Goodbye for the Summer….

Summer HolidaysAlthough I will be in next week with the MRC Team doing part of our annual Stock Check, I won’t be blogging until September.

So have a good Summer Break and I’ll see you nex term.

Happy Reading!

Perfect things to Read over the Summer holidays

Students, and staff, are encouraged to borrow books from the MRC over the Summer Break.

The more reading you manage to do over the holiday period the less likely your reading level will drop.

After all practice makes perfect and reading is just like any other skill if you don’t practice you can get rusty.

Radleys book cover


Dripping in blood, this is a story of family secrets so terrible that they shouldn’t be uncovered…Rowan and Clara think they are ordinary teenagers. They live quietly with their ordinary Mum and Dad doing all the things that their friends do. But, the Radley parents are hiding a secret; they are abstaining vampires and, one day, their abstinence will fail. Rowan’s teenage anxieties and sense of being an outsider take on a whole new dimension in this insight story of adolescence with a difference.Book cover




A charming and magical adventure story that is full of wisdom, warmth and understanding. Orphaned Maia is sent off to stay with her relatives far, far away in the heart of the Amazon jungle. She’s excited by the prospect of living such an inspiring place but soon finds that life with her twin cousins Gwendolyn and Beatrice is torture. How Maia escapes and thrives with the help of her redoubtable governess is a glorious drama against a magical background.


front cover


An edgy and contemporary thriller about the life changing dangers of knife crime – and that’s just for the witness. When Ty tells the police what he has seen, his life is changed forever. His enemies are ruthless and will stop at nothing to prevent Ty from testifying. Given a new look, new names and a new past, Ty and his mother make a fresh start. But forgetting Ty and remembering to be Joe is hard. Ty tells his story of familiar teenage experiences – school friendships, bullying, falling in love – against a terrifying background in which letting out the secret could mean the end. How Joe survives and grows and, in particular, how he befriends the lonely Claire whose self-harming is an equally important secret, is touching.

MRC Inter-form Competition 2010 -2011

Here is the ‘Podcast’ for the MRC Inter-form Competition 2010-2011

Again well done to C ABa and can anyone beat them next year?

Bibliography Creator

Accurate refencing is a key part of research, and Bibliography Creator is one example of web tools availbale to you to help you create a bibliography. It uses the Harvard style of referencing.

Simply choose a type of reference from the list below and then add all the data into the boxes. Once completed you can copy and paste the refernce into your bibliography – remembering to list these alphabetically.

Referencing a Bookdata entry form                                                                       

Referencing a Chapter of a Book

Referencing a Journal Article

Referencing a Website

Referencing an e-mail


Remember you can use the MRC Resources Found Guide to help you record what you use as you use it – and this guide can be filled in on your computer or printed out for you to use.


Perfect things to Read over the Summer Holiday….

Students, and staff, are encouraged to borrow books from the MRC over the Summer Break.

The more reading you manage to do over the holiday period the less likely your reading level will drop.

After all practice makes perfect and reading is just like any other skill if you don’t practice you can get rusty.

Cover of reckless

Best-selling author Cornelia Funke, whose Inkheart was a world-wide phenomenon, has created a wonderful new imaginary world peopled with a gigantic cast of original and outlandish characters. Searching for his missing father, Jacob Reckless steps through the mirror into a strange, story-filled world in which danger is never very far away. When Jacob mistakenly allows his brother to follow him through the mirror he discovers the awesome powers he is working against and needs to use all his skill and cunning to save his brother from a horrible death as he is gradually turned to stone. Cornelia Funke’s original storytelling captures the hearts and minds of all young readers.

To visit the ‘Reckless’ website where you can see the official trailer and interviews with Cornelia Funke, click here

Cover of Time Riders

This is a thrilling action adventure which hurtles across time and place at breakneck speed. Three children are on the bring of death: Liam is about to drown as the Titanic sinks in 1912, Maddy is on an aeroplane fitted with a device which will destroy it in 2010 while Sal looks set to die in a fire in 2026. Each is offered a deal which means saying goodbye to their old lives… for a price. Meeting up and working together, the three make an unbeatable team fighting to save the world from imminent disaster.

Click here to visit the Time Riders website and here to see all the Time Riders books.


Cover for White crowShortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2011

Packed full of suspense, this is a tingling and chilling Gothic thriller in which nothing can quite be taken for granted. Rebecca is forced to abandon her bustling life in London for the unfamiliar village of Winterfold. So different from home, she finds it lonely and claustrophobic. When she meets Ferelith things begin to change and Rebecca soon finds herself caught up in a terrifying mystery from which there seems to be no escape. Marcus Sedgwick weaves several story strands together in this macabre tale.


