Category Archives: Regional Training Days

Eltham event – part two!

SLG Regional Event.  Saturday 18th March 2017.  Held at Eltham College, London.

Due to popular demand Eltham College was the impressive venue once again for one of the SLG Regional Events.  Having offered the same programme back in October and being highly oversubscribed, Caroline Roche, Librarian and Chair of the SLG, decided to organise a second chance to access the programme. She  offered a highly informative programme of speakers and topics where school librarians could meet and share good practice.

Caroline opened the proceedings with the SLG News update as Chair.  Being one of the strongest advocates of not only schools having libraries but those libraries having a dedicated librarian, her passion for these issues was clear to all.  It soon became very apparent that the others in the room collectively felt the same way.

The presentation ‘Using technology for teaching and learning’, also delivered by Caroline, was extremely well received. Many tools were showcased including Diigo, Animoto and MySimpleShow gave us the information and confidence to go and try these in our own setting. Whilst Caroline readily admitted some of the things she demonstrated were far from new, they still have a place within the sector to aid both staff and students.

Our next speaker was Maggie Thomas, Librarian at Bacon’s College in South London.  Maggie spoke to us of her experience in ‘Rebuilding the library presence.’ This was a very personal story of how Maggie reorganised and rejuvenated her library space so the pupils and herself benefited enormously, however we could all identify with some aspects that we as school librarians face on a daily basis. Maggie now runs a highly successful library and is constantly evaluating the service she offers.

Then came Murder by the Book’. Alex Gillespie of Box Clever Education demonstrated how we could all hold a murder in the library…hypothetically of course!  We entered the library to find the outline of a body and a series of clues laid out for us to solve the mystery. Well…….what a competitive lot we are!  Clues were gathered quickly and the red herrings were identified.  The big reveal was after lunch so we retired for some well-earned refreshments.

During lunch there was time to catch up with colleagues we may not have seen for a while or indeed meet new ones! There was a definite buzz in the room as the morning’s activities were discussed as well as sharing success stories of our libraries. After lunch the murderer was identified although I am not going to disclose who that is…….you never know who reads this!

Matt Imrie, Librarian at Farringtons School, was next on stage and he gave a fascinating talk on Library freeconomics – or getting free stuff for your library.’ With budgets being an emotive topic, we were all keen to see how we can still bring new resources into school with the investment of our time rather than our money!  Needless to say I am sure we will all be entering lots of competitions because as Matt so rightly said ‘You have to be in it to win it!’

Our final presentation of the day was by Rowena Seabrook, Human Rights Education Manager at Amnesty International UK‘Using fiction to highlight human rights issues.’, led us to work together in small groups looking at human rights and how we can promote them in our school through our literary choices. Using a variety of resources, we touched upon many of the challenges facing different people today.  This as you can imagine triggered a lot of discussion and debate. This presentation was very timely given the publication of the CILIP Carnegie Medal shortlist and this too was broached by Rowena as some of the content of some titles is very sensitive and needs careful thought before lending to some students.

The day ended with lots of email addresses exchanged and the promise of keeping in touch.  I am sure I speak for all of the delegates when I say a huge Thank You to Caroline not only for hosting such a rewarding day but also for her tireless energy in the promotion of both school libraries and of course school librarians!

By Julie Angel.  Assistant Librarian, Eltham College


SLG Regional Conference: Oakham School

Julie Angel, Assistant Librarian at Eltham College, attended our conference at Oakham School on November 1st 2016, and sent us her report of the day:

The SLG Regional Conference was held at Oakham School and hosted by Darryl Toerien, Head of Library and Information Services at the school.

The first speaker the day was David Harrow, the Academic Deputy Head, who talked about how the school library was at the centre of teaching and learning and the impact it had on students and their outcomes Post 18. Backed by research and the statistics that generated, I think we all felt valued and appreciated as our hard work and input does genuinely make a difference.  He told the group: “… even when the aims of the curriculum are considered in this most utilitarian fashion, properly staffed and resourced libraries are highly successful in developing the required qualities and outcomes. However, the progressive interpretation, where the aim is for students to acquire both knowledge and mastery of the processes of learning more for themselves, as well as engendering ongoing wellbeing, is also dramatically evidenced by the same studies as being strongly supported by libraries. The place of the school library at the centre of teaching and learning can, therefore, be established beyond doubt.” This is a strong statement in support of libraries, echoing the supportive statement from the deputy head in the previous report from the Regional Conference at Eltham College.

Next was Karen Benoy, Librarian from The Thomas Alleyne Academy, who shared with us her experience of using data to track reading in KS3. She is a very strong advocate of not only collecting the data, but then using it in planning and organising the strategies to raise reading levels and how this can lead to the rise in achievement across the curriculum. Using effective intervention, personal to the pupils, Karen showed how her initiative has led to improved results in reading for the pupils in her school.

