Christmas reading and puzzles 2015

Helen Smith, the librarian at Eckington School has kindly shared her library Christmas Reading Times with us again this year. This is a marvellous publication listing all the Christmas TV based on books. She also reminds us not to miss the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures at 8pm on BBC 4 on Monday 28th, Tuesday 29th and Wednesday 30th December. This year the theme is survival in space and the lectures are presented by Kevin Fong.

Don’t miss the Royal Institution’s space themed online Advent Calendar – A Place called Space  – it includes animations, infographics and archive footage of early space exploration missions. It’s already proving popular with Physics teachers and I’m looking forward to seeing what the rest of December brings us.

On the subject of advent calendars have a look at the Book Trust advent calendar 2015 for 24 favourite children’s books. For Maths challenges try the NRICH advent calendar There’s a primary one here for younger children.

For a truly testing brainteaser this Christmas holiday try the GCHQ Christmas puzzle This has been entertaining and infuriating many of our teachers and students over the past few days.

For news junkies you can test your knowledge of the year’s key stories with The Day’s News Mega Quiz

The Y9s have been encouraged to read the same book as the rest of their tutor group and come back and discuss it in January. Here is the list of suggested reads they chose from – 3rd form Christmas books 2015

 

 

 

 

Y9 recommended reads and reading for pleasure at Wellington

IMG_3728

We’ve had a wonderful start to this academic year in terms of seeing a great deal of the new Y9s in the Library. Not only have they been joining us for research sessions during their geography lessons (getting to grips with the wealth of online resources on the e-Library) but they are also coming to us for ‘book chat’ tutorials – sharing their likes and dislikes and recommending books to their peers. This year each tutor group will have a discussion with one of the librarians – starting off with a Kahoot to quiz what they remember about ‘Revolver’ by Marcus Sedgwick (the book they were all given to read over the summer) and another to hear about their responses to it.

Each Y9 class is having a one hour session in the Library every fortnight providing the opportunity to choose books freely, bring books or e-readers from home, recommend books for new stock and where multiple copies exist read the same book as friends so that they can discuss it afterwards. We are particularly encouraging the pupils to try different types of books and are currently developing our collection of graphic novels – both in size and range. We now have our first Manga and comic books and graphic novels on topics in history such as Palestine by Joe Sacco and Barefoot Gen: a cartoon story of Hiroshima. Author Sarah Crossan did an excellent presentation on verse novels at a librarians’ conference and we have a small collection of free verse novels – an unusual form but surprisingly compelling as well as generally quick to read.

It has been incredibly encouraging to see how enthusiastically the new students have shared their favourite books and at the same time how honest others have been about not being ‘readers’. We have a hugely supportive staff who share their reading recommendations through posters on their classroom doors, the loan of books and chatting to students. Here is a blog post by an American school librarian that I wholeheartedly agree with:  Learning to read alone is not enough. Your students need a reading champion. 

Let’s hope we can keep this reading momentum as they progress up the school!

Here are some of the Y9 student suggestions (many more to come!)

Y9 Orange Book Recommendations

The House of Silk – Anthony Horowitz (this was the first official new Sherlock Holmes mystery)

Before I Die – Jenny Downham

Cuckoo Song – Frances Hardinge

My Sister’s Keeper – Jodi Picoult

The secrets we keep – Jonathan Harvey

An island of our own – Sally Nicholls

The London Eye mystery – Siobhan Dowd

Cherub series by Robert Muchamore

We need to talk about Kevin – Lionel Shriver

The Leopard – Jo Nesbo (and any of his crime novels!)

It’s kind of a funny story – Ned Vizzini

We all looked up – Tommy Wallach (the story of an asteroid on a potential collision course with Earth as told from the alternating viewpoints of four high school students.)

Tuesdays with Morrie – Mitch Albom (on the Wellbeing Top Ten Reads list)

Mum, can you lend me twenty quid? – Elizabeth Burton-Phillips (subtitled: What drugs did to my family)

Archangel – Robert Harris

An officer and a spy – Robert Harris

Y9 Picton – recommended reads:

Noughts and Crosses series – Malorie Blackman

My swordhand is singing – Marcus Sedgwick

Midwinter Blood – Marcus Sedgwick

Paper Towns – John Green

Alex Rider series

Holes – Louis Sachar

Journey’s End – R.C. Sherriff

Curious Incident of the dog in the night-time – Mark Haddon

Pig-heart Boy – Malorie Blackman

Tell me no lies – Malorie Blackman

Any and all of John Green’s books

‘If you haven’t read the whole of the Harry Potter series you haven’t lived’ Lucas

See more pupil book reviews here

reading lesson

 

Extreme Reading Photo Competition Results!

