Día europeo de las lenguas 2014 : Berkhamsted School

EDL_Logo1On Friday 26th September 2014, we celebrated European Day of Languages in School, and, I believe, to a resounding success!  This year, we decided to focus on our learning of Spanish and we worked with our excellent Spanish teachers to create some activities for classes for when they came into the libraries.  Some classes used iPads and computers to answer our quizzes as there were too many to visit us at some points during the day.

We devised quizzes promoting Spanish literature where the children had to match a picture of a Spanish-speaking author (from around the world) to their book cover, Spanish and South American artists to their work,  and the names of well-known Spanish celebrities from the worlds of sport and entertainment to their photographs.  One of our lovely teachers devised a quiz about the many varied and wonderful festivals celebrated in Spanish culture, so, all in all, in a twenty minute lesson, each class had an enlightening and fun learning experience.  Proudly displaying the Spanish flag, our catering staff enhanced the day by providing paella, filled tortillas and a delicious steamed seville orange pudding with chocolate sauce for lunch.

We also highlighted the language resources which we use in the library, from the Mary Glasgow magazines of  ¿Que Tal?, ahora and El Sol, to books (including fiction and travel guides), reference material and dvds of Spanish films.

We hope that on this day, our students from Years 7-9 renewed their enjoyment of language-learning, which will continue to be something they love throughout their lives.

Spanish table

Spanish display

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Bookbuzz 2014

Bookbuzz logo jpeg

It’s the Bookbuzz time of year here in the libraries at Berkhamsted School!  We have spread the word amongst our Year 7 English classes and talked with the students about how fantastic the selection of books is this year.  They have had to make some difficult decisions about which book to choose to take home to keep, which books to read in the library and which to swap with their friends.  One of the things that I love most about Bookbuzz is the excitement and enthusiasm shown by all students and their teachers as they talk about the book they would like to receive as a Christmas present from us, the librarians!   It’s also heartwarming to see how the students are pleased to be able to choose something for themselves, without the influence of anyone else.  They have all chosen their books, the order has been submitted, but shhhhhh!  Don’t tell them, the books have already arrived!  We will keep them for Christmas…

I can understand how hard a decision to choose a book can be, especially since all of these books look like a fantastic read for our young people. Which would you choose?

 

World Book Day 2014: celebrations in school (1)

One week has already passed since we celebrated World Book Day in school and we thought we would share with our readers the books which our great teachers have discussed with their students in class on the day.  We followed the Drop Everything And Read initiative, whereby the teacher talked to their classes about a favourite book, or one which means a lot to them, and then this was followed a conversation about reading in general.  Here are some of the responses:

Mr Cowie, head of our Economics Department, recommended Leviathan – The Rise of Britain as a World Power by David Scott.  He says:

“How did an insignificant, rain-swept set of islands in the North Atlantic become the greatest power first in Europe and then in the world? Splendid stuff – proper history!”

leviathan

Mme Shipton wrote to say:

“I read a passage from Le Petit Prince [by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry] in French. Some girls were also keen to read out loud and invited to do so.  It was an enjoyable experience”.

le petit prince

In co-curricular club at lunch-time, historian Mr Bridle talked to his pupils about John Donne’s poem No Man is an Island :

“We were talking about why human rights abuses overseas should matter to us”.

john donne

English teacher, Mrs Tomlin, had an interesting idea:

“I read an extract from The Book Thief  [by Markus Zusak] to my classes and they had to guess whose perspective it was written from. Once they looked at the clues, many pupils guessed that it was Death. This has created intrigue as to how it can be made into a film. Some pupils even debated whether we were supposed to feel sympathy for Death!”

book thiefInspiring reads there, I think…  Our next entry will tell of our other library exploits during the day.

Mood Boosting Week, 19-23 November 2012

Earlier in the year, we were inspired by The Reading Agency’s Mood Boosting Books initiative to provide a new collection for our students and staff.  We consulted The Reading Agency’s website and obtained their flyers containing two lists of books:  one reflecting books chosen by young people and the other detailing books recommended by older people.  These recommendations are based on books which readers have identified as having lifted their spirits and are definitely not self-help books.  There are some fabulous books on each list.  We obtained two copies of each of the young people’s books and one of each of the books offered by older people, took them to the staff rooms on both sites of our school and then to both libraries and much interest was shown.  mood_boosting_header

Click here to go to the page to find out a lot more about the initiative and here to find more information about reading groups (why not join a reading group for tea/wine, cake and book chat, all of which go well together!) :

reading groups for everyone

It’s so easy to forget how reading can transport you into another world, whether to forget about your worries for a while or to seek reassurance about the decisions you are facing, but, whatever the reason, we mustn’t forget that reading truly does give pleasure…

Read Vita Sackville-West‘s All Passion Spent and Annie Proulx‘s Bird Cloud from the list for older people and Michelle Magorian‘s novel Goodnight Mister Tom and Lia’s Guide to Winning the Lottery by Keren David from the list for young people…

all-passion-spent bird-cloud-by-annie-proulx Goodnight Mr Tom lia

World Book Night, 23rd April 2013

World Book Night
World Book Night (Photo credit: danbruell)

We are so happy with the excellent titles of the books included on next year’s bookgivers’ list (World Book Night takes place on April 23rd 2013 and is designed to share books and the giver’s love of reading, anyone can get involved) and are very hopeful that we can join in again! Take a look at the superlist here and tell us which one you’d choose to share with others and why…

We first got involved in the year when the book giveaway began, in March 2011.  Here’s an extract from our library newsletter from the summer last year:

World Book Night, on Saturday 5th March 2011, was also celebrated in school by the giving-away of 45 copies of Ben Macintyre’s Agent Zigzag at football fixtures on Chesham Fields against Haileybury School on the day.  Mrs Maxted gave the books to footballers, coaches and families of both teams, as well as our catering team and members of St John Ambulance who attended the matches.  It appeared that the bookgiving was successful, with all copies disappearing.

Mrs Koulouris and Mrs Maxted also attended the World Book Night launch on Friday 4th March where they heard various authors, whose books were included in the giveaway, read extracts from their books, together with actors such as Stanley Tucci, Hayley Atwell and Rupert Everett read poems and songs.  With Graham Norton officiating, it was a great evening! ”

This year, Miss Guy, Head of Learning Resources, participated by giving copies of Audrey Niffenegger‘s novel The Time Traveller’s Wife to staff and students who came clamouring to the door!   And for 2013, I feel inspired.  Take a look and see…

World Book Day 2012

World Book Day 2012.

Here’s a short film that we’ve put together with photographs of pupils and members of staff reading to celebrate World Book Day 2012 using Animoto.  We hope that you enjoy it and recommend that you turn off the music when playing!