Children’s Laureate

Julia Donaldson has recently been awarded the role of Children’s Laureate.

This award is given once every two years to an eminent writer or illustrator of children’s books to celebrate outstanding achievement in their field.

She has a partnership with artist Axel Scheffler and  they have become picture book superstars with titles including

The Gruffalo (which has sold nearly two million copies worldwide aSnail and the Whalend been translated into thirty languages),

The Gruffalo’s Child, and my favourite The Snail and the Whale.

Have a look at the official Gruffalo website.

Book of the Week

Four children with unusual talents are recruited for a top-secret mission.  There is only one rule – there are no rules!  How can they work together to save the world?

A cracking adventure begins…….

This is an excellent adventure book with puzzles, codes and a diabolical villain.

A-Z of Internet tools and techniques: Letter C

ClickerSo here we are with Letter C of the tools and techniques which you can use to get the most out of the Internet.

C stands for….


What are Clickers?

Clickers are a simple remote personal responce system which look at bit like a TV remote control unit, and work in the same way.Clickers use infrared or radio frequency technology to transmit and record student responses to questions. A small, portable receiving station is placed in front of the class to collect and record student resonses. If the teacher wants each clicker can be linked to an indivudual studdent which allows for a unique and identifiable signal and response.

Clickers creates an environment for active participation by all students and provides immediate feedback about any areas of confusion over the content being taught.

For more information click HERE!


Scott, Elspeth. (2009). All kinds of e-verything. School Librarian. 57

Top Tips for Tutors: increasing reading for pleasure…

Make reading visible around the school by displaying attractive posters – ‘Good reads for historians…’, ‘Want to know more about the causes of earthquakes? Try these books…’

Have sections of a text placed in different corridors and areas so that pupils need to read one and find the next extract.

Recruit influential pupils to be book, author or genre ‘ambassadors’ – with an element of competition to see who can secure the widest readership.

Add small ‘recommendation’ cards to book displays with lively pupil or teacher comments, or try “If you like this then you’ll love…”

Show pupils how current literature has its roots in the past, e.g. Twilight and Dracula. •Take advantage of technology in the school – share book recommendations, extracts or reviews on the school’s intranet, screensavers and TV display screenReadings.

Read yourself – being a role model

Engaging with pupils as readers and getting to know their preferences

Referring to whole books/literary fiction rather than just chunks in textbooks, e.g. historical novels in history

Ensuring that all teachers promote reading in their subject areas, e.g. science fiction in science

Creating a reading-friendly environment.

Raising the profile of the library (MRC).

Giving book tokens/books as rewards or prizes


Department for Education. (2011). Encouraging reading for pleasure. Available: Last accessed 22nd September 2011.

Banned Books Week

Banned Book Week focuses on the books banned or challenged in schools or libraries around the world.

Intellectual freedom—the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular—provides the foundation for Banned Books Week.

Here are some of the banned books that you can borrow from the MRC.

Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer

To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger

My Sister’s Keeper, by Jodi Picoult

The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler

The Color Purple, by Alice Walker

The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier

His Dark Materials trilogy, by Philip Pullman

Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar

The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini

Check the Banned Books Week YouTube Channel daily for new videos. 

Horrible Histories…

How many of you managed to claim your free copy of the “Rotten Romans” book (of the Horrible Histories series) with Saturdays Peterborough Evening Telegraph?

 Horrible Histories

 You can continue to build your collection of Horrible Histories in every Saturday’s paper for just £1.99 each – a saving on the RRP of £3 per book! There are 23 in total to collect.Inside each Saturday’s evening telegraph you can find a Horrible Histories token – please hand these into the MRC as we are collecting them to try and win a share of £500.

 There’s a first prize of £350, second prize of £100 and third prize of £50 plus runner up prizes of a full set of books for the schools who collect the most tokens -so come on everyone let’s show them that Thomas Deacon Academy is the best!

A-Z of Internet tools and techniques: Letter B

So here we are with Letter B of the tools and techniques which you can use to get the most out of the Internet.

B stands for….


“Bluetooth gives wireless communication between devices on an opt-in basis and can be used to transfer information easily.” It is an open wireless technology for communicating over short distances between devices.

So you can have bluetooth mobile phone headsets; headphones; mice; keyboards; printers; speakers; and even games consoles use this technology.

If you have an older PC that does not have Bluetooth embedded then you can get a Bluetooth adapter that will let the PC communicate with other Bluetooth devices. Most recent laptops come with a built-in Bluetooth, if this is missing you will need to get an external gadget, these are called dongles.

Bluetooth Bibliography Scott, Elspeth. (2009). All kinds of e-verything. School Librarian. 57

Science Research Session

Yesterday I went into a post 16 (Year 12) Science lesson to discuss how they approach their research.

Where do they start when given a piece of research?

Not surprisingly the top two answers were…

Google and Wikipedia.

So we discussed some of the pitfalls of each of these options, pointed out ways to use these safely; to get reliable and relevant  information from them and a few hints and tips, before going onto show them some alternatives.

These alternatives can be found via the Oliver Homepageand not only would these provide a more reliable place to start  a research project, would, with practice save you valuable time.

Screenshot of the Oliver Homepage

Screenshot of the Oliver Homepage

Have a look at the Research Guides for details on how to use the databases.

Google Tip 2

Research Hint: Google tip


“Use search terms the way you’d like to see them on a Web site. But think of how the author would phrase it.”

keyword umbrella

Would they use American spellings? Or more technical terms? Think about what people would say and how they would say it to find alternatives.

So if you can’t find what you want with your first keyword(s) think about common terms and phrases and try again.

“Stay on topic and keep it simple.” Barseghian 2011


Bibliography Barseghian, Tina. (2011). 12 Ways To Be More Search Savvy. Available: Last accessed 06/11/2011. Google Inc.2011. Encyclopædia Britannica Online School Edition. Retrieved6 September 2011, from all/comptons/article-301005

Drop in on DEAR 1.2

The current focus of the Authors Page on the DEAR Homepage is…

Roald Dahl

To say that Roald Dahl is a popular author, even 21 years after his death would be an understatement. His stories for children hold a special place in many children’s (and many grown-up’s) hearts. 

Of his books, 7 have been turned into successful films,

  1. James And The Giant Peach (1961)
  2. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1971 and 2005)
  3. The Witches (1973).
  4. Matilda (1988).
  5. Danny The Champion of the World (1989).
  6. The BFG (1989).
  7. Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009).

My favourite is, of course, Matilda, and I just love the character of Miss Agatha Trunchbull!

James and the Giant Peach
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of James and the Giant Peach you can join in with the challenge to roll a peach right around the world during DEAR.

Check out the DEAR Homepage to look at his website, or have a look at the DEAR activity you can do during i-connect.

You can borrow some of his books from the MRC – just click HERE to see which books we have got.

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