Wellington Photograph CompetitionWe had a wonderful variety of entries to this year’s Extreme Reading Photo Competition. They ranged from exotic locations to extremely creative ideas of places to read, mirroring the contents of the books. We are very grateful to Mrs Henderson for judging this year’s competition. Congratulations to all our winners and everyone who took part.

Our overall winner, Beatrice (Y9) wins a kobo e-reader.

2nd Georgia and Tom, Y10 (reading ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time’ by Mark Haddon whilst shark cage diving)

Joint 3rd  Ramarni, Y9 (reading ‘Revolver’ by Marcus Sedgwick in an egg) and Frank, Y11 on Hadrian’s Wall.

Highly Commended

Finn, Y9 (flying through the air with ‘Revolver’ by Marcus Sedgwick)

Thomas, Y10 (reading an enormous book in Barcelona)

big book Barcelona

Have a look at the full display of photos in Back Quad.

Why not try one of the books our staff and pupils read this summer from the list below?

First Class Murder by Robin Stevens (Beatrice Y9)

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon (Georgia and Tom Y10)

Wonder by R. J. Palacio (Ben, Eagle House)

One Hundred Years of Solitude by  Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Mr Bickford-Smith, PoliIMG_5863tics Dept) (Staff Winner)

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_4118Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit of Lance Armstrong by David Walsh (Mr McGarey, Chemistry)

Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick (many new Y9’s!)

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch (Ms Atherton, Library)

Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher (Zara, Y10)

Caesar by Allan Massie (Mr Atherton, Maths)

Trinity by Conn Iggulden (2nd book in his trilogy about the War of the Roses, Dr Hood, Chemistry)

Rubicon by Tom Holland (Louisa, Y10)

Elizabeth is missing by Emma Healey (Ms Wright, Library)

The Bees by Laline Paull (Dominic, Y11)

 

Extreme Reading Photos – Galapagos, Slovenia and French scarecrows!

Dr Hood (Chemistry) is clearly enjoying her summer. She has been doing some extreme walking in Slovenia in the Julian Alps.

Dr Hood small

One walk took us to a place called Tromeja in Slovenian or Drilandereck in German, meaning Three Borders.  It is the place where three countries meet: Slovenia, Austria and Italy.  We took the path from the village of Ratece in the valley bottom (at about 840m altitude) to the top of Pec mountain (1510m), a climb of around 670 meters.  The last section of the path had 30 hairpin bends on it, so the walk involved quite extreme effort from me!  That’s why I decided to get this photo taken at the boundary point.  The views at the top were amazing. The background in the photo is Austria.

The books I read on holiday in Slovenia were the first two of Conn Iggulden’s trilogy about the War of the Roses, “Stormbird” and “Trinity” – great stuff, full of blood and guts, but I’m still not sure I understand all the complicated relationships between the houses of York, Lancaster and Neville after reading them!

Galapagos WBS

Mr Bickford-Smith has been getting to know the friendly wildlife in the Galapagos Islands. He has, very fittingly, been reading “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez alongside two sea-lion pups on Isla Isabela.

LGA extreme scarecrowMy daughter Louisa decided to read Tom Holland’s “Rubicon” with a couple of extreme scarecrows at her aunt’s farm in France!

 

Need inspiration for your Extreme Reading Photo? Look at this…

Just in –  our first Extreme Reading Photo of this summer! Many thanks to our mystery reader(no prizes for guessing who it is though!). Have a look at this Animoto of a selection of previous years’ photos. Perhaps we could plot a map of all the various locations where the reading took place this year and compile a list of all the book titles? Creative photos from your local area or back garden just as welcome as more exotic locations.

You could win a Kobo e-reader!

extreme reading

Extreme Reading Competition and Badged Open Courses (BOCs) this summer.

Don’t forget to send us your Extreme Reading Photos for the summer holiday competition. Here’s a very late entry Hannibal extreme reading Towners copyfrom last year.   It’s Mr Townley on the Hannibal Alps trip. We’re hoping for some good ones from this year’s Classics trip walking the length of Hadrian’s Wall.

Email your entries to: library@wellingtoncollege.org.uk  or tweet them to @welly_library.

