It’s the end of term!

Hear ye, hear ye! Read all about it!

Here at Berkhamsted, we have just half a day left of this term, and so, to finish, we produced a newsletter letting everyone in school know what we’ve been doing in the libraries this term.  We would like to share this with you.  How do you communicate with the rest of your schools and organisations about what you do?  It would be great to hear about what happens in other libraries…

The major event of the term has been the official opening of our School Archive Exhibition Room, which features on pages 4 and 5.  We have developed the Archive extensively over the past two to three years, with one of our librarians obtaining archivist qualifications, meaning that she is now the school’s official archivist, and the assignment of three rooms, fittingly, in the oldest part of the school to house the Exhibition Room, Archive Office and Store.  We hold fascinating material covering the life of the school since its foundation in 1541, from an original building, to seals of appointments of Headmasters, and a prefect book (annotated by Charles Henry Greene, author Graham Greene’s father, with details of old boys who died during the Great War,  he was Headmaster here during that time).  We have samples of uniform which spans the early decades of the twentieth century, for both boys and girls, copies of school magazines and much much more.  If you are an Old Berkhamstedian, perhaps you would like to make arrangements to visit one day.  Please do take a look at our website dedicated to the archive, by clicking here.

We have also housed an exhibition of students’ artwork which was undertaken to reflect what World War I meant to Berkhamsted School.  Give that our library on our Castle Campus is a Memorial Library to the memory of boys and members of all staff who served during the War, it seemed very fitting for us to display this artwork.

We also cover our subscriptions to e-resources and our celebration of World Book Day 2015, which took place on Thursday 5th March.

We hope that you enjoy taking a look!

first page lent 15

Click on the link below to read!

Lent 2015 blog ed.

Us (David Nicholls)


Another January read was David Nicholls‘s superb latest offering, Us.  I loved this novel, and enjoyed it so much more than the author’s previous bestseller, One Day.  

It tells the story, through the eyes of Douglas Petersen, of a marriage: from its unlikely beginnings and the birth and upbringing of a son, through to the moment when Douglas’s wife wakes him during the night to tell him that the marriage is over. He comes across as a stereotypical non-romantic research scientist to begin with, but as we journey with him on this last family holiday upon which he embarks with his wife and their now teenage son, we discover a man who is coming to terms with the loss of a way of life, the family unit as he knew it and the possibility of starting again.  During the course of the novel, he understands where he has made mistakes in his relationships with his wife and son, and has learnt that it isn’t too late to change things at the same time as moving on from a life which he thought was his, familiar and believed to be one whose values his wife had shared.  This is a poignant tale but one peppered with excitement and a lot of fun (the description of the scrapes Douglas gets himself into when searching for his son in Europe positively had me laughing out loud!), and very moving scenes, as well as a positive recognition that times have changed and it is possible to begin again after the ending of an important relationship, and connect with the son he thought he knew, but didn’t understand.

I would recommend this novel wholeheartedly, especially for those who have similarly experienced the ending of a significant relationship.  It is well-written and extremely thought-provoking.

World Book Day : celebrations in school, part 4

Welcome to the latest instalment of our World Book Day series.  Today we are featuring two of our teachers of Modern Foreign Languages.  Miss Ashby wrote to tell me that she had shared a poem by Jorge Luis Borges with her students, named Instantes:


Si pudiera vivir nuevamente mi vida.

En la próxima, trataría de cometer mas errores.

No intentaría ser tan perfecto, me relajaría mas.

Sería mas tonto de lo que he sido,

de hecho tomaría muy pocas cosas con seriedad.

Sería menos higiénico, correría mas riesgos.

Haría mas viajes, contemplaría mas atardeceres,

subiría mas montañas, nadaría mas ríos.

Iría a mas lugares donde nunca he ido,

comería mas helados y menos habas.

Tendría mas problemas reales y menos imaginarios.

Yo fui una de esas personas que vivió sensata y prolíficamente

cada minuto de su vida.

Claro que tuve momentos de alegría, pero si pudiese volver atrás,

trataría de tener solamente buenos momentos.

Por si no lo saben, de eso está hecha la vida, solo de momentos.

No te pierdas el ahora.

Yo era uno de esos que nunca iba a ninguna parte, sin un termómetro,

una bolsa de agua caliente, un paraguas y un paracaídas.

Si pudiese volver a vivir, viajaría mas liviano.

Si pudiera volver a vivir, comenzaría a andar descalzo a principios de la primavera y seguirá así hasta concluir el otoño.

Daría mas vueltas en calesita, contemplaría mas amaneceres y jugaría con niños.

Si tuviera otra vez la vida por delante.

Pero ya ven, tengo 85 años y sé que me estoy muriendo.

Jorge Luís Borges.  For a translation, please click here.

Miss Ashby says: “With Year 9 Spanish we looked at a poem by Jorge Luis Borges, an Argentinian Poet. The poem is called ‘Instantes’ and is about an old man who is close to death and he talks about if he were to live his life again what he would do differently. Great for the conditional tense!

Opened up a lovely discussion about the meaning of life.”

Jorge Luís Borges 1951
Jorge Luís Borges 1951 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mrs Moss shared a book about the art of Maurits Cornelis Escher, upon which she reflects:  “I spoke to a couple of my groups about a book on Escher the artist and I showed the pupils some of his amazing paintings on google images, which we then discussed.”  The Life and Works of Escher, commentary by Miranda Fellows.

escher_relativity (Photo credit: williamcromar)