August is a time for looking back and also making plans for the new year. I like to spend this time reflecting on all we have done and to ask myself questions like –
- Have we achieved our aims? Have we helped Education and our schools achieved theirs?
In this time of reflection and decision making, it gives us a real opportunity to look towards our next school year with an understanding of where we are going. Schools’ Library Service in Guernsey is so much more than the books we lend, it is a community service, an expert advisor and a critical friend. Having said that we are very proud of our collections both digital and physical which we work hard at ensuring it are up to date and links with our teachers and students curriculum needs. If you are a teacher looking for resources for a topic we do our best to supply it and if you want something we don’t have we try to find it or offer an alternative. Our fiction collection is circulated around all our schools to enhance and refresh school libraries or local classroom libraries.
Our centralised collections go a long way to saving our teachers time and money in having to order new stock themselves, whilst also providing access to experts who manage and curate their collections to the highest level. These experts also personally select resources for individual requests ensuring that every box delivered is full of the best quality resources on the topic requested.
Our SLS librarians have a wide varied role which includes
- Teaching inquiry learning throughout the curriculum
- Using digital resources to engage learners
- Supporting literacy through numerous initiatives
- School library stock selection
- Stock checks
- Training parent and student helpers to support library use
- Advising on school library refurbishments
- Running training events for NQT’s and teaching staff
- Collaboration with the public library
SLS Guernsey is always looking for new ways to support our schools, from using new technology to connecting students across the world. This year we launched our very own children’s book award and provided a new way to promote Reading for Pleasure via Reading Road map.
Channel Island Children’s Book Award
We have just completed the first year of our very own Channel Islands Children’s Book award which is proudly sponsored by Ravenscroft. We were delighted to have children nominate and vote for their winning book which was Katherine Rundell’s The Explorer. The award ceremony was held at Jersey library and we look forward to hosting the event in Guernsey next year.
Library cards for e-book collection
We realised that our e-book collection was not very visible and therefore not being used so we came up with a plan to create a card that made access more simple but also allowed us to offer sessions to our schools. Each school did something slightly different but suited each school. We found that this had a significant impact on loans but more importantly the number of minutes spent reading. We understand that some of this is due to this being new and we will continue to promote this again next year.
We promoted a reading initiative from Islington SLS called Reading Roadmap. The challenge was for children to engage in reading for pleasure and read as many books as they could. They were each given a map and could gain certificates. Schools said that it worked really well with their children especially boys.
Spring stories had become a busy time of year for us so we decided to look at moving these session to the Summer term. We had seen a slight drop in numbers last year and even though we had seen increasing the numbers every year before that we felt that schools would prefer to bring their children to visit the library in the Summer. We were delighted that over 1000 children attended these sessions so feel that this move was the right one.
Along with all the new initiatives above we have continued to offer events throughout the year for all our schools these include Non-fiction November, Christmas Stories, World Book Day Quiz, Carnegie/Greenaway lunch and general school visits for craft and story session or research sessions. These sessions have seen a massive increase over the last five years almost doubling the number of children attending our events to 3179. Our Book Week this year saw a record number of 5422 children having the opportunity to see one of our visiting authors.
This year our team has supported two of our secondary schools to run stock checks which can be done in a few days with all hands on deck. This service is available to all our schools on request.
Year 7 visit
We look forward to welcoming all our Year 7’s in September to the Guille-Allès Library for a morning of finding out and fun. Adisa a performance poet will be here to entertain the students whilst they visit and then there is the opportunity to find out all about what the library holds for them as well as competitions with some wonderful prizes!
Channel Island Children’s Book Award
We look forward to our second year and an opportunity to hold the award ceremony in Guernsey. We are going to try and get a representative from each Island here next year. Watch this space.
FOSIL (Framework of Skills for Inquiry Learning)
We look forward to working with Darryl Toerien from Oakham school who will be helping us us FOSIL effectively. We are running a training day on the 9th October so we hope to see many teachers attend.
The following sessions will be available on the 9th October and can be booked by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Exploring the possibilities of using FOSIL (Framework of Skills for Inquiry Learning) in Primary schools 9.30-12
Exploring the possibilities of using FOSIL (Framework of Skills for Inquiry Learning) in Secondary Schools 1-3.30
Without all of our team working together we would not be able to achieve half as much as we do. We would like to thank all our teachers who constantly open their doors to our SLS librarians and understand the benefits of collaboration with our service. Here’s to looking forward to what next year will bring.