More Summer Reading Suggestions next week!


Booked Up 2011 Titles Announced

New Booked Up titles revealed…

The 17 book titles that will be on offer to all Year 7 pupils in England from September 2011 are now online at Booked Up, which is celebrating its fifth year.

The programme will deliver 650,000 free books from a list that includes winners of the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize and the Blue Peter Book Award.

Our Year 7 students will again be able to choose which book they want during the Term 2.

The 2011 Booked Up book list:
* Pumpkin Grumpkin by John Agard and Grace Nichols
* The Name of This Book is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch                                                                                                                                               * Artichoke Hearts by Sita Brahmachari                                                                                                                                                                                 * How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
* The Ghost Box by Catherine Fisher
* The Kick Off by Dan Freedman
* Mortlock by Jon Mayhew     
* Why is Snot Green? by Glenn Murphy
* Big Nate – The Boy with the Biggest Head in the World by Lincoln Peirce
* Dead Man’s Cove by Lauren St John
* Frankie Foster: Fizzy Pop by Jean Ure
* The Truth About Leo by David Yelland
* Boffin Boy and the Wizard of Edo by David Orme and Peter Richardson
* Little Bo Peep has Knickers That Bleep by Laurence Anholt & Arthur Robins
* The Dragon Machine by Helen Ward and Wayne Anderson
* You Choose by Pippa Goodhart and Nick Sharratt                                                                                                                                                               * Don’t You Dare, Dragon! by Annie Kubler

2011 Booked Up books. FREE to all Year 7’s in term 2

Keep your eye peeled for further information later in the year on how to claim your free book.


Yr 9 BTEC Science

I’m popping into Year 9 BTEC Science lessons this week to advise them how to research more quickly and find the best, most reliable sources of information. Freeing them up to do the things they want to do!

We’ve been looking at the pitfalls of relying on Wikipedia (unreliable, who created the information and having to check the information in more reliable sources).

The inefficiencies of Search Engines like Google – which roughly only searches 3% of the information available on the web – and still brings you a hit list of thousands of articles, that no one has the time or the willpower to read through.

Screenshot of the Oliver Homepage

Screenshot of the Oliver Homepage

Instead I reminded the students about the Oliver Homepage, Searching for keywords to find the best books and websites on our database, and showing them some of the online databases they can use courtesy of the MRC. I gave quick demonstrations of Britannica Online; NewsBank; InfoTrac and Clipbank; plus I pointed out the guides to referencing and bibliographies.

They spent the rest of the lesson researching topics like electromagnetic spectrum and BP Oil Spills and were able to find videos and newspaper articles as well as books and websites. Cool.

Let’s hope they remember the next time they are set some research based work.

Todays Front Pages…

Front Cover of The Times from 11th Juky 2011 Courtesy of Newseum

Through a special agreement with more than 800 newspapers worldwide, the Newseum displays front pages each day on its website. The front pages are in their original, unedited form, and may therefore contain material not suitable for all students. (Just like the newspapers themselves!)

Browse the front pages of over 800 newspapers from 86 countries.

Todays Front Pages

The Newseum keeps an archive of national and international front pages that chronicle events of historical significance.  However due to copyright the front pages only go back to 2003.

Inspired by GP Taylor…

S GFl tutor group was one of the four highest borrowing tutor groups in the academic year 2010/11.

As a reward they were  one of the tutor groups that were lucky enough to spend time with our visiting Author GP. Taylor last week.

He was very impressed with them as a group and obviously the feeling was mutual as during their next DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) session they read an extract from “Shadowmancer” one of his published books and created some really good pictures that represented the storyline.

S GFl turor group display

S GFl turor group display

S GFl turor group displayS GFl turor group displayWell done S GFl

Year 6 Induction Days – Humanities Induction Activity

To introduce our Year 6 students to some of the basic research skills (Information Literacy) needed when using books we have teamed up with Humanities to help deliver a Yr 6 Induction Activity that we have successfully run together for the past few years.

Basically we provide several resource boxes that contain the relevant books which would give the answers to a list of questions.

The questions are all based upon a named Continent and include a Geographical, Historical and Religious based question.

MRC Staff work alongside the teacher in the classroom with the students to help them to select Keywords;  use Contents Page; Indexes and make notes.

A really nice, simple but effective session for Year 6’s.