Clare Scothern from Trent College followed with her account of the ‘Read to Succeed’ week she held in school last year. Clare told of the experience in a very honest way, highlighting the successes of the week but also the negatives and her reflection on how she would change things next time. This was reassuring to hear that with even the best laid plans sometimes things do not always go the way we anticipated!

Our host was the next to speak on the subject of ‘Curriculum Mapping’ and its importance in the daily running of the library. Darryl spoke of the significance of working with Heads of Departments and looking at their schemes of work to ensure the pupils had access to resources that would not only support their studies but also to extend their knowledge of the subject in question. It is very evident he is passionate about this aspect of his role and how he can create cross-curricular themes giving teaching staff an insight into how colleagues are helping students to get the best possible outcomes.

Before lunch Sheila Compton, from the SLG National Committee gave us a news update on where the group in now, how she would like to see it develop and how we can play a part in the group. From her presentation it is clear the SLG within CILIP is a very active sub-group offering support and guidance to school librarians across the country.

During lunch there was time to discuss the morning’s topics with colleagues both old and new whilst browsing in the school library. We then were given access to the school’s online resources where we could look at what is on offer for those who were less familiar with these materials.

Once back in the auditorium it was the turn of Sophie Fisher from Stephen Perse Foundation, Cambridge to deliver a session on the ‘Diversity in Picture Books’. Sophie brought with her a range of resources for us to look at and digest whilst also giving a plethora of information on the subject of diversity in books in general. This led to a group discussion on how we each promote these books within our own libraries with many ideas being voiced.

Our penultimate session was delivered by the Assistant Librarian at The Leys in Cambridge. Lyndsey Goddard gave a humorous but very observational insight into changing sectors within the profession. Her tales of being an academic librarian in a university and the transition into schools had us all laughing out loud at the experiences she has had in both. A second career may be in the pipeline!

To end a superb day of CPD, Allison Tarrant from Cambourne Village College gave us food for thought while presenting ‘Assessing the impact of an information literacy programme.’ Questionnaires for Y9 on their understanding of IL, as well as having a logo on work to prompt students to understand that research is required, are just a couple of ways Allison assesses and promotes the lifelong IL skills needed in today’s educational climate.

May I take this opportunity to thank Darryl and Oakham School for their hospitality and allowing us to meet in such a wonderful venue. I certainly learnt a lot from the day and talking to other delegates during my time there, they too found the day highly thought provoking and as always the chance to share good practice is invaluable to us all.

SLG Regional Event in Kent/SE London

CILIPSLG held one of its very successful Regional Training Days at Eltham College in South East London on October 24th.  The day was heavily over-subscribed, and there are plans to rerun the day next March for all those who were disappointed this time.  Like all of the training days, there was an eclectic mix of subjects, and everyone found something to interest them in the day.

The first speaker was Caroline Roche, who also hosted us in her Library at Eltham College.  Caroline also runs Heart of the School website. She talked about using technology to help the learners in your school, and EPQ students in particular.  She showcased Diigo, MySimpleShow and Animoto, and gave out practical How To worksheets after her talk.

Next came Matt Imrie from Farrington’s School.  Matt runs the very successful Teen Librarian newsletter and website.  Matt talked to us about Freenocomics – how to get stuff for your library for free, and how to encourage your students to blog about books.

Last speaker before lunch was Maggie Thomas from Bacon’s College.  Maggie told us about a radical refurbishment of her library which involved her in strategic thinking and planning, including a review of how she should be line managed.  She had amazing support from her Line Manager throughout the successful process.

During lunch there was a great opportunity to network, and also to play the newly published Murder in the Library from BoxClever Education.  Alex Gillespie, an English teacher who devised the game, set it out in Eltham College Library, and we were all encouraged to find out who had murdered the Library Assistant!  This was an excellent game involving deductive thinking and reasoning skills.  There are many levels to the game, and is suitable for all abilities.  Everyone enjoyed it and quite a few people bought copies for their libraries.

In the afternoon Rowena Seabrook from Amnesty International spoke to us about Human Rights issues in Teen Fiction.  Her talk was thought provoking, both in how to promote and how to protect human rights of the students in the school.  There was a lot of productive discussion around LGBTQ rights and fiction, and also representation of teenagers of all races and colours in your library stock.  We all had a lot to think about after her talk.

CILIPSLG tweeted throughout the day, and a Storify of the tweets can be found here.

CILIPSLG Regional events are held throughout the year in different parts of the country.  If you are interested in attending one of our low cost events then keep an eye on this page.  If you are interested in hosting a meeting in your school, please contact SLG through their pages on the CILIP website.