BOCS

The Open University is now offering Badged Open Courses for anyone wanting to try online courses, starting anytime.  Learners can work at their own pace, signing up any time and on completion gain a digital badge which can be shared with employers, UCAS etc. Each course takes 24 hours to complete. Try something new like forensic psychology or develop your Maths skills with two levels of courses.  Accounts are currently available to age group 16+

There are over 800 free courses including many introductory courses  (without badges) – some of which only take 5 hours to complete. See the full list here

Don’t let your brain go to mush this Summer – holiday reading, MOOCs and more!

PC_blue caveThis summer holiday is longer than ever and the opportunities to stretch yourselves, learn new skills and escape into a good book are vast. We look forward to all your entries to this year’s Extreme Reading Photo Competition too!

For non-fiction reading suggestions don’t forget the Top Ten Reads (especially beneficial for those of you in 5th and 6th form and a chance to develop your knowledge of the subjects you are passionate about in Preparation for A levels and IB)

For fiction remember Mr Wayman’s (Head of English)Wellington 100 book suggestions. An eclectic mix of classic and contemporary fiction.

There are masses of reading ideas on the Lovereading4kids website including suggestions by age and theme and helpful additional information about authors. It is particularly useful for finding out about recently published books. For adults try lovereading.co.uk

The Carnegie Medal – awarded each year by school librarians for an outstanding children’s book is a good source of  contemporary fiction suggestions for young people from 10 – 16.

MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses)

MOOCS enable all of us to dip into free online courses and to try new things. Have an explore of the big course providers below:

Twitter

Don’t overlook Twitter as a brilliant source of links, blogs, websites, quizzes and information. It is a fascinating source for enrichment and learning. Choose who you follow carefully and follow your passions.

Here are a couple of my favourites:

Open Culture  @openculture The best FREE cultural & educational media on the web. Features free courses, movies, audio books, eBooks & thought-provoking daily posts. 

I always find unusual, obscure and fascinating things I didn’t know on this website.

Brainpickings@brainpickings (also @brainpicker) from Maria Popover

Youtube Try these channels for awesome science:

Did you hear Alain de Botton at the Festival of Education? He gave a very interesting talk about the things we don’t educate young people in. Have a watch of the videos in his School of Life youtube channel.  Thought-provoking and challenging!

If you are curious about Medicine and Science why not visit the Wellcome Collection in London. It’s free and fascinating. It also has plenty of information and research online plus an images collection here

If you are a Geography fan or just keen to improve your chances in the inter-house quizzes try these Geography Games

News – The Conversation Here’s what their website says about them:

‘The Conversation is a collaboration between editors and academics to provide informed news analysis and commentary that’s free to read and republish.’

10 Ways we are different

The Conversation provides readers with a free high-grade and trusted information service.

We are quite different to anything else in the media for the following reasons:

  1. In a world of misinformation and spin, The Conversation contributes to healthy democratic discourse by injecting facts and evidence into the public arena.
  2. All our content is sourced from university scholars and researchers who have deep expertise in their subject.
  3. We are committed to responsible and ethical journalism, with a strict Editorial Charter and codes of conduct. Errors are corrected promptly.
  4. We are transparent, with every author disclosing their expertise, funding, and conflicts of interest.
  5. We are a global knowledge project, with 60 staff based in the UK, US and in Australia working with more than 23,000 specialist scholars and researchers. Our aim is to have editors in every part of the world.
  6. All our content is free to read and republish under Creative Commons while the rest of the media charges for re-publication.
  7. We believe in the free flow of information. We disseminate our content to more than 12,000 sites worldwide. That gives our content a global reach of 23 million readers a month, and growing.
  8. To avoid commercial conflict we don’t carry advertising pop-ups or annoying autoplay.
  9. In the UK, we rely on the support of universities, research institutes, SAGE and Wellcome Trust, as well as other foundations. In Australia, we rely on the support of universities, research institutes (inc CSIRO), corporates such as the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, as well as foundations and reader donations. In Africa, we rely on the support of major foundations and corporates, as well as the National Research Foundation. In the US, we rely on the support of major foundations.
  10. We are a not-for-profit organisation serving the public good.

If you support these aims, please help us to continue and improve our service. Stephen Khan, Editor.

 

Reading for Pleasure – enthusing your children!

Many thanks to the lovely keen parents who attended our talk in the Library this morning. We could talk for hours about reading for pleasure but it was really interesting to hear what works for you.

