be in any order and is mixture of picture books and fiction books.  What I found interesting was the amount of ‘classics’ on the list.  My question is are they on the list because they’re considered classics or are they books a teacher remembers from their youth?

The truth is that many teachers are not up to date with children’s literature and as it is a fast growing market it’s no wonder.  How many primary schools actually subscribe to publications like ‘Books for Keeps’ or ‘Carousel’?  These publications keep you up to date with the latest releases from picture books up to YA books.  Surely this strengthens the debate for the need of libraries and librarians in schools.  They make it their job to keep up to date with what’s hot and what’s not.

So many superb fiction books for primary age children aren’t on the list; another list of 100 books which were omitted could be started. Even better a list by school or young people’s librarians could be compiled. I am sure there would be some crossovers but I am also sure there would be more up to date authors/books on the list too!

Check out this list compiled by experienced librarian: