Sunday, 23 March 2014

Norfolk School Library Service conference- Creating a rich reading and writing culture in KS2, Long Stratton Library

I was excited to be able to attend this event last week, and even more excited to be asked to speak at it! The day began with a great session from author and illustrator Dee Shulman (creator of the Polly Price series, as well as over 40 other books) on inspiring writing in schools. The was followed by a talk from Claire Duncombe of Peters Books,about the latest trends in KS2 fiction and non-fiction.

After a short break (which included a quite expensive browse of the Peters Books stall), the wonderful Kevin Crossley-Holland rounded off the morning with a fascinating talk about myths, legends and folk tales, and how they could be used in schools. After hearing him speak so passionately and engagingly, I've just ordered one of his books, The Old Stories, which is full of folk tales from East Anglia.

Straight after lunch, it was me! I talked about how we have started to create a reading for pleasure culture in the school where I work, as well as about book blogging, book groups and the Patron of Reading initiative. It's always hard to tell, but as I tried to suggest lots of practical tips (including Musical Books, The Mystery Book, etc) it seemed to go down reasonably well. I was followed by headteacher Sue Sweet, who delivered an entertaining session on the role of the library in primary schools.

The day was rounded off by the well-known children's poet, Brian Moses, who suggested ideas on how to create a love of poetry in schools (as well as the obligatory 'all join in' version of Walking With My Iguana).

With so many school library services across the country having already been forced to closed down, including Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Birmingham, it's great to see that the SLS in Norfolk is still alive and kicking! Thanks to them for arranging such a great event.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Video trailers for books

We have been using Movie Maker (on PCs) and Keynote (on iPads) to create simple, cinema-style movie trailers of books we have enjoyed. We have then showed these trailers to other classes around the school and in assemblies, and even published a couple on YouTube. Each trailer takes a couple of hours to plan, create and edit. We had to be aware of copyright issues with some of the images and music that we chose, but it's been a great way to motivate children to read more books (they can only make a trailer for a book they haven't previously read!).

Video trailer for The Thornthwaite Inheritance by Gareth P Jones