Here is our general philosophy on young people’s reading and some of the things we do to promote reading for pleasure:

  • Emphasise the importance of free choice in reading material
  • Offer a wide and varied book stock including fiction and non-fiction, print and e-books
  • Are never judgmental about young people’s choice of reading material
  • Acknowledge that reading the newspaper, the BBC News website, a comic, graphic novel, Sports magazine etc are all forms of reading for pleasure
  • The Rights of the Reader says it all!
  • Competitions – Extreme Reading Photo Comp, Get Caught Reading, World Book Day Opening Lines Competition, author visits
  • Tutorial book chats with the LibrariansPeer book recommendations – multiple copies and whole tutor group read and discuss
  • 3rd form book and follow up discussions
  • Carnegie Book Award Shadowing
  • Book Openers on the backs of toilet doors
  • ‘Book Chat’ – breaktime book club
  • ‘Currently Reading’ signs for staff – to start a reading conversation with pupils, staff and visitors.

What can you and your family do this summer holidays?

  • Share book recommendations with your children
  • Have a summer family reading club – each member of the family choose a book and all read everybody’s selection
  • Take part in the Extreme Reading Competition and tweet or email us your photos
  • Take the 6 Book Challenge
  • Listen to books and plays on the radio
  • Read that book lurking at the bottom of your TBR (to be read) pile!
  • Read a book before watching the film
  • Challenge your child to read a book outside their normal reading choices and read one of theirs!
  • Follow @welly_library and tweet us your book recommendations

We welcome all your suggestions and got some great inspiration from the parents this morning!

Are you incurably curious?

‘The free destination for the incurably curious’ and a must for students keen to study Medicine

After an interesting day visiting Westminster School Library and talking to other school librarians I made a quick dash to the Wellcome Collection before it closed at 6pm one Saturday last month. What a jaw-dropping place! You don’t have to be a budding medic to find this collection fascinating – it’s equally appealing to anyone interested in art or science too. The whole centre is free and you can wander in, take a leaflet to lead you on a trail, pick up an audio guide to dip into a range of exhibits which pique your interest or sit down and become absorbed in a book. Many of the galleries blend art and creativity in the exhibits alongside the medical information.

chromosomes (2)

Sock chromosomes!

I found myself engrossed in viewing a collection of tools for the amputation of limbs over the ages whilst listening to surgeons’ accounts of operations now and in the past on an audio guide.

experiences sign

Choose your experience and follow the trail. From ‘pulse racing’ to ‘toe curling’

 

I love the ethos of the Wellcome Collection. This sign in the Reading Room says it all.

wellcome sign

 

The reading room is a delight. As their website describes it:

‘Come and experience the new incarnation of our Reading Room. An innovative hybrid of gallery, library and events space, the Reading Room is designed to encourage you to indulge your curiosity and explore more than ever before.

With over a thousand books and 100 objects – including contemporary sculptures, paintings, medical artefacts and manuscripts – the room is an open invitation to dig a little deeper into what it means to be human.

Settle down with a book from our shelves on a comfy sofa, contemplate life quietly or strike up a conversation with a stranger. You will find plenty here to inspire you. Drop by to spark connections and new ideas.

Located on level 2, the Reading Room is open during gallery opening hours. Just come whenever you have a moment – you may even chance upon one of our pop-up Reading Room events.’

So much to learn and amaze and I didn’t even have time to explore the shop!

whole human genome

Browse the whole Human Genome!

 

Back to our school library:

Don’t forget we have a collection of physical books on medicine in the Library as well as a growing collection of e-books. Here’s the current medicine reading list of printed books in the Library.

medical books

Lower 6th: Why not try the 6 Book Reading Challenge during the long summer break? Fuel your curiosity and invigorate your intellect for your final school year. You could try reading the same book as a group of your friends and discussing your responses when you come back in September. More excellent science books on the Royal Society Winton Prize for Science website and the Wellcome Book Prize too.

The Wellcome Library is free to join and you can access their wide-range of resources and read fascinating blogs.

As an interested layperson here is my suggested recipe for a medical summer:

  • A trip: The Wellcome Collection
  • Read 6 books: From the Library or our e-book collection or public libraries, or bookshops or anywhere!
  • A lecture: Listen to The Reith Lectures by Dr Atul Gawande on The Future of Medicine (on Radio 4 iplayer)  ‘Surgeon and writer Atul Gawande explores the nature of fallibility and suggests that preventing avoidable mistakes is a key challenge for the future of medicine.’ (Radio 4 iplayer)

4 lectures on:

  • Why do doctors fail?
  • The century of the system
  • The problem of hubris
  • The idea of wellbeing
 We welcome your suggestions and recommendations for Library stock.